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 do scammers bribe w.u agents

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r2d2
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Joined: 19 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:04 am Reply with quoteBack to top

i was replying to a question in the help, hints and tips forum,
and i found myself repeating something that i've read several times on 419eater,
namely that scammers are in the habit of bribing w.u agents to avoid the need to show id.

now that seems very plausible, but i searched the forum and while i found this statement repeated many times i cannot find any proof,
like a newspaper report of a w.u agent being fired for complicity, or something similar.
the story about bribing w.u. agents seems very plausible, and i would try that if i was a lad,
but do we have any proof that it happens or is it an urban myth?
i would assume that w.u has some security protocols to stop that sort of thing,
like making their agents enter passport numbers or something before they can release a payment,
but maybe i over-estimate them.

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ChoppaOfDolla
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

We do have an account by a scammer in which he claims that WU agents collect 5% of all payments they release.

r2d2 wrote:

i would assume that w.u has some security protocols to stop that sort of thing


Police have entire departments devoted to stopping internal corruption, and you still get it. No security is perfect. While I'm not sure what WU's procedures are, remember that Nigeria is one of the most corrupt countries there is, so I wouldn't be surprised if they were frequently circumvented, or simply ignored.
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Bankster
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:48 am Reply with quoteBack to top

What I'd like to know in this regard is, how large a part of its business would WU lose if they were successful in making their services hard to use for scammers?

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ChoppaOfDolla
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:55 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Here's some facts to consider:

Well over 100 million (some estimates are as high as 500 million) are lost to these sorts of scams every year. Most of that is sent via WU/MG.

My understanding is that they take a percentage of all payments. I'm not sure what that is, but if it was 10%, that would result in an estimated profit of 10-50 million from scams. That sounds quite a bit, but remember that WU's total profit every year is over a billion dollars.

Remember, though, before you point any fingers, that WU and MG are legitimate services that scammers abuse. All they do is offer to send money around the world if you ask, which they do. WU as a business isn't complicit in any illegal activity.
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PsycheDelia_Smith
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:03 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Evidently some WU outlets in certain places, among them Singapore, refuse to send money to Nigeria, Burkina Faso etc if they suspect the sender is transferring money to a scammer. That's about as proactive as you can expect them to be I guess.

The ISPs could possibly do more to give new email users a clue about what to expect, but again, it's just a service they abuse, like they did with snail mail and faxes before the internet.

Since your question was more about WU 'insiders' or bent employees paying out dodgy looking transfers, yes, these are known to exist. Bank insiders too. Every man has his price, it's said, and in some countries that price is a bit less.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:24 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^ ...Which once more shows that it's impossible to protect people from themselves if they don't want to or don't care enough.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:48 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The only time I can think of where I would hold WU at fault is in a particular sort of ebay scam. Basically, you are invited to buy the item and pay using WU but withhold the MTCN. The idea is that the "seller" can check the payment with just the name, but not collect it.

Of course, that's complete garbage, and you normally can get a payment without the MTCN (although lads seem to think you can't). I have heard that WU has told customers that you can't get the payment without the MTCN, and as a whole they are pretty vague about it. But that's the only thing I blame them for.

Quote:
The ISPs could possibly do more to give new email users a clue about what to expect, but again, it's just a service they abuse, like they did with snail mail and faxes before the internet.


They could, but then again, with anything, you can put out as many warnings as you like. Some people will still fall for it.
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devil_woman
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:53 am Reply with quoteBack to top

ChoppaOfDolla wrote:

Quote:
can get a payment without the MTCN (although lads seem to think you can't)


Without the MTCN number they might have to show genuine ID, and also have more details about sender. But wqith MTCn and the almighty Q&A anybody can get money anywhere, now whart does that say for WU practices?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:37 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

No they don't really need to bribe W.U agents. In a lot of these countries your Western Onion is just some chap on the corner of the street.
A lot of money these people get comes from relatives working abroad so it's pretty common for people to queue up outside these places who have been 'sent' to pick up the money. Checks are very seldom done on ID. I know as my wife originates from a 3rd world country and this is how they operate.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

wowwow wrote:

Quote:
In a lot of these countries your Western Onion is just some chap on the corner of the street.


