Fact Check

Reshipper Scam

Work at home and make big bucks acting as an intermediary for international transactions?

Published Nov. 14, 2004


Claim:   Aspiring work-at-homers promised big bucks for acting as intermediaries for international transactions wherein they cash checks for other parties have been defrauded by con artists.


Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2004]

Good day, my name is Evaldas Vytautas.

I'm Sales Manager of Lionder Web Design Agency. We are situated in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Lionder Web Design Agency is pleased to offer you the position of Exchange Manager for our organization. We are excited about the potential that you bring to our company.

We work with corporate clients and some of them prefer to do wire transfers, however we cannot receive international wire transfers because of heavy taxes. Tax for international wire transfer is 25% In Lithuania. There is no sense for us to work in such a way, however we don't want to lose our clients. You need to have Paypal/bank account. System is completely automated. You will work only 1-2 hours a day, receive, process payments from our clients through your Paypal/bank account. Report about all new payments, act only within the limits of law — earn minimum $1500-$2000 per month.

Your salary will be 5-15% from every processed amount (you begin from 5%).

To join the minimum requirements include :

-MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS (Skills, Knowledge, Ability, etc.)
-The minimum qualifications are diploma or equivalent.
-Must be able to multi-task and have good communication skills.
-Knowledge of MS Word and other basic computer programs.
-This being a new field there is NO experience needed.


If you would like to pursue this opportunity simply send Your Resume (CV) to resume@lionder.net OR Download Job Application Form (www.lionder.net/Job_Application_Form.doc), fill it in and send us to resume@lionder.net (No phone calls please. Callers will not be considered for the position).

We will respond promptly.

Please don't feel shy to contact our Online Support and ask any questions you will have:

Contact Name: Julie Jakulyte
ICQ- 257235542,
AOL IM Screen Name- Jakulyte,
Yahoo! ID: JJakulyte,
MSN- Jakulyte@hotmail.com.

No agencies, please.

Lionder Web Design Agency is an equal opportunity/affirmative action

For more information about who we are and what we do, please visit our webiste — www.lionder.net

It is necessary that we know your decision by November 20, 2004, so that we can plan accordingly.


Evaldas Vytautas
Lionder Web Design Agency


Origins:   In


2004 we began noticing a new scam targeting those searching for part-time paid duties that could be performed from home. This new con uses the promise of high-paying work to lure eager job seekers into being defrauded themselves or used to steal from others.

Those so led down the garden path are pulled in by advertisements for jobs involving the forwarding of monies or goods collected in the U.S. to business entities in other countries. Supposedly, the successful applicants will make thousands of dollars through working from home for a few hours a week, with no special skills or training required. Sometimes international wire transfers are specifically mentioned in these solicitations, and the terms "import/export specialist," "marketing manager," and "financial manager" often turn up in their wording. The reputations of the venues where the ads are found proves no protection to those looking for such opportunities, in that this work-at-home scam has been touted thousands of times on popular job web sites including Monster, Careerbuilder, Careers.com, and Yahoo! Hotjobs.

This con operates in one of two of ways, both of which leaves hopeful job seekers in a mess of trouble:

  • In its more usual incarnation, successful job applicants are tasked with depositing checks for varying amounts (anywhere from a few thousand dollars all the way into the six-figure range) into their personal bank accounts and relaying to their new employers 95% of the amount banked, keeping 5% as their commission. The explanation given by the employers for that which necessitates their having someone cash checks on their behalf varies from come-on to come-on, but the need to believe in 'something for nothing' (in this case a high steady income in return for a few hours' work per week) blinds the about-to-be-defrauded to the glaring implausibilities inherent to these tall tales of strange government-imposed restrictions, exorbitant tax rates in the homeland, the need to fly under a competitor's radar, and the like. The checks the unsuspecting dupes are given to deposit are worthless, but this detail is not discovered by them or their banks until weeks after the fact, which is long after 95% of the face value of said financial instruments has been wired to the thieves. As is the case in the 'cashier check' scam (sellers are duped into accepting cashier checks in excess of the amounts they seek for their goods on the understanding they are to forward the additional monies to third parties), the scam works because the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) requires banks to make money from cashier's, certified, or teller's checks available in one to five days. Consequently, funds from checks that might not be good are often released into payees' accounts long before the checks themselves have been honored by their issuing banks. High quality forgeries can be bounced back and forth between banks for weeks before anyone catches on to their being worthless.

