Sunday, April 16, 2006

Postal Money Order Romance Scam

Altered Money Orders have been around for a long time. Before new technology made counterfeiting money orders pretty easy, it was a common method of committing fraud.

Criminals buy a large number of them for a small amount, normally $1.00. The $1.00 money orders are then altered, using chemicals, and a much higher dollar amount is put on them.

Because financial institutions are fairly aware of this activity AND the "getting caught" factor is a risk, they find creative ways to get a less knowledgeable person to take the risks and send them the rewards.

These "less knowledgeable" people frequently suffer the consequences, or take the RAP for them, also.

While altered money orders (not just the Postal variety) have been around for quite some time, convicts seem to have a new way of getting them cashed.

They place ads in the personal section seeking pen pals. Once they have gained the confidence of the person, they trick them into cashing the altered instruments and sending the money back to them.

The Postal Inspection Service warns:

Be aware of the telltale signs of this unusual scheme. If you begin to write letters to a prisoner who is attempting to cultivate you for his mail fraud scheme, he will slowly attempt to gain your trust and confidence. If you are a single woman, he may even send you love letters and handsome photos, and promise to marry you upon his release. Male prisoners posing as women try to lure men into the scheme as well.

While confessing their love for you, he will also admit that he is serving a prison term for a tax violation or other non-violent offense. But he will say his prison term is almost up, and he's looking forward to starting a new life together with you when he is freed.

Eventually, he will ask you to cash one or more postal or other money orders for him, claiming that he needs the money to pay attorney fees or court fines. Where does he get each high-value money order (often as much as $700)? He will obtain them from an accomplice outside the prison who buys them in small denominations (often only $1) and then smuggles them inside the prison, where inmates alter them to reflect higher values.

When you assist your pen pal by cashing any such money order--and sometimes there are many of them totaling thousands of dollars--you are told to send the money to a "friend" of the prisoner, whom you're told is helping with his legal defense. Of course, this friend is the outside accomplice. You will be told first to deposit the money orders in your personal bank account for temporary "safe-keeping" and then to pay out the funds to the outside accomplice.

Shortly after sending the money, you will receive a cruel "Dear Jane or John" letter asking you to understand that your pen pal only did what he or she "had to do" to survive, and now that he's out, the relationship is over. But he's not out. He's still in prison. And what's even worse, he now has your money, because the bank will charge your account for the phony money orders you deposited. Since the U.S. Postal Service routinely compares all of its cashed postal money orders with the original money order receipts, all altered postal money orders will ultimately be discovered.

Under current law, the person who cashes, or deposits and then withdraws, an altered money order is responsible for its total value--in this case, the altered value. Therefore, shortly after you pay out the temporarily held funds from your bank account, your bank will notify you that you must pay the difference between the issued amount and the raised amount. For example, if you cash a $1 money order that has been altered to $700, you will end up being charged $699 of your own money.

Link to bulletin, here.

Although convicted criminals committing crime from behind bars makes a good news story, they might not be the only group involved in this type of activity.

Nigerian fraudsters are also known to be involved in Romance scams. Of course, there are other places the scam originates besides Nigeria, also.

Altered Money Orders don't only come from the prison system, either.

The U.S. Department of Justice reported:
At trial, the national money order fraud coordinator for the U.S. Postal Service testified that document fraud rings operating in West Africa, are known to be involved in altering U.S. Postal Money Orders and shipping them back into the U.S. to be cashed.
Link, here.

Counterfeit money orders might be more common in a lot of Internet scams, but altered money orders are still being produced and successfully used.

If you happen to receive any of these altered money orders, they can be reported to the Postal Inspectors, here.


Anonymous said...

I do a lot of stuff on eBay and Craigs. A lot of these money orders are mailed from Europe and Africa.

I wonder if they are being mailed to prisoners?

cary said...

You ... you mean ... Babs isn't going to marry me when she gets out?

Oh, the humanity!


Anonymous said...

The below link is an identical story to my recent situation of being victimized by online money order fraud. However, my case differs by the fact that Detective Meadows of the Independence Missouri Police Department has filed a report/case charging me with a Class C Felony. The state went to the Jackson County court system were I face state charges. Judge Bushur is assigned the case. I see this case as just another aspect of a conspiracy to obstruct justice in regards to me trying to expose truths in regards to a massive real estate mortgage fraud scandal.

The New York Times has the following article with identical money orders that were sent to me. Were are my civil liberties?

