Internet Users Hbk - Chapter 6b. Various Types and Examples of Internet Scams


6.6 Re-Shippers
Re-shipping scams trick individuals or small businesses into shipping goods to countries with weak legal systems. The goods are generally paid for with stolen or fake credit cards.


In the Nigerian version, the fraudsters have armies of people actively recruiting single women from western countries through chat and matchmaking sites. At some point, the criminal promises to marry the lady and come to their home country in the near future. Using some excuse the criminal asks permission of his "future wife" to ship some goods he is going to buy before he comes. As soon as the woman accepts the fraudster uses several credit cards to buy at different Internet sites simultaneously.

In many cases the correct billing address of the cardholder is used, but the shipping address is the home of the unsuspecting "future wife". Around the time when the packages arrive, the criminal invents an excuse for not coming and tells his "bride" that he urgently needs to pick up most or all the packages. Since the woman has not spent any money, she sees nothing wrong and agrees.

Soon after, she receives a package delivery company package with pre-printed labels that she has agreed to apply to the boxes that she already has at home. The next day, all boxes are picked up by the package delivery company and shipped to the criminal's real address (in Nigeria or elsewhere).

After that day the unsuspecting victim stops receiving communications from the "future husband" because her usefulness is over. To make matters worse, in most cases the criminals were able to create accounts with the package deliverer, based on the woman's name and address. So, a week or two later, the woman receives a huge freight bill from the shipping company which she is supposed to pay because the goods were shipped from her home. Unwittingly, the woman became the criminal re-shipper and helped him with his criminal actions.


This is a variant of the Nigerian Version, in which criminals recruit people through classified advertising. The criminals present themselves as a growing European company trying to establish a presence in the U.S. and agree to pay whatever the job applicant is looking to make, and more.

The fraudsters explain to the unsuspecting victim that they will buy certain goods in the U.S., which need to be re-shipped to a final destination in Europe. When everything is agreed they start shipping goods to the re-shipper's house. The rest is similar to the Nigerian Version. Sometimes, when the criminals send the labels to be applied to the boxes, they also include a fake check, as payment for the re-shipper's services. By the time the check bounces unpaid, the boxes have been picked up already and all communication between fraudster and re-shipper has stopped.

Here is an example recruiting email received via SPAM on Oct 2, 2007:

XX Inc. invites residents of the various countries to cooperation. We found your resume on some Job Website because we are searching for reliable professionals or your information has been passed to us by your friends/relatives.

Our clients need to accept goods from the various countries. Therefore we creating a network of regional agents which functions are reception of goods and further transferring goods to our shipping managers.

We pay you 40$ per received package. We guarantee worthy payment of your work. This job is for you if you want to earn from $150 to $800 per week and work only 2-3 hours then! This job requires punctuality, good organizational skills and proficiency with Microsoft windows and office programs to maintain inventory and fill forms if necessary. This job is ideal for: housewives, students, older persons, and people with restrictions.

No money needed to start. This is a business requiring only limited amount of your time.

Requirements: 1. a computer with access to the Internet, e-mail 2. We do not work with persons under 18 3. 1-3 hours free during the week 4. Check your e-mail several times a day (each hour is perfect) 5. Reply to e-mails immediately 6. PayPal account to receive payments (optional, WU is also accepted) 7. Be responsible, hardworking and communicable. We offer competitive compensation, including commission and expense reimbursement. Please send your resume to Thank You XX Manager XX Inc.


This is a variant of the East European Version, in which criminals recruit people through spam. The criminals present themselves as a growing Chinese company trying to establish a presence in the U.S. or Europe and agree to pay an agent whatever the unsuspecting victim is looking to make, and more. Here is an example of a recruiting email:

Dear Sir/Madam, I am Mr.xx, managing xx Corp. We are a company who deal on mechanical equipment, hardware and minerals, electrical products, Medical & Chemicals, light industrial products and office equipment, and export into the Canada/America and Europe. We are searching for representatives who can help us establish a medium of getting to our customers in the Canada/America and Europe as well as making payments through you to us. Please if you are interested in transacting business with us we will be glad. Please contact us for more information. Subject to your satisfaction you will be given the opportunity to negotiate your mode of which we will pay for your services as our representative in Canada/America and Europe.

Please if you are interested forward to us your phone number/fax and your full contact addresses. Thanks in advance. Mr. XXX Managing Director"


In the Australian version, the U.S. Company is contacted by a potential customer stating they would like to place an order with their company. The first initial email represents the "Direct Solicitations" outline. Once the company responds and verifies that the desired product(s) is in stock, the fraudster will then ask to quote shipping to Australia, and that they will be paying via credit card. Once the quote has been sent to the fraudster, the fraudsters will then reply back that they will have their U.S. agent or freight representative come to the location and pick up the merchandise, and then they will ship it to the fraudster.