    In this form of the scheme, those who'd thought they were about to pack up and move to Easy Street thanks to their new jobs as international relayers instead find themselves on the hook for the amounts they wired to others. That the original checks were worthless does not absolve those who deposited them from financial responsibility for the funds they subsequently instructed their banks to pay out — the two transactions (the deposit and the disbursement) are regarded as separate. Therefore, if a hypothetical erstwhile wire transfer facilitator handled a bogus check for $10,000, instead of netting $500 (his 5% fee), he would be out $9,500 (the amount he had his bank wire to those who'd conned him).

    The mayhem doesn't necessarily end there. There is a further danger that, now armed with the dupe's banking information from the wire transfer, these same thieves can use those numbers to create a demand draft to withdraw funds without confirmation from the hapless job seeker's bank account until there's nothing left in it but dust.

  • In another version of the con, those who land these coveted 'jobs' are tasked with collecting payments from their new employers' clients in the U.S. and wiring these funds back to the home office, retaining a specified portion of the recouped accounts as their fees. Only after the fact does it come to light that the deposited checks were for non-existent merchandise vended through online auction sites, usually about the time that the police come a'knocking on the door.

    This form of the wire transfer scam mirrors a type of the CNP fraud in which job-seeking dupes are hired to repackage and ship to Nigeria goods purchased on stolen credit cards. As with the wire transfer come-on, the promise of easy, high-paying part-time work blinds those who unwittingly become part of an international theft ring thanks to their desire to believe in the job fairy. In both cases, they're the ones left holding the bag when the police turn up to ask questions about the monies or goods others have been duped out of.

Those searching for employment opportunities that will allow them to work from home are all too often the very people who can least afford to be defrauded. Although a great many folks

daydream about earning livable incomes from the comfort of their dens rather than having to make the trek to their offices each day, they do not as a general rule of thumb search for such job openings with the same fervor as do the elderly, the physically afflicted, or the parents committed to remaining at home with their preschool children. Members of those groups hunt for work-at-home opportunities because laboring in more traditional job settings is impossible for them. Because genuine offers of work of this nature are few and far between, with the need to secure a steady income becoming more of a pressing issue with each passing non-employed day, those folks are at far greater risk of being victimized by such schemes — their desperation leads them to be gulled by pie-in-the-sky promises and mollified by the wild backstories that go with them whereas the financially better off are more likely to remain convinced something is very wrong with the offer of mucho bucks in exchange for only a few hours' labor performed from home each week by folks possessed of no special training or skills.

Barbara "reshipboard romance" Mikkelson

How To Avoid Falling Victim To Reshipper Scams:

  • Avoid job listings that use these descriptions: "package forwarding," "reshipping," "money transfers," "wiring funds" and "foreign agent agreements." These and similar phrases should raise a red flag.
  • Do not be fooled by official-sounding corporate names. Some scam artists operate under names that sound like those of long-standing, reputable firms.
  • Never forward or transfer money from any of your personal accounts on behalf of your employer. Also, be suspicious if you are asked to "wire" money to an employer. If a legitimate job requires you to make money transfers, the money should be withdrawn from the employer’s business account, not yours.
  • Do not give out your personal financial information. A potential legitimate employer will not request your bank account, credit card or Paypal account number. Provide your banking information only if you are hired by a legitimate company and you choose to have your paycheck direct deposited.
  • Do not fax copies of your ID or Social Security number to someone you have never met. Credit checks and fake IDs can be obtained with this information. Give these documents to your employer only when you are physically at the place of employment.
  • If you have questions about the legitimacy of a job listing, contact your Better Business Bureau, your state or local consumer agency, or the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Stop believing in the chimera of "something for nothing."

Additional Information:

    FTC on Work-at-Home Schemes  Work-at-Home Schemes   (Federal Trade Commission)
    Better Business Bureau on Work-at-Home Schemes  Work-at-Home Schemes   (Better Business Bureau)

Last updated:   11 July 2011



    Harris, Sheryl.   "Wire Money Back? It's Likely a Scam."

    [Cleveland] Plain Dealer.   23 September 2004   (p. C5).