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Money Transfer Scams

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The U.S. Postal Inspection Service recently distributed thousands of checks totaling $46 million to people who lost money in scams that involved MoneyGram, a popular money transfer service.

According to law enforcement officials, from 2004 to 2009, MoneyGram turned a blind eye to scam artists and money launderers who used the company to commit fraud. During that time, tens of thousands of people in the U.S. lost money to a variety of money transfer scams, including fake lottery and prize scams, family emergency scams, and “guaranteed” loan scams.

How do these scams work? Generally, you get a call from someone who says:

  • you won a prize but you have to pay “taxes” on it
  • a friend is in trouble and needs your help
  • you can get a loan — even if you have bad credit — but you have to pay a small fee first

Whatever the pitch, the caller’s only goal is to get your money ­— not to give you something in return.

MoneyGram also agreed to step up their anti-fraud programs. Nevertheless, scammers continue to add new twists to old schemes and pressure people into sending money. Using a money transfer service is like sending cash ­— once you send the money, it’s nearly impossible to trace it or get it back.

Check out this video for more details:



Tagged with: money transfer, refunds, scam
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Don't purchase anything from AvoBuy. They take your money and claim to pool customers together on the same item in order to get better discount. The item never comes and neither does a refund. They block you email address and phone number once try to get a refund. The 60 days for a credit card company to help you or 120 for Google Wallet passes and you're on your own. Lost $340.

Watch out for consignment trust, a guy by the name of Roland (aka Ronald) Greenberg wanted me to send 8500$ to a 4th party in the UK for construction equipment sight unseen.

The scheme was elaborate, fake web pages, chat rooms, multiple email address, 6 different phone numbers(they were texting me) and 2-800 numbers. These guys have skills.

My offer to purchase was when the guy started to pressure me saying, if I didn't send the cash before I promised. I would be held responsible for delayed container fees for my merchandise and other customers cargo fees that was being loaded in the same container.

I was kinda suspicious from the get go but this was the clincher, its amazing how quickly I found negative reviews when I googled the company.

I replied to his last email telling him that "he the escrow company,web pages,chat prints,email addresses,800 numbers and invoices with reference information was being monitored by the RCMP Internet Fraud Dept. and any further questions should be forwarded to the Court go (Prosecutors Office). I also included a link to the local police departments fraud webpage. I haven't heard from him since.

I would have loved to see this guys mug after reading the reply.

Hi, one of my old friends from years owed me money. They contacted me today and asked for my mobile bank account info so that they could deposit a check. I asked if they could just western union me the money or go the the bank and do s deposit. They said that they couldn't, I asked if they could take a picture of the check so I can see it they said they didn't trust bc someone might retrieve their information. I'm a skeptical about this? If the check are fake or returned, will I get in trouble for it?

So I've been looking for jobs on Craigslist and also have been posting my own ads for jobs as well. I guess these ppl seen my E-mail. I received one that asked was I still looking for work. And of course I said yes. Then I got an E-mail back that said.
Thank you for your timely response, The house is a two bedroom unfurnished apartment. I will like you to know that you will be responsible for general cleaning of hallways (dusting, vacuuming and mopping), doors, windows, pick up trash in common areas, sweeping and changing light bulbs etc. I am a consultant Agent currently working with Fair Trade Organization (FTO). I’m currently out of the states and I will be arriving to the states by December 15th 2014. I want the apartment to be worked on and get clean before my arrival.

I wont be able to make payment to you but i will instruct my secretary to make payment out to you, She will be sending you the payment in form of business check, which you will get soonest this is because i don't want any delay in your cleaning service, I want the house to look as clean as possible. I want you to know that I will be paying you $1000 every 2 weeks if you are willing and ready to work for me; cleaning the house. If you are interested in the work, I will instruct my secretary to email an upfront payment of $500 to you so as to know how serious I am with the cleaning job I want you to do.

