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A friend of mine asked if I could send some money to their family for them (in another country), via Western Union, using my name and address. They would give me the cash, and I would simply send the money.

Obviously, I am very hesitant. Is there any possible way that this act of kindness could come back to bite the kind person who sends the money? Or does this sound perfectly safe to do?

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    Obviously they don't want their name/address associated with it. That makes me think there's something about the recipient that's not right. I would suspect it's drug or terrorism money. – Loren Pechtel Aug 22 '17 at 2:02
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    More context needed. How do you know this friend? What country is the money going to? What did they say when you asked why they didn't just send the money themselves? – Mike Scott Aug 22 '17 at 6:19
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    If they can give you cash, then they can walk into Western Union and send the money themselves. That they don't want to is a BIG RED FLAG. – abelenky Aug 22 '17 at 14:46
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Obviously, I am very hesitant. Is there any possible way that this act of kindness could come back to bite the kind person who sends the money? Or does this sound perfectly safe to do?

There is some amount of risk. If you know the person very well ... i.e. vouch for his/her integrity and there is a legitimate reason why they can't send it with their name, then yes.

The red flags are;

  • Your friend can be suspect and being monitored for unlawful activities. Helping him may get you in cross with law enforcement.
  • The money can be gained illegally and this route hides the trace of funds for your friend.
  • Depending on the amounts involved [and tax residency] , there could be gift tax issues for you.
  • Your friends family may be in suspect list and if the transfer does not go through, then you will in cross with law enforcement, transferring / attempting to transfer to people who are in sanctioned list for unlawful activities.

So if someone is a casual acquaintance it is not a good idea. You may want to consider this only if you know the person extremely well and there is some genuine reason why he is asking you to do something like this.

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