So much for Secure way to send money.

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PsycheDelia_Smith
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:59 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

wowwow wrote:
No they don't really need to bribe W.U agents.


They do, and they do so. Regularly. Fake ID and fake names are accepted at a price. Not in the West so much maybe, but certainly in lad land.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:53 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

According to WU themselves, a valid MTCN and some form of government issued ID are required to pick up a payment at a Nigerian branch of WU. Mention of a form needing filled out there too.

WU Nigeria FAQ page on picking up money:
http://nigeria.westernunion.com/WUCOMWEB/staticMid.do?method=load&pagename=htPickUpMoney

Seems like the ID rule at least is being sidestepped on a regular basis, unless the scammers are using a mule with valid ID or they're using a fake ID that the agents just give a casual glance at.
Either that or there's definitely some cash changing hands beneath the counter...

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:09 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Wow, even W.U. can't resist making the lads fill out forms! I wonder if they would entertain suggestions regarding how those forms should be worded...
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:57 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^ Imagine the joy! Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:24 am Reply with quoteBack to top

PsycheDelia_Smith wrote:
wowwow wrote:
No they don't really need to bribe W.U agents.


They do, and they do so. Regularly. Fake ID and fake names are accepted at a price. Not in the West so much maybe, but certainly in lad land.


You are probably right. What I meant is that they don't need to as it's pretty lax anyways. Especially in South East Asia.

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devil_woman
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:33 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^^ wowwow wrote:
Quote:
it's pretty lax anyways


So who is to blame?

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Ima Baeder
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:46 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Devil_woman: Do not start your rant again, for the umteenth time, about WU being to blame for scams. First of all, it's not accurate and secondly, this thread is asking about dishonest WU agents, not who is to blame for scams or about WU in general.

Quote:
Without the MTCN number they might have to show genuine ID


And if your great aunt millie is on vacation and had her wallet stolen, she wouldn't be able to pick up any money a relative would be willing to send to her through WU. This is one of the things WU is intended to be used for. Not having to have an ID.
For the benefit of anyone reading this who has not been privvy to previous incarnations of this discussion and to nip the "debate" in the bud:

From jose_cuervo, posted elsewhere:

jose_cuervo wrote:
WU is a legitimate service that is abused by scammers. Other services that the scammers abuse include, but are not limited to; MoneyGram, TDD/TTY services, the US/UK postal service et al, UPS, Fed Ex, DHL and every single free webmail provider past, present and future.

Western Union is a business, like all businesses, their goal is to make a profit, not to make decisions for their customers or get involved in every aspect of their customers personal affairs. They are aware that the scammers use their service and have even taken the initiative to provide warnings on their website. To my knowledge they are under no legal obligation to do so.

I have gone through the effort to provide some links and PDFs from Western Union's website that clearly addresses specific scams and specific types of scams and even what one should do if they suspect that they may be involved in a scam.

http://www.westernunion.com/info/fraudIndex.asp?country=global
http://www.westernunion.com/info/fraudProtectYourself.asp?country=global
http://www.westernunion.com/info/fraudProtectYourPassword.asp?country=global
http://www.westernunion.com/info/fraudScams.asp?country=global
http://www.westernunion.com/info/fraudTips.asp?country=global

http://members.419eater.com/~jose_cuervo/western_union/wu_pdf1.pdf
http://members.419eater.com/~jose_cuervo/western_union/wu_pdf2.pdf
http://members.419eater.com/~jose_cuervo/western_union/wu_pdf3.pdf



To the OP: despite the lack of having a specific concrete example readily available for you, I do think that there are corrupt WU agents who will bend/overlook the rules.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:37 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

WU as we see them are not a single company, but really a massively franchised exchange platform. Every location is a franchise, and every franchise holder is an individual business responsible for their own staffing, training, etc - there will be bad apples just from the sheer weight of numbers!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:34 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Funds Via Western Union.
...
Wed, February 24, 2010 8:20:14 PM
From:
Money Transfer Department <[email protected]>
...
Add to Contacts
To:
FROM THE WESTERN UNION DEPARTMENT
HSC 1894 WESTERN LONDON UK
MR. SAMUEL BOLINDER (CFE - OFAC)
ADDRESS: 7-11 MOORGATE, LONDON EC2R
6AQ, UNITED KINGDOM
TEL : +44702-4053-951
TEL :447031-888-232
TEL :447031-810-375
REF: CBN/IRD/-NY-CBX/021/10

RE: RSVX /07342/01/10 WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER®
INSTALLMENTAL PAYMENT OFFICE
Website: www.westernunion.com


WESTERN UNION INSTALLMENT PAYMENT ONLY.