So as for my secretary to send the upfront payment to you; I will like to have the below information so i can instruct her to send the payment to you;

1. Full Name

2. Street Address,

3. City

4. State and Zip Code

5. Phone Number

6. Age, Sex

7. Current Occupation

Thanks for showing interest in the post and hope all this arrangement is okay by You, if so do email back as soon as possible so that i can make the arrangement for the check ASAP, I will really appreciate your mail and I believe you will enjoy working with me.
And I send my information to this person. No phone though because my phone isn't working now. But then they said the money was on the way but they send the wrong amount of money to me and they need me to western union 1,900$ to the painter and the rest for me. He send 2,450$ today. I just received the check. But something didn't seem right. Its from wavesource Inc in kalispell, mt and the bank on it says glacier bank. I am not cashing the check. I know it is a scam. And anyone else receives it don't fall for it.

Hi, long story short, someone sent me a check to help out with some errands. They paid me and everything worked out. When the second check came it didn't go through yet. They person insisted on me using my own money and keep the money when the check went through. The check never went through but my money was stolen.

Now, the same people has contacted me and is sending another check under a different name. I was wondering can I just cash the check, keep the cash and call it a day?

my boyfriend on aug. 30 2014 sent 300.00 from moneygram to me how can anyone get the numbers he gave me in my house alone i do suspect theres someone my id with there picture

We just got scammed by that claims to help companies 'build business credit' and guarantees approval of a business loan in 45 days. we paid upfront for their program over 90 days ago and we have nothing to show for it...the owner (probably a fake name) anthony richards uses bank of america for his online scams by using their 'bank of america invoicing' feature. I cant believe bank of america allows people like this to continue to have accounts...

I am the most stupid person in the world in fact st some point I feel like I knew it was a scam I just didn't think it was going to end up this bad. I came across this thing on the internet stating that I could get 8000 dollars if I had navy Fed so I applied (with all my information) I know better but the money sounded good. So then a check was deposited in my account they did themselt edeposit when the check came in my account I got a call saying that there had been an error and I must seen the 3000 back so I did , I just thought oh okay this might 've a scam that would only result in me not getting Money , si i sent it because afterall it wasnt mine , layer that day that Saïd they were fixing my account to receive my pprize I thought wow not fake other peoples money was transferred in my account and a little more then half was ssent back out my account via PayPal. Unroll the bank called me I try to play it off like I knew what was going in although I had no clue untill later I could bot gain access to my account and i could no longer contact the people being that it was so late on new years I called in the morning I was so frighten I didn't even sleep or eat I was transferred to security who said my account was restricted and as soon as the check returns I would owe that money and possibly the people that money got transferred paypal which would be 5600 , I would have to pay that to get any acess t to my account she even said all my money that comes in will be debt towards that debt , so she's telling me I will have no money to pay bills , my car anything . She said I should file a police report I am in the military and I M terrified of my command learning this sistuation , so I have not yet now I'm going on emergency leave because my grandmother past away. I'm still so scared about life right , is there any information someone can give me at all

In the past I have received hundreds of emails which seemed like scams. One which I actually was drawn in by;'sort of' told me that like all the rest I would be sent a check and I would take my cut and sent the rest via Western Union to them. The problem with this was that in the envelope their was also a letter with a persons phone number. I called the number and naturally some Indian guy picked up and naturally could not have cared what I had to say. He even threatened me!!! He said 'If I did not send the check on then he would call the police on me!!!' I simply replied back 'Go ahead, I would be more than happy to pass on your letter that you sent via US Postage which is a Federal Offence in the First place to the Police'. I then said 'I do not know what type of people you usually talk to in regards to the SCAM but I am not one of them. I am smarter than you!!!' He then hung up on me because he was not going to get me to do what he wanted!!!

