In The Name Of Fraud

, , , , , | Right | June 15, 2017

(I work behind the service desk of a grocery store that offers Western Union. For fraud protection, the max amount of money you can send to someone without requiring ID (but must require a test question) is $299.00. For the past few months, a gentleman going by the name Willis would stop in to send money to the same two people every day. He claims that both of those people do not have ID and will send the max amount. After a week of this, I sense something odd going on so I talk to my manager. She waves it off and tells me to keep sending the money. This goes on for a few months until I’m sent to a different store for some training. As I’m closing up the desk at the store I’m training at, I’m sorting through some Western Unions and notice very familiar handwriting along with a very familiar address… The only problem is that the sender is going by the name ‘Thompson.’ The next day I’m back at my old store and Willis/Thompson walks up to send more money.)

Me: “I’m sorry but I can’t send money today.”

Customer: “Why not? You had no problem before.”

Me: “Because I can’t tell if you’re Willis today or Thompson. Which is it?”

(The customer hurried out of the store. It’s been three months and I haven’t seen the man return.)

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VOTES
  • Kenneth Donnelly

    why use western union to launder money it would be far easier to get one of those top up Debit cards or buy gift-cards and then buy stuff and return it or sell it.

    • Marion George

      Some stores are requiring that store credits are attached to an ID now. No ID, you can’t use the store credit, and the ID must match the name given on the store credit.

      • Konton

        Plus, when trying to return an item bought with a gift card, the money is put back on to a new gift card, to help prevent this form of money laundering

      • SgtFraggleRock

        But I’ve been told that requiring an ID for things is racist.

        • tulip_poplar

          Only when it’s being used in a deliberate effort to disenfranchise certain minorities.

          • SgtFraggleRock

            I always felt it was rather racist to assume that “certain minorities” are too stupid to get ID.

          • tulip_poplar

            What it’s based on are studies showing that certain demographics are less likely to have ID. It’s not based on assumptions at all, like someone being too “stupid” to get ID. It’s just a fact that certain populations are less likely to have ID, for whatever reason.

          • SgtFraggleRock

            Just say “black people” and be honest about it.

            You need ID to do virtually anything. Get prescriptions, drive, get a job, buy an M-rated video game for Pete’s sake.

            Enabling behavior that stunts upward mobility is not a good thing.

          • tulip_poplar

            Um, I didn’t say “black people” because nothing I said was code for “black people.” The demographic groups involved are not just “black people.” And now you’re getting all judgmental about people not having ID, revealing your own thoughts about “black people” and “enabling behavior that stunts upward mobility”, which has nothing to do with the original topic of deliberately disenfranchising people you don’t think are going to vote for you, so I think we’re done here.

          • SgtFraggleRock

            Yeah..,I’m sure you were talking about Asian Americans.

            Yes, if you don’t have ID, that’s a sign you are either a 90 year old housewife or a loser.

            All voter ID laws have had options for getting free ID.

            How do you even get a legal, taxpaying job without ID? The paperwork involved is far more difficult and time-consuming that getting an ID. Unless, maybe, you have warrants or are not an American citizen.

          • tulip_poplar

            Wow, okay, the racism has come fully out into the open here. Signing off and blocking you.

          • SgtFraggleRock

            Yes, your holding “certain minorities” to a lower standard than everyone else certainly exposes your racism.

            After all, illegal aliens in California get driver’s licenses, so it obviously isn’t difficult even without proper paperwork.

          • Many people have IDs which are sufficient for those tasks, but are insufficient for the purposes of voting. Getting a voting “approved” ID generally requires spending extra money, as well as spending hours (sometimes days) at the DMV (or other place) to get it. Folks who work minimum wage jobs often can’t just take time off without being penalized, and even if they can, they often don’t get paid vacations, so they lose out on a day’s wages just to get that ID (which they wouldn’t need for anything BUT voting.) In other words, it’s nothing but a resurrection of the old Jim Crow era “poll taxes,” which were rightly ruled Unconstitutional.

            Add to that the increasingly onerous requirements to even get an “voting approved” ID – a birth certificate isn’t sufficient now in many states, and the process of getting all of the various documents can mean extra expense and time, making the process that much more onerous, and sometimes simply impossible, as some folks may just not even have access to all of the documents the government is requesting – or at least not without spending days and dollars at various records offices trying to navigate the Byzantine bureaucracy. (Strange that the party of “government can never do anything right” seems to think that getting an ID is the one area where it’s suddenly hyper-efficient.)

