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‘Parcel mule’ scams are on the rise. Here’s how to avoid them. – Business Insider

“Parcel mules” participate in a scam where they receive and send illegal packages.
The reshipping scam is often disguised as employment, experts told Insider.
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  • “Parcel mules” participate in a scam where they receive and send illegal packages.
  • The reshipping scam is often disguised as employment, experts told Insider.
  • Consider the work required and how much it pays to assess the validity of employment offers.

It was the leaf blowers that sounded the alarms.

Sure, the company email address with a misspelling was odd. And the promise of a $2,400-a-month base salary for a job that didn’t require much work sounded a little too good to be true.

But Stephen, who’s based in Louisiana and in his 30s but asked to keep his last name anonymous for privacy reasons, was in the thick of a long job search, having been out of work for about a year and a half. And Bimco Ship, the company he’d signed up to work for in March after it reached out to him via email, seemed to have just enough professionalism for him to give it the benefit of the doubt. Until the leaf blowers showed up.

Specifically, 10 leaf blowers, which Stephen estimated, based on product listings, were valued at more than $2,000 total, were delivered to his home at the end of March, he told Insider. His job, the company told him, was to open the external packages — not the actual items — verify the contents, put new shipping labels on the packages, and send them to wherever his employer instructed him.

That’s what he did when other packages, like one with a breast pump and another with hair clippers, arrived at his house. But while those other shipments had Stephen’s name on them, he said, the leaf blowers were addressed to someone else.

“I’m tearing off the shipping labels that don’t have my name on it, and I’m thinking something about this just ain’t right,” he said.

Stephen had apparently fallen for a reshipping scam, a type of fraud that involves recruiting people — called “parcel mules” — to receive packages that may have been obtained illegally and send them elsewhere, under the guise of employment.

Several Better Business Bureau complaints share stories similar to Stephen’s. The BBB’s page for Bimco Ship says the company is not located at its registered address “and is not offering legitimate employment.” A spokesperson for Identiq, an identity-verification platform used for fraud prevention, told Insider that company research indicated Bimco Ship was likely running a parcel-mule scam.

An individual or group had created what seemed to be a legitimate company, Bimco Ship LLC, which as of late August was still registered in Iowa, according to documents reviewed by Insider. The name piggybacks off Bimco, a real international-shipping organization. Bimco Ship also …….

Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/parcel-mule-scams-on-the-rise-how-to-avoid-2022-8

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