This was one of those ho so famous situations that if it seems too good to be true it probably is!!! I shredded both the letter and the envelope

sadly my grandmother got scammed and is about lose her home now ...I told her and my aunt told her that she doesn't need to give out personal information. really sucks...I almost got scammed one day but I played dumb of course and pretended like I didn't know what they were talking about. be careful out there everyone. do not give out personal information to anyone

I received a phone call on Thursday. stating I was entitled to $5700. from taxes and they were from congress. The person who called sounded like he was from the middle east and I had trouble understanding him. He gave me a confirmation number an the phone number 3602070918. On Saturday a man named Mr Paul contacted me from that number and said I needed to buy a voucher for $150 at one western union location then take that voucher to another western union location and they would give me $5850 (the original $5700 & $150 for the cost of the voucher). I told him I couldn't do it today because I didn't have the money on me but really I said it because it sounded kinda fishy to me. Is this legitimate or a scam?

My elderly mother nearly was scammed with the classic call from someone claiming her grandson (my son) was injured at a wedding in the Caribbean while on military leave. The caller knew a tremendous number of details related to my son's graduation from Navy basic training in Great Lakes IL. I am suspicious it could be an inside job. Some details were never in Facebook. If this has happened to your family, be sure to report it to the Navy.

I got an email for a work at home job with a German company to process payments and then re-send them to the company via wire transfer because they claim they don't yet have an office in the usa. This feels really off to me. ...

JP, I just got an express priority postal envelope with a check i'm supposed to deposit, then western union most to a "business contact" of this guy off Craig's list, to Mexico....

I just received a similar offer through Career Builder asking me to process payments through my personal bank account and then wire the Money to a Stellar Technology in the UK because they don't have any offices open in the US yet. What ever happened with your situation?

Hi I was also contacted from Deana Jones about the same job with steller technology. Have you gone through with any of it I looked up the website and it's there along with a number in the uk.

Scam artists use a number of elaborate schemes to get your money, and many involve money transfers through companies like Western Union and MoneyGram

Suppose someone sends you a check and tells you to deposit it, and then wire some or all the money. By law, when you deposit a check, a bank must make the funds from the check available to you within a few days. BUT, it can take weeks to uncover a fake check. You're responsible for the checks you deposit, so if a check turns out to be fraudulent, you will owe the bank any money you withdrew.

When you wire money to another country, the recipient can pick it up at multiple locations, making it nearly impossible to identify them or track them down.

am so grateful for this site. You ve' saved me from a lot of heart ache and financial ruin. although I deposited the cashier's check they sent to me into my account. I ve not done anything with the cashier' check. I was planning to do it the next suppose mystery shop at Wall-Mart ,walls green ,RadioShack, rite aid, cvs & so on with almost 1450 including my paid for doing the job. Thank you for creating this site. beside I prayed about it and decided to look up the name Matthew Williams MD OF universal Evaluations LLC.what up was tis site and I read was exactly what I am about carry out the next day. Thanks guys. God Bless all of you. Have a nice day always.

Craiglist sellers beware their is still that scam oUT their were the person has no time to meet you for your product.But they want your address and phone number to send you a check and they will have some one pick it up from you.I did not reply because it just didn't souND right and they wanted me to remove it from craiglist if it sounds to good to be true it usually is.

I responded to an ad on Craigslist and the person asked for my address, phone # and first and last name. I unfortunately gave them that information. Then when they asked for me to send them money through the money pals (pre paid card) I realized it was a scam. I even called ebay ( because the person claimed that's who she was going through). An Ebay representative said it was a scam.

Should I be worried that they have that kind of information about me?
I just deleted every media account I have that has my name (Facebook, twitter, instagram) and changed my phone #.

After conversating off and on with this guy named Steve. The last time I heard from Steve he was supposingly in Atlantic leaving for Africa because he dealth with gems. To make a long story short...Steve contacted me today asking me to go and get a green dot money card..I asked him "Why" he stated after I get the card and have it activated and to wait and give him the information..and his client will call me and tell me what to do..after the money is put on the card for me to take 10% for he repeatedly asked me for my number...I told him that I have given him my number over and over again...I asked whats your number...the number is from africa...he asked me to call him now...I told him someone was on the phone...and I told him I had to go...of course I am not going to submit myself...been stung more...