            Let’s also not forget that Republican lawmakers have actually been recorded saying that they favor these stricter ID laws only because they know it will depress turnout for the other side. They aren’t actually concerned about voter fraud – so one must ask why Republicans aren’t more furious that their own leaders feel the need to lie to them just to score political wins.

            The point is that requiring ID isn’t “racist,” per se, but it ignores the reality faced by many people (and yes, many of them are minorities) who would be disenfranchised by requiring more ID than they already have (ID that is generally sufficient for their everday lives) – just to correct a problem that hasn’t even been proven to exist, certainly not at the level that it’s worth causing so much of an upset. We’ve seen that voter fraud isn’t this widespread problem that’s actually affecting the outcome of elections. We’ve also seen that these IDs actually do disenfranchise populations. So one asks: what’s the actual purpose of these laws? The answer ought to be obvious to anyone willing to look at the question honestly.

          • SgtFraggleRock

            53% of Democrats think illegal aliens should vote according to Rasumussen.

            1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as active voters.

            2.75 million people have active registrations in more than one state.

            In Ohio, 385 people who are not citizens of the United States are registered to vote in Ohio. Out of those, 82 voted in at least one election in the last year. That number is only available because they registered to vote as citizens by got drivers licenses as non-citizens.

          • Hahn Ackles

            Over 2 million people die each year in the US and voter rolls are updated what… Once a year? The real question is how many of those dead people actually vote? That’s all that matters.

            Also: Oh no, 0.0007% of Ohio’s population committed voter fraud. That makes it about two significant digits less common than murder. Really worth getting worked up about, when you put it that way.

          • 53% of Democrats think “tax-paying” illegal immigrants should vote. I’m not one of that 53%, but the wording of the question makes the actual statistic somewhat different, doesn’t it?

            1.8 million deceased individuals? Yeah, the voting rolls aren’t always purged immediately. Show me that 1.8 million deceased individuals VOTED, and I’ll agree that there’s a problem.

            2.75 million people have active registrations in more than one state? Again: many people live in multiple states throughout the year. Show me where 2.75 million people voted in more than one state in the same election, and I’ll agree that there’s a problem.

            Most “voter fraud” ends up being issues where a father accidentally voted as a son (because they share a name) or someone voted in the wrong state, not understanding the way election law is set up. It happens, here and there, but it’s a very minor occurrence.

            Does some actual fraud occur? Sure. No one has ever said it doesn’t. But out of the hundreds of millions of people who vote, all you’ve got are 82 people? 82. And based on that, you’d be willing to potentially disenfranchise entire communities?

            You worry about 82 votes, but don’t worry about tens of thousands (perhaps millions) of other votes. Why is that? Is it because those votes might be for a different party than the one you like?

            It’s telling when people have so little confidence in the ability of their own ideals to win out in the public marketplace of ideas that they have to, basically, cheat to win. If ideas lack so little strength that one needs to deny voting to huge swaths of the population just for those ideas to win, are those ideas really worth following?

            You’ve asserted a problem not in evidence. The burden of proof is on you to show that the danger of voting fraud is so great that the cost inflicted by voter ids is the least-restrictive method of addressing the problem, that the massive disenfranchisement is a price we ought to be willing to pay. I have yet to see any proof that this massive problem exists, and lots of proof that Republican leadership knows damn well that it does not exist (but that such policies help them in elections.) We can all see where their priorities lie, and they aren’t in the sanctity of the electoral process. And if Republicans are openly admitting that they have to cheat to win, what does that say about the value of their ideas?

  • Deadpool

    Notice the manager doesn’t care so long as they get their cut.

    • Cathrope

      How deep of a cut are we talking about? Just a hair trim or the entire neck?

      • Jesen

        A close shave, either way

        • Cathrope

          Hehehe

        • Kitty

          “But first… a shave.”
          “The closest I ever gave.”

    • SgtFraggleRock

      I think the manager just doesn’t care, period.

  • Ainoko_Ironrose

    This would be when I would gather up all Western Union forms from both stores and go to the Western Union fraud department to show them that someone is committing fraud by using at least two different names under the same address. It’s a safe bet that Willis/Thompson is going by numerous alias’ in numerous locations that has Western Union.

    What Willis/Thompson is/was doing is called fraud.

    My question for you OP is this…

    Why in all that’s holy, did you not gather up all evidence you could find from both locations and report this fraud to Western Union.

    • Deadpool

      Because clearly the manager didn’t care. Though it would have been fun if they had gone straight to the police.

      • Judy Jones

        Grown-ups are supposed to do what’s RIGHT, not what’s convenient.

