Watch A Money Mule Scam Unfold

This gal was looking to make ends meet by doing finding a part-time work-at-home gig, and ended up getting accused of committing felony fraud.

Red Tape Chronicles says it started seemingly innocent enough, a man found her “work wanted” ad online and contracted her to become a virtual assistant. He said that he was associated with the reputable international fashion marketing firm Mandi Lennard.

The jobs started simple: buy this exact kind of ink and paper and perform various tasks. Soon he had her sending money for him to help one of the “photographers” purchase some alcohol. When she asked why he needed her to send the funds, he said “because i am very busy and you are my assistant.”

Then she was instructed to print out a check for $1,300, deposit it in her account, and write a check off her account and mail it to her handler.

But when she did, the bank said it would be held for seven days while they investigated it for fraud. She soon received a call from a woman in Atlanta. It was her account the $1,300 check was drawn from, and the caller she was pissed and ready to press felony charges against her!

Yeeks! The rest of the story unfolds on Red Tape Chronicles, but like I said yesterday, anytime anyone wants you to deposit a check and then send the funds off your account elsewhere, it’s a stone cold scam.

See an online job scammer at work [Red Tape Chronicles]

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  1. ChemicalFyre says:

    Print a check an deposit it? I wonder if this was the photoshop method or the quickbooks method of printing checks?

    Either way, being asked to pay for work related things for others is a big tip off, I’d have walked out if I was an assistant and they hadn’t worked out expense reports or accounts.

    • Difdi says:

      Actually, if you have the permission of the person whose check it is, there’s no reason you couldn’t print one out like that. Heck, you can write a valid check on a restaurant napkin, provided you include all the right things on it.

  2. FatLynn says:

    My favorite is the part where the bank gave this girl’s contact info to the woman in Atlanta, who called her directly. Nice of the bank to be so helpful.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      She was sending it as a payment from her “boss”. I’m sure she included a letterheaded note explaining what the check is for.

      • FatLynn says:

        I’m not saying that the bank should have protected the fraudster’s information, I’m saying that the bank should have helped the Atlanta woman recover the funds in some manner beyond, “oh, here’s all the information we have”. The bank obviously cashed a fraudulent check.

    • Lincoln says:

      FatLynn,

      I had some idiots in NYC process an ACH debit against my checking account for $2600 (Noone except my employer an the IRS has authorization to touch my checking account via ACH… I don’t even write checks against it–only online billpay or transfers to my credit card)… when I called Bank of America about it in addition to the “standard” affidavit they insisted that I must have authorized it and suggested I contact the “company I do business with” for details about the transaction.

      When I asked how I might do this, considering I had no idea where the money had gone, they gave me the phone number and “tracer number” for the bank that the money went to, I called that bank with the tracer number and they gave me the account number, name, and telephone number of their customer as well as “my” lease number.

      When I got ahold of the a**holes who decided to play “lets debit a random personal checking account” they’re like “Do you know a Lynn _____?” “Nope” “Did you buy Pots Spot Restuarant” “Never heard of them” “The funds were debited from a business account?” “Nope.” “Oh, um, we need to talk to legal since that’s where the debit came from…we’ll call you back”. BofA reversed the debit within 16 business hours, but before that happened I filed a felony theft report with my local police department and a complaint with the NY Attorney General.

      Side rant: Though BofA got things straightened out, I’m still a little peeved that they allowed a $2600 debit without question against an account that in the 10 years it’s been open has never had a ACH debit of any amount… I just happened to log in to online banking the day it posted.

  3. NarcolepticGirl says:

    I can’t this person couldn’t figure out this was a scam to begin with.

    also, typo: “It was her account the $1,300 check was drawn from, and the caller she was pissed and ready to press felony charges against her!”

  4. Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

    Desperation breeds stupidity.

    • JollyJumjuck says:

      It’s one thing to be conned when one is greedy (I have $5 million, give me your bank account info and you get 10%). But it takes a specially vile sort of scum to prey on the desperate.

    • Draygonia says:

      And arrogance breeds jackassery.

      Seriously, think… people out there have no money left and are afraid they will end up dead on the streets and you don’t have pity on them? She has a job and wants to keep it. I wouldn’t have fallen for it… heck, I may have even just cashed it and kept it since this guy was a “virtual boss”.

      However, I can see how people put themselves in that predicament. You, however, don’t seem to empathize with those people.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        As I expressed to a coworker a few weeks ago – I have no sympathy for gullible people who are greedy. I do have sympathy for gullible people who are desperate and ill-equipped to get themselves out of poverty, whether it’s due to of education or being in a terrible culture.

      • Conformist138 says:

        Yes, they have no money. That makes them desperate people. So, she fell for it. Desperation does breed stupidity. This woman likely wouldn’t have made what truly is a dumb mistake unless she was in some kind of need. When we’re not scared shitless, we are more likely to take the necessary time to think things through.

        I have pity on them, but that doesn’t make the statement less true. Time to let go of the “if it’s not nice sounding, it’s wrong” mentality.

  5. dg says:

    print a check and deposit it? Yeah right…. Tell you what – YOU open an account, make me a signer on it, put money in it, then I’ll punch it into Quicken, and write checks off of that… Oh you’re too busy? No problem. Send me the money, send me a power of attorney, and I’ll handle it for you – for a fee of course…

  6. sonneillon says:

    It is not the victim that decides if the police are going to do anything about this issue. The police and the DA may or may not decide to file charges against the lady, but they can be dicks so nothing is ever for sure and because she wasn’t actively trying to defraud someone she was just working for her employer who “seamed legitimate” I think the worst she’ll see is a misdemeanor and probation hopefully they don’t charge her at all, but as I said police can be dicks so can the DA.

  7. Tim says:

    It sounds like she didn’t actually draw the money from her account after she deposited the fraudulent check. It was flagged once she deposited it.

    So, yes, it’s technically fraud. But what actual damages can the woman in Atlanta claim? The bank stopped her money from being stolen. In fact, the woman in Atlanta shouldn’t even have known about it.

    • Southern says:

      Most likely the bank contacted the person whose the check was written against (in Atlanta) and specifically asked her if she wrote the check, and if so should they cash it. I’ve had my bank call me a couple of times on legitimate checks I’ve written and ask me if I wrote them.

  8. jim says:

    the internet is like printing money if you are a scumbag. amazing the suckers that fall for the stupidest schemes. print a check and send it. now they are too dam lazy to send checks to be cashed.

  9. JoeDawson says:

    I make my own “Doing Finding” at home!

  10. exoxe says:

    Are people really this stupid? Come on…

  11. LACubsFan says:

    Social Engineering ….. Praying on the stupid.

  12. Dutchess says:

    “Then she was instructed to print out a check for $1,300, deposit it in her account, and write a check off her account and mail it to her handler. “

    Uh hello…anyone who hears this and does it is…sorry FCC…A FUCKING IDIOT.

    Why not just cut the check directly to the person instead of have it flow through your personal account.

    STUPID STUPID STUPID

  13. Dalsnsetters says:

    I wanna know where the party is that they needed $1300 worth of booze. I am so there.

  14. ScottyMacESQ says:

    As an attorney, I have seen this type of scam targeted at attorneys. A corporation will need an attorney to represent them in various collection matters, and will have one of those matters ready to settle. They (the 3rd party) sends a check to the lawyer, who is supposed to deposit it in his trust account, deduct a certain amount, and then send on the rest. Of course this check is bogus, but the hope is that the lawyer will assume it is real. So it happens to everyone, and some areas more than others. You have to really know the client/boss/etc… before you do this for a third party.