Attention; (Your Payment Notification),



This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract inheritance file presently on my desk, and we found out that you have not received your payment due to lack of co-operation and not fulfilling the obligations giving to you in respect to your contract inheritance and lottery payment through your payment bank.


Your Over-due payment please confirm for immediate release. Get back to me immediately for necessary steps concerning your inheritance. Sequel to your none reply of my earlier email to you dated Today. On behalf of the Trustees and Executors to your inheritance file of Funds month ago, I wish to notify you that your name appeared in the Central computing system in our ministry as the rightful owner for the unpaid beneficiary as the statement of the Funds and you entitled part payment of your total inheritance funds of $10 Million through Western Union Money Transfer System Easter celebration in this New Year season as authorized by Federal Ministry of Finance and Federal Reserve, with the Central bank.

After the Law Enforcement judgment between the UNITED NATION ORGANIZATION Agent Mr. Goldman Smith and Compensation finance head office, The meeting held today, with the aforementioned Office and Banks, the Concluded arrangement has appointed our office (Western Union Money Transfer) to pay your unpaid fund through western union electronic system for your easy pickup and to avoid further unforeseen delay that could make your fund not to get to you in a timely manner.

The Management of the UNITED NATION ORGANISATION HEAD BRANCH here in West LONDON have submitted your name, city and country information’s to our office for endorsement & daily activation of your payment which has been programmed to be transferred under installment at rate of $8,000 daily as Western Union laws here does not allow transferring funds above $8,000 at once from this country to another, but will be sending under installment of $8,000 daily till the amount is completely paid. In other words, We have today transferred your first installment payment available for your Pick-Up at any western union office nearest to you, but still on hold due to the unpaid endorsement & daily activation file fee amount of 150.00 Pounds you supposed to pay before your daily transfer will be made available to you daily.


Secondly, you are hereby advice to stop dealing with your present transaction either from Nigeria/Europe they are Fraudulent Offices and the non-officials member of the Bank as this is an illegal act and You have to stop further communication, if you wish to receive your payment immediately through the Western Union Office.

You will pickup the below installmental payment at any western union office nearest to you with the below information's as soon as you send the 150 Pounds endorsement & daily activation file fee today. You are to track your first installmental payment online at www.westernunion.com OR Call Western Union tracking number 1-800-325-6000 for available fund for your verification purpose.

Below is the Western Union Details for you record, You can Track it online now.

https://wumt.westernunion.com/asp/orderStatus.asp?country=global

Money Transfer Control Number (M.T.C.N): 0744685075
Senders First Name: Olamidey
Senders Last Name: Bensont

SECTION A

You are advised to re-confirm to me your details as required below to enable the release of your payment total funds worth $10Million to you as a matter of urgency with the required below details:-

(1). Re-confirm your full names:
(2). Re-confirm Contact address:
(3). Re-confirm valid Phone #:
(4). Fax:
(5). Age:
(6). Occupation:
(7). Mode of Payment:

SECTION B

We wish to inform you based on a lot of junks mail flying over the internet and some people are using advantage to collect account information from people on internet for fraudulent purpose, that is while it was assigned and approved by International Monetary Fund (IMF) that your payment will come through Western Union Money Transfer system and also your funds as been programmed to be release to you through western union, twice a day, after collection.

As soon as the above are provided, Western Union department in conjunction with Federal Ministry of Finance will contact you with the West
ern Union Payment information to enable you cash your money daily. The amount you will be receiving twice per day is US$8000.00 and the MTCN number will be sending along with the Text Questions & Answers for you to receive your fund through any Western Union Location in your Country due to IMF Control, IRS and Home Land Security.

Our Regards and we are sorry for the inconvenience please bear with us.

