This rip-off is still active in the present day
As many people are doing these days, I’ve been looking for a work-at-home job. It’s supposed to be the New Wave of Employment or something like that. Therefore I’ve been looking at Craigslist, et al., just about every day for the past two years. Recently, one particular ad caught my eye: Courier, Customer Service. Sure, I’d like to do that, so I clicked away.
Within hours I received an email from – let’s call her Madame X. The transmittal started like this:
We appreciate your interest in exploring career opportunities with us and value your interest in becoming a member of our team. We are looking for honest and smart people for this position.
Our company is a subsidiary of ipsparcel.com. We are organizing VIP - transporting and logistical services for our customers, the main feature of our company is low-cost custom taxes serving - we have the agreement with customs department for low taxes for our clients.
Our Company's Philosophy Service, Flexibility and Honesty, allows us to grow with our customers.
Hey, I thought, that sounds like the kind of company I want to join! Service, Flexibility and Honesty – who could ask for more? Actually, above all else, I wanted to make some money; otherwise, they could take their Service, Flexibility and Honesty and hang it on the wall!
But the address of the company gave me cause for concern:
BALTIC Meat Logistics Group, Ltd
Taikos pr. 52C, LT-91212
I wondered if they owed me a paycheck and didn’t want to pay up, would I have to fly to Lithuania to raise some hell? This was the sort of issue about which I've worried the most with work-at-home jobs.
Nevertheless, I decided to follow through with this “job opportunity.” Madame X wrote in her initial email that I would be notified by email or telephone when a package would be sent to me. Once I received the package I would need to send her an email telling her that the package had arrived, and then she would send me via email a prepaid postage label for U.S. Priority Mail.
At this point, I thought the process seemed legal. Madame X stressed that the aforementioned company, Baltic Meat Logistics Group, Ltd., was simply trying to save their customers money on taxes. Hey, what did I know?
Madame X’s next email indicated how much I would be paid for my trouble:
You will be paid once per month via Bank Wire or PayPal, as you prefer; First payment will be made exactly in one month after the first package was sent and for all the packages that had been sent prior to that date. During trial period you will receive piece-rate pay: $15.00 per sent package - our account department will count how many packages you have sent for this month and will process your payment! In the plan for this month you can receive about 20 packages, so your payment should be about $300.00 for trial month of part-time job. After successfully passing the trial period your piece-rate pay will increase to $20.00 per sent package!
This sounded very good to me. All I had to do was correspond using emails, print out mailing labels on my printer and then go to the post office from time to time, thereby making $300 the first month.
However, at one point I panicked, thinking if they’re sending a package from a meat company, they better not send any frozen steaks! Dried or pickled would be okay, but nothing else. So I hurried to my computer and urgently typed away.
But Madame X assured me they wouldn’t send any frozen meat.
Then I went through the procedure and received a package sent via FedEx. I didn’t have to pay the shipping; otherwise, I would have stopped the deal right then and there. I wasn’t about to spend a nickel for any of this! The package was from Borders Books in Indianapolis, Indiana and contained one hardbound book. I also noticed that the package had somebody else’s name on it, yet also showed my address. Okay, whatever, I thought. Then I slapped the printed label on the package and took it to the post office.
Three days later, I heard a thump against my apartment door and then somebody scampered down the stairs. When I opened the door I saw the package I had mailed lying on the floor. The Post office had returned it with all these papers stuck to it. Apparently the postage Madame X had sent me was invalid!
What the hell? I thought. So I sent an email to Madame X, the subject line reading: Houston, we have a problem!
When Madame X promptly responded to my inquiry, she wrote:
We are engaged in legal business. It was our mistake. In a course of last month we bought the shipping label from a third-party company. Most likely it was a scam company. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Please hold this package, I will send you the correct shipping label on Monday. Thanks.
That’s when an alarm went off in my head. So I started investigating on the Internet. It seems the so-called re-shipping scam has stricken many hapless folks. Some people have handled thousands of dollars of merchandise, including expensive electronic equipment, and then, one dark and dreary night, the cops showed up at the door asking lots of questions. Conviction for involvement in mail fraud is considered a felony! The fraud is committed because the mailed merchandise was purchased using stolen credit card numbers or identity theft schemes.
Then I started thinking about my package, which apparently contained just one book to be mailed to some guy in the Russian Federation. Could the center of the book be hollowed out to hide contraband? Might there be cocaine or stolen diamonds in there?
I sent an email to Madame X and insisted that she send me no more packages, and I also told her that I wouldn’t re-mail the lone package I had. If she wanted it back, she’d have to send FedEx back to get it or I would throw it in the trash. Madame X responded to my threat by sending the postage anyway, which I ignored.
Since then, I haven’t heard from Madame X. Apparently she has moved on, fleecing other sheep, no doubt.
But I didn’t throw the book in the trash. Being a book lover, I wasn’t about to discard a book! Can the reader guess what sort of book it was? Pornography? No. How about this one: The Japanese Tea Garden by Marc Peter Kean. How very pleasant. Does anybody want it? I’ll sell it real cheap.
For additional information regarding the re-shipping scam call this phone number 1-877-US MAIL 5. Better yet, if you want to talk to a real live person, call this one: 1-800-372-8347.
