What is the Western Union Money Order Fraud? Money order fraud is a serious offense that usually involves people residing in the U.S. being contacted by a person interested in an item being sold. Scammers use realistic looking Western Union Money Orders to be cashed in exchange for merchandise being sold by the victim.
How It is Done
The scammer watches websites or reads through ads in newspapers or on line newspapers to find items being sold. They then make contact with the seller through the means indicated in the ad. Contact will usually begin with an e-mail, phone call or letter of interest. The scammer will then offer to purchase the item being sold.
Price haggling may occur to present the scammer as really interested in the item listed for sale. The seller is asked to provide an address and possibly a phone number so the interested party can send the Western Union Money Order to the seller. The scammer will follow by offering to send a Western Union Money Order for an exaggerated amount for the seller to deposit then forward the remaining balance to a third party. The scammer will indicate they need to re-pay a company or person for some made up reason; an address to send the balance of the check will be given at this time.
Afterwards, a realistic looking money order is received by the seller. The seller deposits the Western Union Money Order in their bank account. The seller sends the remaining balance of the exaggerated check to the third party the buyer indicated they wanted the balance sent to. The remaining balance will have to be sent as a Western Union Money Order, as per the buyers instructions. The sellers bank notifies the seller the Western Union Money Order that they cashed was returned as bogus or counterfeit. The seller is out the merchandise, billed by their bank for the money they sent to the third party, and the related bank charges. The scammer receives the "balance" you forwarded to the third party.