The fraudster then tells the company to simply add an additional charge of $700 – $1500 onto the total cost, which will be their "agents" compensation fee. And that when the person is to arrive to pick up the parts, that the amount charged be paid to their agent. There will also be an additional compensation fee added in too for the company, for the extra trouble of paying their agent the money.

The reasons range from the agent or freight company only accepts cash or the company is unable to process credit cards. Once the fraudster is told it will not be done, the communication between them and the company will stop immediately.

TIP: These Types Of Communications Usually Have Many Grammar And Spelling Mistakes. (Most have been corrected here for ease of reading and understanding)


Example One

Dear XXXX,

Thanks for the total quote of my order. The total cost of my order is quite correct and okay by me and I am ready to pay the bills.

I shall inform my freight forwarder who will be coming to pick up the order to hold on and come immediately you inform me that the items are ready for pick up then I can give you a call on that day to get the items packed for pick up and they will call you on their arrival at your address. Also I want you to help me Charge another $1200.00 from my card to the shipping agent who will be coming to pick up my ordered items from you.

The $1200.00 that will be sent to the freight forwarder is for the shipping of my order and other items I ordered from different part of the country, which is to be picked up by him, and should be deducted from my credit card. Also, I am compensating you with the sum of $150.00 for the transfer fee and for your efforts.

Please note that I should have given the shipping agency my credit card for him to deduct the shipping funds but he told me that he doesn't have the facilities to charge or debit credit card, so that's why I bring my vote of confidence in you and I want you to assist me in this measure, so I want you to transfer the funds to him after you have make the charges and the money charged from my credit card is in your account, then you can now make the transfer to the agent via western union.

I will have love to do this myself but there are no western union here around me cos I am out of town to monitor my estate construction at a remote village, So the charges you'll make on my credit card will be Order Fee: 3,114.61 Agent fee with shipping fare: $1,200.00 Transfer Fee plus Your Compensation: $150.00 Total: $4464.61

Note that my credit card will be charged for the amounts above. Please do get back to me if you are in the office right now so that I can forward my credit card details to you, then you can charge the funds I await your quick response.

Example Two

From: XX Sent: Tuesday, December 4, 2007 4:40 PM To: XX Subject: RE: mail order - don't worry I will give you $300 for the stress and you can charges the money and send the money with the US what about that so let me hear from you today

XX wrote: xxx, We will not be able to transfer the extra $700 to your agent. We can charge you for the motors; however, we have them at two different warehouse locations. What you have your agent do is up to you, we can either will call the motors at each warehouse for him to go and pick them up, or have them shipped to his U.S. address. However, if we do have them shipped to his location, shipping charges will apply, and then I suppose you can deduct that from the $700 you would send to him to come and pick them up. Either way you handle it, the motors are in stock and available for purchase.

From: XX Sent: Tuesday, December 4, 2007 4:28 PM To: XX Subject: RE: mail order - What I just want you to know is that I will forward my credit for the bill tomorrow to charges and you will charges extra $700 USD to my agent that will come over there to pick up the goods so let me know if you can charges extra $700 then send it to him via western union money transfer

6.7 Call Tag Scam
The Merchant Risk Council reported that the "call tag" scam re-emerged during the 2005 holidays and several large merchants suffered losses. Under the scheme, criminals use stolen credit card information to purchase goods online for shipment to the legitimate cardholder. When the item is shipped and the criminal receives tracking information via email, he/she calls the cardholder and falsely identifies himself as the merchant that shipped the goods, saying that the product was mistakenly shipped and asking permission to pick it up upon receipt.

The criminal then arranges the pickup issuing a "call tag" with a shipping company different from the one the original merchant used. The cardholder normally does not notice that there is a second shipping company picking up the product, which in turn has no knowledge it is participating in a fraud scheme.

The cardholder then notices a charge in his card and generates a charge back to the unsuspecting merchant.

6.8 Business Opportunity/Work-At-Home Schemes
Fraudulent schemes often use the Internet to advertise purported business opportunities that will allow individuals to earn thousands of dollars a month in "work-at-home" ventures. These schemes typically require the individuals to pay anywhere from $35 to several hundred dollars or more, but fail to deliver the materials or information that would be needed to make the work-at-home opportunity a potentially viable business.

Often, after paying a registration fee, the applicant will be sent advice on how to place ads similar to the one that recruited him in order to recruit others, which is effectively a pyramid scheme.

Other types of work at home scams include home assembly kits. The applicant pays a fee for the kit, but after assembling and returning the item, it is rejected as substandard, meaning the applicant is out of pocket for the materials. Similar scams include home-working directories, medical billing, data entry (data entry scam) at home or reading books for money.

