Psst! Here is a deal you cannot pass up...
- I have a wonderful opportunity for you to earn a little extra cash, and work at home without affecting your current job. You would also be helping me a lot because I have a difficult time dealing with your country sometimes.
All you need to do is become my employee and represent my business in your country. When I make purchases, I will send them to you so that you can ensure they are correctly logged and labelled for onward delivery to my customers.
If you are interested in this position, please write back for an application form.
The reshipping of parcels and packages seems to have become a growing favourite amongst international fraudsters. An unsuspecting victim may be given an offer that sounds plausible, is well written and explained, and of course offers easy money. The money and the ease of earning is the turn on, and many people do not stop and consider exactly what they are being asked to do:-
- Accept a parcel from (A)
- Re-label said parcel
- Send parcel out to (B)
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL FENCING OPERATIONS
The term 'fencing' or 'to fence', has been around an awful long time, and we are not talking about swordsmanship. So, what is a 'fence'?
How does this tie-in with the reshipping job? Do I have to spell it out? Ok, maybe I should...Fence (criminal)
A fence is an individual who knowingly buys stolen property for later resale in a (usually) legitimate market.
A criminal purchases the details of a stolen/compromised credit card, and then proceeds to his favourite online shop. He fills out all the required details of his shiny new iPod, maybe a super looking Laptop or the latest and greatest mobile phone from Mr. Apple.
In filling out the name and address, he uses the details of his "reshipping" employee in the same country as the online shop (that's you). The goods are paid for using the dodgy credit card, and soon the goods are delivered to you, the reshipper.
You accept the parcel not knowing of how it was obtained, and you dutifully carry out the instructions from your "employer". Remove the old label, affix the new one, pop to the postal office and send it off to another address. Simple, clean and very efficient.
The goods in question, if not actually kept by the original criminal will probably end up being sold on the black-market.
Not a bad few hours work eh?
FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS
You are probably thinking, "what the heck, its not like I stole anything". However, you have have participated in an international criminal fencing operation, and are by definition a criminal yourself.
There is a saying: Ignorance is no defence. With this activity, nothing could be closer to that very real truth.
In most countries on the planet, what you have done is called "handling stolen goods." If you live in the United States, in addition to the rather obvious charge of dealing in stolen goods, you have also likely placed yourself under the jurisdiction of the Postal Inspectors, US Customs & Border Protection, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and others. This is just at the federal level, as you have also likely violated a host of other laws specific to your state of residence.
In all cases, what you've done is illegal. You are looking at an arrest, prosecution, probation, fines and potentially some hefty jail time. Basically, you are *****ed and in a desperate need of a damn good criminal defense attorney.
THE QUESTION OF WAGES
Should everything be going so well with your new job, and you have neither had difficulties in reshipping anything, and you are not sat in a jail cell already, the chances are you will want to get paid.
So your "employer" sends you a nice fat cheque. The cheque will very likely be for more than your pay, and you will be given some excuse to wire the balance somewhere else, usually by Western Union or MoneyGram.
Off to your bank you go, and you deposit the cheque. The funds from the cheque may be deposited into your account, and you once again follow the instructions of your "employer", sending off the overpayment to John Doe out there somewhere.
Problem here is that the cheque is really a dud, and it will bounce high, fast and land on you like a ton of horse manure. When that happens, the whole sorry mess comes down right after, and not only will you face multiple charges of mail fraud and handling stolen goods, you'll have cheque fraud on your plate too.
Is that the sound of jaws dropping to floor over there? I hope so.
MY JOB IS REAL, I ONLY RESHIP PAPER
Think again about that. Have you actually seen the papers with your own eyes instead of just assuming that the envelope is really stuffed with papers? What if those papers were actually counterfeit cheques, or worse actual counterfeit bills?
Just because it looks innocent, does not mean it actually is.
The article above is just a small taste of the many different types of homeworking scams that people can fall into. This one is a very dirty one, because the scammer usually gets away with it. That leaves the unfortunate "employee" to face the full and unsympathetic force of their judicial system.
Point to note for US residents. While some Law Enforcement officers might be sympathetic to your plight, the law itself is not. Victims of this type of scam are prosecuted more often than media reports would suggest, and "I didn't know" is not a statement that will get you far when you're sitting in the defendant's part of a courtroom.
Contrary to what you might believe, the US legal system can be pretty damn efficient at what it does when the perpetrator admits guilt and has no viable defenses. Considering the host of laws the victim of this type of scam violates, Law Enforcement can pick and choose from a wide variety of offenses committed.
This is not a good situation for you, if you're reading this article while a few packages are sitting in your living room, waiting to be re-mailed.
If you recognise your own "employment" in this article and have just finished hurling your lunch, knocking back a brandy or done crying, you need to get out and go get a criminal defence attorney right away. Seriously, do it now.
References and Further Reading
- Wikipedia - Fence (criminal) [link]