Don't Be a Victim of the Re-Shipping Scam!
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This work-at-home job ain't legit
As many people are doing these days, I’ve been looking for a work-at-home job. It’s supposed to be the New Wave of Employment or something like that. Therefore I’ve been looking at Craigslist, et al., just about every day for the past two years. Recently, one particular ad caught my eye: Courier, Customer Service. Sure, I’d like to do that, so I clicked away.
Within hours I received an email from – let’s call her Madame X. The transmittal started like this:
We appreciate your interest in exploring career opportunities with us and value your interest in becoming a member of our team. We are looking for honest and smart people for this position.
Our company is a subsidiary of ipsparcel.com. We are organizing VIP - transporting and logistical services for our customers, the main feature of our company is low-cost custom taxes serving - we have the agreement with customs department for low taxes for our clients.
Our Company's Philosophy Service, Flexibility and Honesty, allows us to grow with our customers.
Hey, I thought, that sounds like the kind of company I want to join! Service, Flexibility and Honesty – who could ask for more? Actually, above all else, I wanted to make some money; otherwise, they could take their Service, Flexibility and Honesty and hang it on the wall!
But the address of the company gave me cause for concern:
BALTIC Meat Logistics Group, Ltd
Taikos pr. 52C, LT-91212
I wondered if they owed me a paycheck and didn’t want to pay up, would I have to fly to Lithuania to raise some hell? This was the sort of issue about which I've worried the most with work-at-home jobs.
Nevertheless, I decided to follow through with this “job opportunity.” Madame X wrote in her initial email that I would be notified by email or telephone when a package would be sent to me. Once I received the package I would need to send her an email telling her that the package had arrived, and then she would send me via email a prepaid postage label for U.S. Priority Mail.
At this point, I thought the process seemed legal. Madame X stressed that the aforementioned company, Baltic Meat Logistics Group, Ltd., was simply trying to save their customers money on taxes. Hey, what did I know?
Madame X’s next email indicated how much I would be paid for my trouble:
You will be paid once per month via Bank Wire or PayPal, as you prefer; First payment will be made exactly in one month after the first package was sent and for all the packages that had been sent prior to that date. During trial period you will receive piece-rate pay: $15.00 per sent package - our account department will count how many packages you have sent for this month and will process your payment! In the plan for this month you can receive about 20 packages, so your payment should be about $300.00 for trial month of part-time job. After successfully passing the trial period your piece-rate pay will increase to $20.00 per sent package!
This sounded very good to me. All I had to do was correspond using emails, print out mailing labels on my printer and then go to the post office from time to time, thereby making $300 the first month.
However, at one point I panicked, thinking if they’re sending a package from a meat company, they better not send any frozen steaks! Dried or pickled would be okay, but nothing else. So I hurried to my computer and urgently typed away.
But Madame X assured me they wouldn’t send any frozen meat.
Then I went through the procedure and received a package sent via FedEx. I didn’t have to pay the shipping; otherwise, I would have stopped the deal right then and there. I wasn’t about to spend a nickel for any of this! The package was from Borders Books in Indianapolis, Indiana and contained one hardbound book. I also noticed that the package had somebody else’s name on it, yet also showed my address. Okay, whatever, I thought. Then I slapped the printed label on the package and took it to the post office.
Three days later, I heard a thump against my apartment door and then somebody scampered down the stairs. When I opened the door I saw the package I had mailed lying on the floor. The Post office had returned it with all these papers stuck to it. Apparently the postage Madame X had sent me was invalid!
What the hell? I thought. So I sent an email to Madame X, the subject line reading: Houston, we have a problem!
When Madame X promptly responded to my enquiry, she wrote:
We are engaged in legal business. It was our mistake. In a course of last month we bought the shipping label from a third-party company. Most likely it was a scam company. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Please hold this package, I will send you the correct shipping label on Monday. Thanks.
That’s when an alarm went off in my head. So I started investigating on the Internet. It seems the so-called re-shipping scam has stricken many hapless folks. Some people have handled thousands of dollars of merchandise, including expensive electronic equipment, and then, one dark and dreary night, the cops showed up at the door asking lots of questions. Conviction for involvement in mail fraud is considered a felony! The fraud is committed because the mailed merchandise was purchased using stolen credit card numbers or identity theft schemes.
Then I started thinking about my package, which apparently contained just one book to be mailed to some guy in the Russian Federation. Could the center of the book be hollowed out to hide contraband? Might there be cocaine or stolen diamonds in there?
I sent an email to Madame X and insisted that she send me no more packages, and I also told her that I wouldn’t re-mail the lone package I had. If she wanted it back, she’d have to send FedEx back to get it or I would throw it in the trash. Madame X responded to my threat by sending the postage anyway, which I ignored.
Since then, I haven’t heard from Madame X. Apparently she has moved on, fleecing other sheep, no doubt.
But I didn’t throw the book in the trash. Being a book lover, I wasn’t about to discard a book! Can the reader guess what sort of book it was? Pornography? No. How about this one: The Japanese Tea Garden by Marc Peter Kean. How very pleasant. Does anybody want it? I’ll sell it real cheap.
For additional information regarding the re-shipping scam try the Web site: www.postalinspectors.uspis.gov or call this phone number 1-877-US MAIL 5. Better yet, if you want to talk to a real live person, call this one: 1-800-372-8347.
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