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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Reshipping Job Opportunity
December 15, 2013

Reshipping Job Opportunity

Watch For Scams is dedicated to helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

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Reshipping Job Opportunity

The job might look like a great opportunity, especially if you are unemployed. According to the job descriptions, which typically arrive via email or in response to a job profile posted online, all the job applicants need do to earn a generous wage is receive items, repackage them, and send them off to specified addresses.

However, the supposed job is in fact a reshipping scam designed to trick users into receiving the proceeds of crime. What the worker will actually be doing is accepting goods bought via fraudulent transactions and sending them back to the criminals responsible for the scam.

Why? Because, if a criminal steals your credit card details and uses them to buy various items, they need to have the items delivered somewhere and can't just have them delivered to their own address, because that could pinpoint their location to investigators and result in their arrest.

So, instead, the criminal needs to find a parcel mule to accept the fraudulently purchased items on their behalf. When police follow the trail, they will arrive at the door of the mule, not the real offender. Meanwhile, the criminal has had their goods shipped to themselves or more likely, sell them for cash.

In order to successfully purchase expensive merchandise with stolen payment cards and later sell for cash, fraudsters have to ensure that the mailing address matches the billing address. This obstacle is usually easily overcome by changing the billing address of stolen cards to the addresses of their hired, pre-assigned mules.

Another challenge for fraudsters in managing a successful reshipping operation is obtaining a seemingly innocent “drop” address where mules dwell. The most effective way to overcome this challenge is to recruit and hire mules that live in the United States. The United States is a strategic location for fraudsters in which to base their reshipping scams as many major online merchants who sell popular high-value goods do not ship their items outside of that country.

The reshipping mules can find themselves trapped inside the scam and at a loss as to how to get out. After a time, they may realize that they are involved in a scam, but by then, they may be scared to contact authorities out of fear of being charged with criminal activities, as well as their criminal "bosses" may threaten violence and retaliation to victims who try to get out themselves.

To make matters worse, the criminals may "pay" their mules with fake or stolen cheques or funds transferred from compromised accounts. They may instruct workers to deduct their wages and wire a remaining amount via a money transfer service such as Western Union. Thus, workers may be roped into laundering money as well as receiving stolen goods.

And mules are sometimes tricked into paying postage and other costs out of their own pockets, with a false promise that they will be later reimbursed.

In a variation of the tactic, criminals may find new and willing victims via online dating scams.

Be wary of any work-at-home job that requires you to receive various goods and reship them elsewhere. Any such request should be treated as suspect. If you have already become caught up in a parcel mule scam, you need to get yourself out immediately. The best course of action is to contact police and explain the situation.

Better than waiting for the police to arrive on your doorstep.

If you believe you have been a victim of this type of scam you should promptly report it to the IC3's website at The IC3's complaint database links complaints together to refer them to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration.

Remember - always watch for scams!


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