3

A company offered me a work-at-home job to receive packages at my address. I am supposed to:

  • open the boxes I receive
  • take out the merchandise
  • make sure items are in good working order
  • re-package and ship the items overseas.

I supposedly will be paid 60 U.S. dollars per package.

The company claims that they would supply me with shipping labels (I would not pay postage).

Although I am sure that this is a scam, I do not actually see how the scam artists makes any money. I am hoping that you can explain.

The scam artist pays for shipping labels, not me.

I am not required to provide the scam artist with any of my own personal banking details (routing & account number, etc...). I do not have to use direct deposit. The scam artist told me that I can accept payment via paper checks sent to me in the mail. The scam artist requires that I email them a scan, or photograph, of my photo ID, but told me that I am allowed to obscure my driver's licence number by covering it with a sticky note, or drawing a black box over the scanned image in something like Microsoft paint, etc...

I am not required to provide the scammer with:

  • my bank account routing number or account number
  • a credit card number
  • my birthday
  • my social security number
  • etc...

Presumably, if I agree to receive checks by mail, I will either never receive the check, or the check will bounce when I try to deposit it. However, I still do not understand. It seems like the only thing the scammer might get out of me are free shipping services. That is, I would unbox the product, inspect it, and re-ship it for free. I suppose it is free labor, but I still do not really understand...

  • There are plenty of legitimate mail/package forwarding services. I wonder how to separate those from scams? – Dhara Jul 10 at 8:13
13

One possibility is that they are buying things online with stolen credit cards and want the trail to lead to you if law enforcement gets involved.

You may be the patsy/scapegoat instead of the actual victim.

| improve this answer | |
  • I see. The scammer is already is already possession of stolen credit card numbers from someone. The scammer does not need to steal my credit card number The scammer wants buy items online, and have the stolen goods shipped to themselves. However, one of two problems arise (1) if the destination mailing address was in the U.S. the scammer would get caught. Law-enforcement would simply following the mailing addresses. (2) the scammer could send stolen good overseas except that American retailers won't directly ship overseas. – Samuel Muldoon Jul 6 at 16:23
  • 1
    The scammer will buy something over the internet using stolen payment information. For example, the scammer might buy a brand new laptop computer and have it shipped to me. I will then mail the laptop computer overseas. The scammer will even pay for the shipping label, so I do not have to. Then, several weeks later, the police will investigate me. It looks like I stole Joe Shmoe's credit card, bought a laptop computer, and shipped it to myself. – Samuel Muldoon Jul 6 at 16:26
  • 1
    It's a possibility. The whole things seems very suspicious. Before you even considered it (which I wouldn't) I'd want a very clear idea from them why this service is valuable to them and why they don't just ship it to themselves. Also, I'd want to verify exactly who they are and get proof of their identity. Scammers will shy away from such a request. – JohnFx Jul 6 at 16:36
6

This is a reshipping scam. The United States Postal Service has a little bit to say about it:

The scam begins when criminals buy high-dollar merchandise — such as computers, cameras, and other electronics — via the Internet using stolen credit cards. They have the merchandise shipped to addresses in the United States of paid “reshippers” (who may be unaware they are handling stolen goods). The reshippers repackage the merchandise and mail it to locations in Russia, Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, and Germany. Victimized businesses include such well-known companies as Amazon, eBay, and other Internet auction sites.

A good blogger and author with information about how the scams work, how they make money for crooks, and how mules are left out to dry is Brian Krebs. Check out his "reshipping scams" tag. He even explains how the damned labels are stolen too:

The service, at fe-ccshop.com, makes it simple for any reshipping scam operator to purchase international shipping labels at a fraction of their actual cost. For example, USPS Express Mail International labels for items 20 pounds or less that are headed from the United States to Russia start at about $75, but this service sells them for just $14. The same label for an item that weighs 25 pounds would cost upwards of $150 at the Post Office, but can be had through this service for just $19.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.