      • Ainoko_Ironrose

        Even if the manager or managers didn’t give a dam about the fraud, OP should have reported the fraud to the relevant people.Because if the defecation would have hit the rotary oscillator, it would be a safe bet that OP’s managers would have thrown them under the bus stating that they never told them about the fraud.

    • Rob Tonka

      You seem to understand what’s going on.

      I don’t have a clue what this story is about.

      Other than this dude figuring out a way to send money without having to show id.

      Can you explain to me what exactly is going on that is a crime?

      • Joana Hill

        Most likely money laundering. He sends tons of money (OP says he came in every day and sent the max amount) that is received by someone else through a third party. Most likely the man was doing something like selling drugs, selling illegal firearms, or whatever.

        • Rob Tonka

          Help me. I still don’t get it.

          Never really understood what money laundering is.

          What is the end game to sending his drug money to someone else over western union?

          • Joana Hill

            It “cleans it”. The US Treasury says “Money laundering is the process of making illegally-gained proceeds (i.e. “dirty money”) appear legal (i.e. “clean”). Typically, it involves three steps: placement, layering, and integration. First, the illegitimate funds are furtively introduced into the legitimate financial system. Then, the money is moved around to create confusion, sometimes by wiring or transferring through numerous accounts. Finally, it is integrated into the financial system through additional transactions until the “dirty money” appears “clean.””

            So basically when you have illegal money, you launder it by moving it around a whole lot until it can no longer be tracked as having come from illegal activities. Wiring through Western Union is one method.

          • Harold Wagner

            The guys in Office Space would have loved to know this.

          • Elizabeth Basala

            I was *just* thinking the same thing!

            I can’t believe what a bunch of nerds we are. We’re looking up “money laundering” in a dictionary.

          • Harold Wagner

            Do we know any coke dealers? lol

          • ieatworms

            That isnt how you launder money. If anything it creates a paper trail…

          • Joana Hill

            That is exactly how you launder money, though wire transfers aren’t always involved, and clearly the guy in the story wasn’t very good at it. You’re supposed to do it in small amounts at a time, not almost three hundred dollars at least twice a day for weeks.

          • Noinipo

            Paper trails are exactly what you need.

            Many cash heavy businesses get used for money laundering for this exact same reason. Say you own a laundromat (people put lots of cash in the machine to get quarters) and sell drugs illegally. Last week you sold $1,000 in drugs and the laundromat made $5,000. If you were not laundering money, you would document that your business made $1,000 on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur, and Fri (for some reason you’re not open on weekends.) But, you want your drug money to appear clean, so you actually document that your laundromat made $1,200 on each day.

            This way, your income (the laundromat and drug money) is both accounted for. If you didn’t launder the money, you would be spending $6,000 each week on stuff and only having $5,000 in income. Not laundering the money would make the government suspicious and you would get caught. However, since you are smart and do launder the money, it appears that you have an income of $6,000 each week and you also buy about $6,000 worth of stuff each week.

          • Kat Kirkpatrick

            Yup, a fake, legal paper trail of the money is what the criminals are going for. The longer the paper trail, the harder it is for the authorities to nail down the original illegal sorce of the money.

            Anyone who has watched “Breaking Bad” may have noticed the main character eventually started to operate a car wash to launder his drug money. The idea was if he added a little bit of the drug money to each one of the business’s legit bank deposits, the authorities would think that the cash just came from the car wash instead of drugs.

          • ieatworms

            Its not how you launder money

          • ShadeTail

            Step one: “Willis” earns a bunch of money through illegal methods.

            Step two: “Willis” spreads his illegal money into multiple smaller wire transfers to evade the ID requirements.

            Step three: the person he sends it to takes a small cut and sends it on to someone else.

            Step four and onward: each person in the chain takes a small cut and sends it to the next person.

            Step final: the last person in the chain then sends it back to “Willis”, and thanks to all the transfers, nobody outside the chain knows where it originally came from. “Willis” can now spend his illegal money safely.

          • Rob Tonka

            But if there’s no id involved in any of those transactions, I don’t see how this “launders” the money in any way.

            If I hand Wilson a paper bag of money I got from selling drugs and he walks next door and hands it to someone there, keeping $5 for himself. And that person walks next door and does the same, and this process is repeated a few times til finally someone comes back to me and hands me a bag of money that is $50 lighter, it seems to me that its the same effect as what’s been described for Western union. No id involved. So no tracking of the money. I feel like I’d be in the same boat before and after this series of transactions. I got some money thru illegal means, and I can’t provide any evidence of it being from legitimate sources, except now, I have less of it.