I already took the money order to my bank to they steal the money if i didnt do the money gram thing please help i dont want problems

does anyone notice a these numbers ? (206)317-1328 & (206)279-4982 ???

Got a check from some one interested in a car that I was selling on criagslist and should have recognized the signs of fraud right off the bat. First of all instead of the usual criagslist reply e-mail I got this re:still have car. To be honest I was so anxious to get the car sold it never occurred to me that this was a scam.
I went through the process and when the check came in the mail, it seemed like an awful lot of money for shipping a car.
Turns out when I went to the bank and talked with the manager, it was fraudulent. I'm just glad I had enough sense to realize there was something fishy about it and to check with the proper officials to find out if it were real or nor.
I got to looking at the information on the e-mails check and final transfer addresses and they didn't match. One was from NY, another from NV and the final one was in SC.
Hope no one get suckered in as deep as I was. If this writing helps some one then PTL. Just hope the e-mails stop soon as the last one was on the threatening side. Surf smart and don't let feeling control the sell of the item you have posted.

I just had the same thing happen. I am selling a bike on Craig's List. A woman contacted me and said she wanted to buy it. She sent a cashier's check today via UPS from Seattle. The check was for $1950 drawn on a bank in NJ. I was expecting another package so I didn't open it right away. About an hour later she contacted me and said that she the check should have arrived and I was to cash the check, keep $100 for myself for my troubles, and send the remaining amount to a shipper in KS. And her friend who was shipping the bike for her would come by my house at 6 to get the bike. I kept thinking 1. Who pays more for an item on Craig's List than listed?
2. Who sends a check of this amount to a stranger without a signature confirmation? and
3. Who ships a $300 bike $1500? I shipped my car across country for $600! It was just crazy. She emailed a few times with her explicit instructions on getting the money to her. I told her I was working and would send it as soon as I was done. I called a friend of mine who said don't cash it. It's a scam. I didn't and never heard another word from her. I went to the police who said there was nothing they could do and said don't cash it. I'm going to check with my bank and see if the check is even real and if they can somehow track her down. I know for sure it's a scam since she never contacted me again when I didn't send the money. This is crazy and people like her/him need to be stopped.

Does anyone know thiz number 4072507814. Calls himself Harrison Schilling from Dallas texas. he says he's marine engineer currently at sea

not with that name but I have been getting emails from someone by the name of "Anthony"and he wants to send me money from the UN because he is at sea and can't get access to the money. But he did tell me he was coming to the U.S. In a couple of months and wanted to live in Dallas Texas he even sent me a pic of the house he wants to buy.

i have this problem, i went to greiglist to find jobs. i saw this one that says Office Position Full & Part Time ______ ______$950.00 weekly

You will be my Personal Assistant with expectations to make weekly purchases and completion of purchased art items from auction companies. The Purchased products can include a large range of items, including food, Art-Materials, machinery, equipment. Depending the type of manufacturing environment, When you get my mails / packages; you are required to mail them to where ever i want them mailed to. You don't have to put money out of your pocket, all you have to do is have packages shipped to your house and do my shopping. You are allowed to open the packages to reveal its content. All expenses and taxes will be paid by me including your weekly salaries. No heavy packages is involved! You can do the shopping at any nearest stores. You will be shopping for art materials and clothing sorting out my deliveries and packages. I will provide you my personal UPS account number for Shipping. All you have to do is provide my account number to UPS and shipping charges will be applied into the account. I will provide clear set of instructions for each task I need done as well the funds to cover them. You will be working 3 days in a week and you're to choose any 3 days of the week from Monday to Saturday that will be preferable to you and you will be working 5hrs in these 3 days and that will be from 9am - 2pm and we will be offering you $400.00 per week.

Type: Part-Time; Hours: 15 Hours per week
Days: 3 days per week; Weekly Pay: $400.00
BENEFITS:• AD & D Insurance; • 401(k)
If you're interested please provide contact details. full name, physical address including apt# if available and cell phone number to get started. I will be looking forward hearing from you and then proceed on the next step forward.