Thanks for your co-operation and Waiting to hear from you soonest.

We look forward to serving you better.

Best regards,

MR. SAMUEL BOLINDER

TEL : +44702-4053-951
TEL :447031-888-232
TEL :447031-810-375
Permanent Secretary to Dr. Mansur Muhtar (OFR)
Honorable Minister of Finance.




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Closed lad accounts 100+45:goat: Easter Egg

I have trying to access the confirmation code but it always stated Errow Anthony Hills Togo
I am pissing out and off my brain seemed shattered of several thoughts and implications this is really taken much time and am afraid. Sgt Allen Nigeria
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devil_woman
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:11 am Reply with quoteBack to top

FROM THE WESTERN UNION DEPARTMENT
HSC 1894 WESTERN LONDON UK
MR. SAMUEL BOLINDER (CFE - OFAC)
ADDRESS: 7-11 MOORGATE, LONDON EC2R
6AQ, UNITED KINGDOM
TEL : +44702-4053-951
TEL :447031-888-232
TEL :447031-810-375
REF: CBN/IRD/-NY-CBX/021/10

RE: RSVX /07342/01/10 WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER®
INSTALLMENTAL PAYMENT OFFICE
Website: www.westernunion.com


WESTERN UNION INSTALLMENT PAYMENT ONLY.

Attention; (Your Payment Notification),



This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract inheritance file presently on my desk, and we found out that you have not received your payment due to lack of co-operation and not fulfilling the obligations giving to you in respect to your contract inheritance and lottery payment through your payment bank.


Your Over-due payment please confirm for immediate release. Get back to me immediately for necessary steps concerning your inheritance. Sequel to your none reply of my earlier email to you dated Today. On behalf of the Trustees and Executors to your inheritance file of Funds month ago, I wish to notify you that your name appeared in the Central computing system in our ministry as the rightful owner for the unpaid beneficiary as the statement of the Funds and you entitled part payment of your total inheritance funds of $10 Million through Western Union Money Transfer System Easter celebration in this New Year season as authorized by Federal Ministry of Finance and Federal Reserve, with the Central bank.

After the Law Enforcement judgment between the UNITED NATION ORGANIZATION Agent Mr. Goldman Smith and Compensation finance head office, The meeting held today, with the aforementioned Office and Banks, the Concluded arrangement has appointed our office (Western Union Money Transfer) to pay your unpaid fund through western union electronic system for your easy pickup and to avoid further unforeseen delay that could make your fund not to get to you in a timely manner.

The Management of the UNITED NATION ORGANISATION HEAD BRANCH here in West LONDON have submitted your name, city and country information’s to our office for endorsement & daily activation of your payment which has been programmed to be transferred under installment at rate of $8,000 daily as Western Union laws here does not allow transferring funds above $8,000 at once from this country to another, but will be sending under installment of $8,000 daily till the amount is completely paid. In other words, We have today transferred your first installment payment available for your Pick-Up at any western union office nearest to you, but still on hold due to the unpaid endorsement & daily activation file fee amount of 150.00 Pounds you supposed to pay before your daily transfer will be made available to you daily.


Secondly, you are hereby advice to stop dealing with your present transaction either from Nigeria/Europe they are Fraudulent Offices and the non-officials member of the Bank as this is an illegal act and You have to stop further communication, if you wish to receive your payment immediately through the Western Union Office.

You will pickup the below installmental payment at any western union office nearest to you with the below information's as soon as you send the 150 Pounds endorsement & daily activation file fee today. You are to track your first installmental payment online at www.westernunion.com OR Call Western Union tracking number 1-800-325-6000 for available fund for your verification purpose.

Below is the Western Union Details for you record, You can Track it online now.

https://wumt.westernunion.com/asp/orderStatus.asp?country=global

Money Transfer Control Number (M.T.C.N): 0744685075
Senders First Name: Olamidey
Senders Last Name: Bensont

SECTION A

You are advised to re-confirm to me your details as required below to enable the release of your payment total funds worth $10Million to you as a matter of urgency with the required below details:-

(1). Re-confirm your full names:
(2). Re-confirm Contact address:
(3). Re-confirm valid Phone #:
(4). Fax:
(5). Age:
(6). Occupation:
(7). Mode of Payment:

SECTION B

We wish to inform you based on a lot of junks mail flying over the internet and some people are using advantage to collect account information from people on internet for fraudulent purpose, that is while it was assigned and approved by International Monetary Fund (IMF) that your payment will come through Western Union Money Transfer system and also your funds as been programmed to be release to you through western union, twice a day, after collection.