Real Estate Fraud times 10-2
Nov 12, 2007 | 10:50 PM
Category: News
Report This Post
What size font is needed to illustrate that my rights have been violated to extreme proportions. My civil liberties got thrown down the drain when my pleas for help seemed to be too big for local authorities to either assist on, or is it something else?
I have been held-hostage, beatin, violated by ID Theft, mortgage fraud, and had local authorities (city of Independence Police Department) do little to nothing to assist me in being victimized.
My cases may have one link back to a rather larger case. However, the FBI states they have already submitted that case to the federal courts system of Jackson County, Missouri. The paid off elite hood of our corrupt judicial officials has been detrimental to me successfully living in a peaceful society and local community. My signature has been forged. I have arrested on ID THEFT situations. Had my home(s) illegally flipped behind my back. And I don't know where to turn.
My life seems to be a rather bull-sh_t landslide of a conspiracy to obstruct justice from those around me. I have been very straight forward with questions regarding my cases. It is amazing to me how my honesty in boiling down the cone of uncertainty has guilty parties squirming even harder to cover up crimes they have committed. I thought me being open about variables of evidence that I have discovered would be respectable to not only the guilty, but would also allow the federal government to appropriately and effectively follow the blood trail to the culprit of their actions. However, it is obvious that under the George W. Bush administration these cover-up actions are only a normal part of political marketing and are backed up by all presidential power and authority.
I pray for judgment to come quick and precise on my cases. However, it is more than obvious that I will have to wait until the democratic party takes control of the white house for this restitution to become a reality.
My latest obscure charge comes from me being victimized by one of these online foreign check fraud scams. I received a United States Postal Money order for X amount of dollars. They were the exact same money orders that the New York Times has a front page article discussing. In this case, I was victimized, yet somehow the Independence Police Department charged me with a Class C felony of forgery of which carries a 1-7 year jail sentence. To me this is completely uncalled for.
While I was incarcerated on this charge I had a real estate professional (Lynn Tuala) roll-up a dumpster and steal a large amount of my business property and personal assets. I was in a foreclosure proceeding with Deutsche Loan and Savings, but at the time I had several alternatives that were within my Constitutional Rights on how to proceed in the foreclosure case. I have researched many of these AMC Ameriquest Mortgage fraud scams that are nation wide. However, my situation seems to have a higher degree of a conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Please write me at if you have any advise, similar situations ore recommendations for my proceedings.
Ryan C. Jennings

Unknown said...

I forgot to reference the above non-illusional real life crap that wasn't part of the freewill revolutionary colonial restoration map, or in other words my blogs are a whistle sown, by the sword of the one army we call lord, and refer to the homegrown way my light begins the new world day!

As I stand next to yesterways grace,
I wonder if the catch will deliver thy blue ribbon race.

Did my name riddle out the fiddles middle night eternal place.

Or did the stars whom art in thy fallen heaven reveal the mask that sealed his righteous face.

As this trace of grace aligns whom finish and whom already choose disgrace, our time is now to devote a freewill deal to never ever and forever judge anothers case, therefore our fathers' decent can hold a grudge but forget about the bet the open is already the seal.

Ryan C. Jennings
mAIl: money can't buy me love,
emAIl: my lose is another day's dove,
T-pAIl: flown into our destine shove.,.,.,.

torward the manifest date,
that could be just on time late,
STAND give praises to mr. three-in-one preachers sone just may be the created gun called destined mr. almighty great!

UNDERSTAND, IF NOT THEN ELSE, sufer your choice not to rejoice the voice I find within, and started what evolution did plant to begin.

But listen to this pisces quill's fin, and live a life that could never, ever, and forever commit earthly sin.

Then and only then will you find the difference between you and the busted brothers hen, and never forget when, its today and tomorrow that joins the jude to my daddy gideon ben!

Ryan Jennings
Coday Marshall
And the Players
Hinkle to Geary, Jerry, and oh so Uncle Harry!

Anonymous said...

I have plead guilty to a few cases I caught in the past couple years. Now it is their turn.

Who are They?????? List of Cases to be reviewed.

All of this list is building up as pieces to a rather large conspiracy to obstruct justice to my freedom and is directly harming the world in which we live. Not only have my rights been violated but there are many other victims that have had properties flipped behind their back, equity stolen, and civil liberties thrown down the drain. This group of conspirators may link back to the Masons, may link back to the US Government, and may link back to that neighbor that lives next door. In my personal testimony and daily challenges I see the predators as my so-called immediate family. My mother Anna Jennings and Father Ron Jennings continue to hide and cover up my investigational efforts in this corruption. My eyes have been opened to direct black and white evidence that shows my signature being forged, ID stolen, rights diminished, and has livelihood harmed. The latest was me reviewing my credit report and seeing my parents Escalade Cadillac SUV 2000 show up on my credit report. After reviewing a carfax and the Department of Motor Vehicles report I see the title has been flipped around several times. They purchased it from my brother Jonathan T. Jennings. He purchased it from Broome Auto Dealership on 40hwy in KCMO. Broome seems to have lost the purchase receipt. The car was purchased with blood-money and my SSN was used illegally. I am more upset with my parents cover-ups and the lack of apologies after seeing this to be the truth. We could have had the opportunity to work things out like peaceful adults. However, the loop of time for me trying to get reconciliation is over. Now I call out for the world to judge for your self what is right and what is wrong. This evidence can be reviewed at the following URL to see for yourself.

Instructions: go to my pictures section for some screenshots of some fraudulent deeds. These documents should be tagged highlighting the actions that are illegal. They have tried to say these actions were type-o’s or mistakes. However, enough is enough. Strategies used have been rhyming middle initials, misspelled names, using others SSN’s. But the bottom line is these type-0’s have caused me horrific pain and bloodshed. The innumerous irony is that my blood type is type-o positive.