I send him the address and everything and he send me a check and i feel that is a scam but i dont know i need some advice to what to do with it.

The ad could be from someone trying a Fake Check Scam. It can be really hard to tell if a check is a forgery and it can take weeks to be discovered and untangled. If you deposit the check and withdraw money, you are responsible for the money you withdraw against that check. 

i was scamed by jedida itonbu ewanga in cameroon dont send money

I got scamed saying I was selected for a $8000 government grant and to send a $210 moneygram to a company called paypower. I went to my bank to see if my money was in and it wasn't I called back the number 202-738-1997 which they said the reason I couldnt recive my money was bc I need to transfer $600 more in another money gram when my bank was listening to me and my call they told me it was a scam!! I wasted my whole cheek bc I belived this damn thing and I wont get paid for two more weeks.. so I had to make a police report and I have a 11mth lil girl to take care of. if any one knows who can give me a refund plz write back

Scam artists use a number of elaborate schemes to get your money, and many involve money transfers through companies like MoneyGram.If you’ve wired money to a scam artist, call the money transfer company immediately to report the fraud and file a complaint. You can reach the complaint department of MoneyGram at 1-800-MONEYGRAM (1-800-666-3947). Then, file a complaint with the FTC.

beware about the package from someone want to send wirh you.. about the they are scammer...

I responded to this add on creagslist about fron t desk receptionest .a couple days later this guy by the name of henry towner contacted me an asked for
name,address,phone number,zip
i provoded him with this info an he later said i was qualifyed to worke for him . That mu job would be paying his workers for there laber ect. Lots of time went by an every other day he had an excuse as to y the money wasnt ready . Then as more time went by he contacted me as said that $7100 was avilable to my account. Sure enough when i called my bank they said it was there an i could do with what i wanted he asked to transfer 4000to another bank in MD. I did so my bank hasnt contacted me of any bad notices but i am supper scared because i have a bad filling about this an have never been in trouble by the law so im not sure what to do i honestly thought that since the miney was clear to use from my bank account that nothing would come of it but he asked for me to send 2600to nigeria they refunded me the money bacause they said exactly what im doing is part if a scam so i dont know weather to leave the money there an not go any further with this ???the crazy thing is i have been msg him sence 2days ago and he has not responded so please people tell me what to do????

Under federal law, banks usually have to make money available to you within a certain time after you deposit a check. But even if funds are available, that doesn’t mean the check is legitimate. It can take weeks to discover that a check is a forgery. Until the bank confirms that the funds from the check has been deposited into your account, you are responsible for the money you withdraw. If it turns out that the check is no good, you have to repay the bank. You can report this to the FTC or contact your local consumer protection agency.

I posted an ad on craigslist asking for a loan. Someone answered my ad saying if I put $100 on a reload it card, he can make an account adjustment and basically add a zero turning the $100 into $1000 for me. He says he lives in Reno Nevada. Has anyone ever heard of this? He said all I need to do is give him the card number, he will make the adjustment, then I can transfer the money from the reloadit card to my debit card to access my money. Can this really happen? I've been asking God to send me help, a miracle at that. Has anyone heard of this? He says he has helped a lot of people and has references to back his word.

Yes, this is a common scam used on social networking sites like instagram and facebook. they claim to work for a company like money dot, as soon as you give them at card number they will drain the money and block you from being able to contact them at all. Don't fall for it. If it sounds to good to be true it is. I'm speaking from experience, I had the EXACT same thing happen to me a few days ago, and to just prove it I loaded 20 dollars onto the card. I was promised the money by 4pm when I logged in to see if they were doing it, I had been blocked from their profile on Facebook and instagram and their phone number had been disconnected

what did you do, they did on my instagram and i agveher my online banking and she sent 2 checks of over 3,000. 7500 total. i sent her 4500 and now i dont know what to do. i told them i didnt do it but now i feel like i need to tell the truth and idk what consequence ill be stuck with but i dont want to go to jail!