As soon as the above are provided, Western Union department in conjunction with Federal Ministry of Finance will contact you with the West
ern Union Payment information to enable you cash your money daily. The amount you will be receiving twice per day is US$8000.00 and the MTCN number will be sending along with the Text Questions & Answers for you to receive your fund through any Western Union Location in your Country due to IMF Control, IRS and Home Land Security.

Our Regards and we are sorry for the inconvenience please bear with us.

Thanks for your co-operation and Waiting to hear from you soonest.

We look forward to serving you better.

Best regards,

MR. SAMUEL BOLINDER

TEL : +44702-4053-951
TEL :447031-888-232
TEL :447031-810-375
Permanent Secretary to Dr. Mansur Muhtar (OFR)
Honorable Minister of Finance.




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dangerous content by MailScanner, and is
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Closed lad accounts 100+45:goat: Easter Egg

I have trying to access the confirmation code but it always stated Errow Anthony Hills Togo
I am pissing out and off my brain seemed shattered of several thoughts and implications this is really taken much time and am afraid. Sgt Allen Nigeria
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:14 am Reply with quoteBack to top

A company that cared for its reputation would deal with this sort of thing, and be accountable for action of its employees.

They will not provide the place of collection or identity of recipient to sender.

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I have trying to access the confirmation code but it always stated Errow Anthony Hills Togo
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:42 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^ Well, to get slightly off-topic, I could offer you a buck for every company on the Fortune 500 list that has never been convicted of a crime, and you'd still be five bucks short of a Happy Meal. Rolling Eyes

Besides that, the only way to make sure that nothing dodgy happens in your business is to close your business altogether. There will always be rotten apples in any big company, and there's only so much that you can do about it. (Think "blaming a DIY market for selling screwdrivers to car thieves.")

At least WU do warn about various kinds of scam at their offices. But even they have to deal with that ancient universal truth: you cannot protect somebody from themselves without their cooperation. Even if WU were to close down all operations in, say, Nigeria, I doubt the scammers would just shrug and say "oh well, it was fun while it lasted. Let's go find some honest work!" They'd just use MG instead or simply ask you to put a wad of cash into an envelope and mail it to them.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:51 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^ True Bankster, all companies are corrupt if you look closely enough!

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Closed lad accounts 100+45:goat: Easter Egg

I have trying to access the confirmation code but it always stated Errow Anthony Hills Togo
I am pissing out and off my brain seemed shattered of several thoughts and implications this is really taken much time and am afraid. Sgt Allen Nigeria
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:58 am Reply with quoteBack to top

@Ima: While you're point of the aunt being on vacation and losing her wallet so she can't ID herself is a good one. That still doesn't explain why it's meaningfull to enable people to pick up the money at a different location than specified by the sender...

While WU might not be (fully) to blame for the abuse of their service by scammers, I still have feeling they do make it easy by enabling people to pick up money everywhere. (As I don't see any benefit of that for people using the service 'as intended')

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:39 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Master of Puppets wrote:
@Ima: While you're point of the aunt being on vacation and losing her wallet so she can't ID herself is a good one. That still doesn't explain why it's meaningfull to enable people to pick up the money at a different location than specified by the sender...

i think you missed the point.
legitimate senders don't have to specify a location where the money has to be picked up.
only scammers do that, as a ruse to fool victims into thinking they are dealing with someone in a different country.

Quote:
While WU might not be (fully) to blame for the abuse of their service by scammers, I still have feeling they do make it easy by enabling people to pick up money everywhere. (As I don't see any benefit of that for people using the service 'as intended')

i do not have a problem with w.u offering this service
because my understanding is that most users use it to send money back to their families in the less developed countries.
and imho specifying a location would be too restrictive for legitimate users - imagine sending money to someone who is backpacking round the world.

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