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January 19, 2008 09:13 AM

Categories: International Focus

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Joined: 12/30/2003

I receive an occasional spam e-mail telling me that a legitimate company in another country is looking for someone to receive payments from US customers, keep a percentage and then forward the money to offices in the other country.

What are these companies trying to get around? I don't understand the tax laws enough and I'm always curious about what they are doing. It seems to me that if someone in the US is an indepedent contractor and the payment comes in of $20K and you keep 10% and forward the rest, you could end up paying individual taxes on the $20K.

I've been curious about these for awhile. I know what the Nigerian scheme is but I don't know what the catch is on this one and thought someone in the International realm might know and it could be helpful to others out there who receive these things and think that they're a legitimate business opportunity.

There's always some sneaky scheme out there.


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January 19, 2008 9:38 PM


Here is the notification about this matter that I received from my bank.

"The scammers often claim to be in other countries and say it's too difficult to manage direct payment, so they'll have someone in the US who owes them money send you a check or money order."

"The amount of the check or money order may be more than you are owed, so you are instructed to deposit it and wire the rest to the scammer or to someone else. In some cases, the scammer promises to transfer money directly to your bank account. You provide your account information for an electronic fund transfer. Instead, the crook sends your bank a phony check or money order with instructions to deposit it in your account. When you look at your balance, it looks like the funds have arrived. Whatever the setup, the results are the same--after you've wired the money, you find that the check or money order has bounced."

January 19, 2008 10:24 PM

Oh, it's the same scheme, just a different method. That is the same as the Nigerian scheme.

Thanks for the information. I always delete them all, but I wondered about the trick to this one.



January 22, 2008 1:55 PM

Two things that everyone should know:

1. Run the other way from any scheme in which you are asked to Western Union transfer money to anyone you do not know personally, especially anyone overseas. It is the favorite funds transfer method of scammers. Once you wire the money it is gone, with almost zero chance of recourse.

2. Even bank checks, money orders, certified checks, cashier's checks, etc. can "bounce." They may be forged, stolen, duplicated, or even written on totally imaginary banks. It may take two weeks or more for your bank to notify you that the check was no good.

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Comments 1-3 of 3 | Latest Comment

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