Re-shipping Scam

One of the many scams that people who want to work from home will run into is the re-shipping scam. This is one of those scams that almost seems legitimate when you are first contacted about it. When you look a little deeper, the offer is a little too good to be true.

The way this scam works is you are “hired” to ship packages you receive to a new destination. The scammers claim that they will pay you for your shipping costs and an added fee for your work. They make up a lot of reason why they need to have you re-ship these packages. The end result is you never receive payment from the scammers who “hired” you to work for them, you just receive goods bought with stolen identities, making you an accomplice to a crime.

Here is a video of one of the victims of this scam:

Criminals post job announcements on Internet career sites offering work-at-home positions—sometimes advertised as “merchandising manager” or “package processing assistant.” Duties include receiving packages and mailing them to a foreign address on behalf of a client, using postage-paid mailing labels provided via email.

The real story? It’s a scam!

If you accept the job, you’ll receive packages containing one of two things:

  • Merchandise bought with stolen credit cards—the scammer needs your help to smuggle the goods out of the country.
  • Counterfeit postal money orders—the scammer wants your help to distribute them to other scammers.

And when you receive payment—watch out! The check or postal money order you receive are counterfeits! – Source

The most important thing to think about in any job offer is the nature of the work. In the case of re-shipping scams, consider this: WHY would someone pay you to be the “middle man” in terms of shipping? If someone is ordering goods online, why would he send them to you, then have you send them to someone else? Wouldn’t it be cheaper and faster to ship the items directly to the alleged customer? Something isn’t adding up in the scenario, and it should make you instantly suspicious. – Source

Here is another personal account of this scam in action:

I am going to tell you about my story that I am dealing with at the moment. I am posting this to warn all of you because this could happen to anyone anywhere. This is not purely a political story and it is not directly from the USA, but I found a lot of similar frauds happen in the USA.

I am a 19 year old girl who is studying abroad which means I am far away from my family and friends. As a student, every one of us wants to earn our own money. That is the reason why I got caught up in this situation.

I was looking for a job online and then I found a website which is U*****.com. Lots of my friends have been working there for quite a long time and they earned good money there. I was so interested then I decided to create an account. I was aiming to be a translator as I speak 3 languages, but without luck, I didn’t get any translator job there.

One day, I suddenly got an email from that website and it said I got an offer for a job which was a virtual assistant. Without thinking twice (because I know u*****.com is a legal website), I accepted the offer. Long short story, I am employed by this guy BUT it was still in the testing stage so I am not fully employed, I did not even write a contract. I did not know that time that I was actually being scammed, I only talked to him via email and that was it. I know I am really stupid. I should have realized it a long time ago. But what else could I do back then? I was in need of money and I have never worked before so I was totally clueless.

My job was quite simple, this guy ordered stuffs from Onlineshops and got them shipped to my address. I had to receive those packages and forward it to his “clients”. Which I did. I shipped 19 Packages in total. Those packages were mostly electronics which costed around 300-899 EUR. I “worked” for him for 1 month. The scammer who is my “employer” promised to pay me a base salary of 1,200 EUR plus a bonus of 20 EUR per package every 30 days after I receive my first package.

Then, it came to my payment day. He went missing. I could not reach him at all. (well that’s obvious). I kept emailing him and waiting for an answer (such a stupid act). Then I just did not know what to do, I thought he was just messing with me by making me work for him for free but I had no idea that actually the stuffs that he bought might have been part of some illegal stuff. And now, he successfully made me as his scape goat.

I found out that this job is a scam when I suddenly received a bill which costed 600 EUR. I didn’t even order that stuff, but the scammer did.

I reported to the police about what happened, but the police just laughed at me and refused to write a report, but (oh thank god) I got some people I knew to help me get through the situation and in the end, the police finally filed a report and took all of the evidences with them. I was feeling safe. Until 2 months later, I received mail from the police which is from another department. They wanted me to come in for an investigation because they accused me of money laundering by being a package agent. I was in shock.. Trembling.. Nervous.. And afraid. I’d really wanted to kill myself.

My stupidness seriously ruined my life.

I could not sleep well. I could not eat. I lost my appetite. Thank god I have friends and people who supported me in this situation so I could feel a bit better now, even only a bit. I appreciated it a lot.

I tried to get a lawyer as I am a victim here but I could not afford a lawyer. I also looked for help from a victim’s support group. Unfortunately they refused to help me because the police already wrote me up as a suspect. Apparently they do not work with people who are suspects and the fact that I was a victim of Identity theft and this reshipping fraud did not interest them. – Source

Re-shipping Scam Conclusion

Any work at home jobs that involves you re-shipping packages should be avoided.  They are scams.