Money Transfer Fraud
A common type of internet fraud that unfortunately victimizes a number of people just desperate for money is the money transfer fraud. This is a scam that will specifically target individuals who have made it clear they just need money fast and are looking for work they can do from home. The scammer knows this and uses a variety of tactics in order to convince the victim that this is a valid job, even though red flags such as offering high commissions for little work go up every step of the way.
The money transfer fraud involves the scammer (from a foreign country) requesting help from someone in the United States to help them transfer funds to a separate bank account. In order to convince the victim, they claim that they need help with this because they are trying to avoid tax penalties during the transfer and offer commissions between five and twenty percent of the money transferred, as payment for the transfer.
The scammer will start by sending the victim a counterfeit cashier's check or money order. Often times, these types of payments appear to be legitimate and will be cashed on the spot, without further investigation or questioning by the bank or financial institution. It typically takes several days for a check to bounce or to realize a money order was forfeited, therefore giving the scammer plenty of time to complete the scam.
After the check has been cashed, the scammer asks the victim to transfer the funds through wire transfer to an international account. Before the bank or the victim figures out what has happened, the scammer has received their money and cut out communications. The victim is now going through the process of being questioned by the bank about trying to cash a counterfeit check as well as out of thousands of dollars. Additionally, this scam can also be used in correlation with a phishing scam, as the scammer may request the victim's personal information including name, address, phone number, social security and bank account number as an "employee."
The first way to protect yourself is to be weary of any type of "job" that either seems too good to be true, or unrealistic such as money transferring or money laundering. Be logical when choosing online employment and never give out your personal information without doing your research and without it being warranted. If you or someone you know has been victimized by this type of scam, report it to the authorities as being a victim of a money laundering scam and provide them the email address and wire transfer information for the scammer.