The Re-shipping Scam in 2017
You’d think by now that the re-shipping scam would be a thing of the past – but it hasn’t gone away! Always curious regarding such matters, I checked out an ad on Craig’s List which said that SendBox4USA is looking for “Mail Sorters/Pickers.” The pay was particularly impressive: $700 to $1,000 per week. And all you have to do is receive packages at your home, switch the labels to the ones they send you, and then send the packages out again. This is the same old scam, of course, so don’t be duped!
By the way, in November 2017, a woman sent me an email and wrote that she has been ripped-off by SendBox4USA. She wrote she had been sending packages for a month and then wanted her pay, but the company wouldn’t pay her, and the proprietor of the company wouldn't responded to her inquiries. She claimed that she was scammed out of $3,000.
The Re-shipping Scam in October 2018
I spotted another ad on Craig’s List that says a company by the name of Packbra, LLC is looking for Packaging Inspectors, apply at Packbra.com. A person by the name of Astrid Ashton is the HR specialist. They’re looking for people who will receive packages and then send them out to customers. There’s no reason for anybody to do this! Drop shippers send their products directly to the customers. No middle person is needed. This is almost certainly another version of the infamous re-shipping scam. Don’t be fooled!
The Re-shipping Scam is Alive and Kicking in 2019
Once again, I found another classified ad on Craig’s List involving the re-shipping scam. Dated 1/10/19, the ad says they're looking for so-called Package Sorters, who will inspect packages and then send them to customers. Please send your resumes to: Chris@babsonhr.com. Only brass-plated dummies should answer this ad!
Please leave a comment.
Please click on these links to relevant articles . . .
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- Trash Money: The Art of Collecting Aluminum Cans, Plastic and Glass
© 2010 Kelley Marks
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on September 19, 2018:
Hey, Ditty Harry, if you were ripped off by some online entity, there's little or nothing you can do about it. Just chalk it up to experience and go on with your existence on planet earth. Later!...
Ditty Harry on September 18, 2018:
Hey what do I do?
Daniel on February 13, 2013:
This recently happened to me with a company I found on Craigslist. Beware of "Teixiera inc"
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on January 28, 2013:
Thanks for the comment, Maxi. (I like that name.) I didn't file a complaint or make a report. But I did write a hub, which has connected with lots of folks, warning them, etc. That's good enough, isn't it? Later!
Maxi on January 28, 2013:
Thanks for the post. I recently was in your position, the package came back and everything, it matches everything you described. Did you file a complaint or make a report?
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on January 09, 2013:
I guess scams happen down under as well. Hey, they took a bite out of me, so what can I say, mate? Later!
australian on January 09, 2013:
This scam just hit australia! One of my dear friends is a victim.
Gary in DC on September 28, 2012:
New version of this scam just hit me .... from a firm in CA
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on August 02, 2012:
Thanks for the comment, monicamelendez. Ya know, I kept thinking how am I supposed to get paid by somebody living in Lithuania?... I never was, of course. Later!
monicamelendez from Salt Lake City on August 02, 2012:
Amazing. Yeah being set up in Lithuania is definitely a huge red flag. Too bad there are so many scams out there!
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on January 30, 2012:
Scams will always be around, in good times or bad. Thanks for the comment, Laura in Denver. Later!
Laura Deibel from Aurora, CO on January 30, 2012:
Scams abound, particularly in bad economic time.
Brenda on August 20, 2011:
thanks for heads up madame x also contacted me after i applied on craigs list.but seemed 2 good 2 me cant do jail time
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on August 19, 2011:
Thanks for the comment, mabmiles. Fortunately, the re-shipping scam seems to have gone away. Later!
mabmiles on August 18, 2011:
Great hub. Thanks for posting. I am now aware of it.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on July 07, 2010:
Deborah Demander, the book is about the Japanese Tea Garden, not the kind of tea you drink. At some point, I'll probably look through it. Perhaps I'll read it. Later!
Deborah Demander from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on July 07, 2010:
Hey, what great timing! I just opened a small bookstore in the middle of nowhere Wyoming. I'll buy your tea book! I need books. Cheap.
And thanks for the heads up. As the bookstore business is slow, I too am always seeking additional opportunities. I'll be sure to steer away from this one.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on July 05, 2010:
Thanks for the comment, Crazybeanrider. I had my imagination running wild too. However, somebody did get robbed - Borders charged $59.95 for that book. Later!
Boo McCourt from Washington MI on July 05, 2010:
Wow this is one I'll look out for. My first thought was the book was hollowed out and had something illegal in it. Thanks for the head's up Kosmos! Enjoyed reading the hub.
billyaustindillon on July 04, 2010:
What is that saying if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck....
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on July 04, 2010:
Hey, Granny's House, I must have missed your hub about scams. Guess I better look before I leap next time. Nevertheless, I got a good hub out of the experience. Later!
Granny's House from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time on July 04, 2010:
Thanks for the heads up, but didn't you read my hub on scams??? lol
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on July 03, 2010:
Ain't it the truth, Immartin. But times are hard and I quess I got caught in a web of wishful thinking, for a day or so anyway. Thanks for the comment. Later!
lmmartin from Alberta and Florida on July 03, 2010:
At the risk of sounding a bit "told ya' so" anything that looks like easy money for little pay is a scam. "Easy money sure is hard to find' -- Valdy.