The latest work at home scam is very elaborate, which includes an entire website dedicated to feigning the existence of a fake organization. Example: Timothy Scott (not his real name) emails to offer a job with the so-called Travis Gilbert Foundation. To lure gullible participants, they offer unrealistically generous salaries for part-time unskilled labor. (If they were real opportunities then naturally such positions would fill quickly without the need to email the offer to thousands of strangers.)

The main responsibility of this well-paying job is to be a middleman for "donations" which are intended for victims of natural disaster. In this capacity, it gives the scammer an excuse to ask for bank account numbers (allegedly to deposit "donations" into the victim's account for redistribution) as well as the victim's SSN and DOB (allegedly to fulfill the typical paperwork obligations of a new employer).

Once these vital numbers have been disclosed, the criminal uses that information to monitor account balances. On the day that a larger than normal amount appears in the bank account, such as a weekly pay check, for example, then the account is drained.

Generally the scammer will feign to be located in a country other than where he is located. Example: Travis Gilbert Foundation's website lists an address in The Netherlands, but the registration of the domain name is in Beijing.

In addition, victims in Western countries are targeted by using a non-threatening pseudonym like Timothy Scott, which does not sound so foreign, while the domain name is actually registered to Li Xiang.

6.9 Money Transfers Fraud
This type of Fraud consists of an employment offer to help transfer money to a foreign company, supposedly because it costs too much to do it through other methods (which is usually not the case). The prospective victim receives an email like these 4 examples:

Example One

Dear Sir/Madam,

XX is a small scale company in XX. We supply XXX to clients in some countries. We have reached big sales volume in the Europe as a starter, and now we are trying to penetrate the US/Canada market. Quite soon we will open representative offices or authorized sales centers in the US and therefore we are currently looking for people who will assist us in establishing a new distribution network there.

The fact is that despite the US market is new for us we already have regular clients also speaks for itself. The international money transfer tax for legal entities (companies) in XX country is 25%, whereas for the individual it is only 7%. There is no sense for us to work this way, while tax for international money transfer made by a private individual is 7%. That is why we need you!

We need agents to receive payment for products in money orders, check or bank wire transfers) and to resend the money to us via Money Gram or Western Union Money Transfer. This way we will save money because of tax decreasing.


1. Receive payment from Clients

2. Cash Payments at your Bank

3. Deduct 10%, which will be your percentage/pay on Payment processed.

4. Forward balance after deduction of percentage/pay to any of the offices you will be contacted to send payment to (Payments are to be forwarded either by Money Gram or Western Union Money Transfer).

HOW MUCH WILL YOU EARN? 10% from each operation! For instance: If you receive 7000 USD via cheques or money orders on our behalf. You will cash the payment and keep $700 (10% from $7000) for yourself! At the beginning your commission will equal 10%, though later it will increase up to 15%!

ADVANTAGES: You do not have to go out as you will work as an independent contractor right from your home office. Your job is absolutely legal. You can earn up to $3000–4000 monthly depending on time you will spend for this job. You do not need any capital to start. You can do the Work easily without leaving or affecting your present Job. The employees who make efforts and work hard have a strong possibility to become managers. Anyway our employee never leaves us. MAIN

REQUIREMENTS: 18 years or older legally capable responsible ready to work 2–4 hours per week, with PC knowledge e-mail and internet experience (minimal) and please be informed that everything is absolutely legal. If you are interested in our offer, please reply to the following email address: XX@XXXXX with your; (1) Your full names: (2) Contact address: (3) Tele/cell numbers: (4) Occupation: (5) Age: (6) Sex: Thanks for your anticipated action. And we hope to hear back from you soon.

Example Two

Dear Sir/Madam, I am XX, Human Resources Manager of XX located in XX. We deal in X articles such XX worldwide. Our website is XX.

We are currently in search of a book-keeper/company representative who would assist us in receiving payment from our customers in America/Canada/Asia and other part of Europe. This offer is absolutely legal and you do not need any capital to start. Your Job description is as follows:

  • You would receive payment on our behalf from our various clients, which would come in the form of cashier’s checks, traveler’s checks and official checks.
  • You then get the payments deposited/cashed at your bank.
  • You then deduct a commission of 10% of each payment you would be receiving, as you been our representative and then send the balance money via western union to any of our agent or offices that you would be instructed.
HOW MUCH WILL YOU EARN? 10% from each operation! For instance: you receive 7000 USD via checks on our behalf. You will cash the money and keep $700 (10% from $7000) for yourself! At the beginning your commission will equal 10%, though later it will increase up to 12%! Our payments will be issued out in your name, as we would inform our clients to do so.

If you are interested in this offer, kindly provide us with the below details. 1) Full name 2) Full house address Street/Ave, City, State and Zip Cope 3) Phone numbers 4) Age & Sex 5) Present Occupation PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL REPLIES SHOULD BE SENT THIS E-MAIL ADDRESS: XX Thanks for your anticipated action. And we hope to hear back from you. XX XX (Human Resources Manager)



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