I opened an account with Instagram last fall and with in a few days I started getting messages that I was s winner... PCH,Freebie mom,Freebie Sydney,lu lucktastick are just a few to name that contacted me. It was always the same things: u won- cars,money,checks for life but after the usual information ( name address birthday) it was always , well now u have to pay a fee or get some kind of gift card (how can u get ur prize by buying an iTunes card) and the best one was a government claiming receipt! But u always have to send a picture of the receipt! Finally I was pretty short on cash, I found out that my dog ( a Pug cross chihuahua) and she’s as small as a tea cup chihuahua and the dog that got her pregnant was a pug!! And I was scared I would lose her in childbirth... so I tried the money gram money flip and I sent 250$ Canadian which is only 200$ U.S. Because it was late afternoon I believe d when I was told that it would be ready to pick up in the morning.... The next morning I was contacted and told that I had to send another 250$ U.S!!! I couldn’t believe it ‘ I told them I’d sent everything that I already had and couldn’t get any more.. I was devastated to. They bugged me for another week. I even tried to get something done or get my money back some how, no luck. His name was Jason Esson from Hempstead Texas. If u get that name, BEWARE,cuz you won’t get anything but a headache

My manager had asked me if can western union her friend $800 cause she said she had sent the maximum or limit to him so me being a nice guy I did it for her. she gave me her debt card and I sent it to my store director is investigating the transactions to make sure that the wires aren't forgeries.all he made me do is write a statement of how everything went. Can I get in trouble or lose my job.

Hello, so I think they trying to make fraud. So I sent my resume in Craigslist. This guy said I will be assistant but I told him I didn't want job but he still sent me a check. I know is fraud so of course I won't cash out but I not sure where to take it. Do I take it to police station or don't I report as scam online but I haven't be scam ..

It's OK to file a complaint at even if you didn't lose money. You can still tell us what happened.  Your complaint could help investigators who use the FTC's complaint database.

Are the people on this forum really that dumb? The moment you see Western Union or Money Gram you should know it's an african scammer.


I have a man apparently named Anthony Baldwin who claims to work with money gram and that he can flip my cash. It's an obvious scam but I Want to know if anyone else has had an interaction with the same person? I want to uncover him so he cant keep scamming people, just makes me sick to my stomach. He has an instagram but all you have to do is type in anthony baldwin instagram on Google and it comes up

I recently got scam by secret shopper the guy name is John S. Grey billyambeflue the check account is 6265069404 and tracking number is 011201335 I made a transfer threw money gram and I lost $1530 and I feel so stupid I'm a college single mother and I don't know what to do when I called money gram they told me there's nothing they can do apperantly the it was to Nigeria and they said that country was dangerous and if I knew the person because coincidentmy the receiver had same last name as me ... the check was sent to me threw usps they won't give out the person information I have the tracking number and everything.... The person address say Shoppers Express 879 Franklin avenue Newark NJ 07107... What should I do now ????

You can contact the state Attorney General in your home state and New Jersey, where the letter came from. Because the scheme involved the U.S. mail, submit a Mail Fraud Complaint Form to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Please report your experience at Investigators across the country use FTC's complaint database to track scams.

tried to get a loan from "lending club" they took uw through so many loops, talked to a "loan officer" by the name of "Justin Green" who claims all we need to do is to send some money through a pay power visa card or money gram we will receive our loan and of course it never happened. I eventually said we are not sending anymore money and i Want a refund and then they tell me there is a cancellation fee. So we just called money gram and they sent us to to put in a complaint about fraud compaines. so i am about to do that now, good luck to everyone out there that falls prey to these scammers.

I recently joined the sugar daddy a man responded that he was interested, but also wanted to help me out, but I would need to help him while he's out on business with sending out his charity funds. He uses the name dennis. He would wire transfer money to my account. I keep 500 weekly, and send rest to his charities. Number he is using 646-930-7626. Is this a scam because he's been trying to talk me into it for over a week now. It sounds like one.And the number shows up as new York number.


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