          • Carrie

            Because if they ask where the funds came from they can honesty sat “Western Union.” It’s “clean” in the sense that it came from a legitimate source. One of the red flags in life insurance is someone surrendering an annuity right awat, despite high surrender charges. A person who got the money through legit means wouldn’t want to lose so much to the carrier. The guy wanting a check from a legit source, however, is much less concerned about it because in their eyes, they are still ahead.

          • Jeff

            Avoiding ID requirements is, in and of itself, violating Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing regulations.

            This is the stuff that will get Homeland Security on your ass.

            In fact, by failing to report this to the appropriate authorities, WU itself becomes liable for civil and even criminal penalties.

          • ShadeTail

            First, if “Willis” just hands a bag of money to someone, and he or anyone else in that chain is being watched, they can be busted quite easily. By making anonymous wire transfers, “Willis” has a much wider chain, likely all across the country, that is much more difficult to track. Even if one person has somehow come to the attention of the authorities, the other people in the chain are still nearly impossible to find.

            Second, by using wire transfers, it puts the illicit money into the legal financial system. Huge piles of cash are inconvenient, and also tend to draw the attention of the police. If, instead, “Willis” gets checks from legal businesses such as Western Union, he can simply drop those checks into his bank account. This is more convenient and safer than cash, and attracts less attention from the authorities.

          • Kathy Plester

            Basically you try to put illegally gotten money through legitimate channels such as banks or western unions etc. Other ways to do this is they use illegal money to buy property, which they then sell, and the money they get is now ‘clean’. To keep is simple, the idea is to keep moving the money until the trail is so obscured it is hard to tell where the original money is, so police would find it hard to prove they got that money from doing something illegal. In other words, it is covering up the true origin of the money so if police go ‘where did you get this money from?’ they can say ‘Oh this was from the sale of this property, and this was western union money sent as a gift (and there’s no ID so they can’t prove anyone suspected to be involved sent it).

          • Kat Kirkpatrick

            Rob Tonka, lets say “Willis” earns a lot of money selling illegal drugs. He doesn’t want to just put it in the bank, because that large an amount of money dropped all at once will make the IRS sit up and take notice.

            “Willis” sends a small amount of that money at one Western Union agent to his partner(s). He then leaves that agent’s storefront and walks down the street to the next Western Union agent and does the same exact thing, always sending an amount just under the magic number that requires him to show an ID. (This is easy to to in a city btw, where there are Western Union agents in almost every convenience store.)

            Later in the day, after shift change, “Willis” does the same thing all over again, but uses the name “Thomas.” The agent doesn’t realize what’s going on, because our criminal doesn’t have to show any ID.

            Meanwhile, the money Willis/Thomas is sending is picked up by his partners in crime, who are also using fake names. Normally, the person picking up money would have to show ID, but Western Union has a provision for people who have lost their wallets to get a small amount of money so they can buy a bus ticket home. In this case, the sender includes a “secret question” with the money, and the receiving person has to have the “secret answer.”

            Wills/Thomas is using this method so his criminal partner(s) don’t have to show ID.

            Meanwhile, by the time the money gets back to Willis/Thomas, it’s passed through so many other people’s hands that it is nearly impossible to prove where the original money came from, and Willis/Thomas can safely deposit small amounts of the cash into his bank. The rest of it is floating around in electronic limbo, so even if the authorities are suspicious of his illegal activities, he isn’t carrying a large bank balance either and can use that in his presumed defense.

            Willis/Thomas thinks he is safe. Hopefully, someday he is caught.

          • LadyBelle

            Don’t forget the people on the receiving end might be happily showing their id because they foolishly answered a Craigslist ad for a work from home job that just asks you to act as an “agent” for some fake company and do financial transactions all day. That or they accidentally got sent too much money for the dog they are selling, could they please return the excess money to Willis, etc.

          • Pogla

            Money laundering is basically hiding the source of your cash flow.
            If some authority or another asked how you came into such a large amount of cash, you can do things like making fake sales through a ‘front’ business, funnel it into an offshore account into a country that doesn’t look too closely into bank accounts, or in this case claim it was a gift from a third party.
            It seems a pretty weak laundering front using the same names to deposit in such a short amount of time.

      • Ainoko_Ironrose

        The customer Willis/Thompson was most likely laundering money. As the OP stated any Western Union transaction that is $300.00 or higher requires ID from both the sender and receiver. Basically, the customer was sending $299.00 every day at at least two locations.

        So the smart thing to do, which is also the right thing to do, is to report this to Western Union’s fraud department so they can see how many locations this guy is using to send the maximum no ID amount ber day.

      • nope

        Thanks. I didn’t get it, either.

        • Ophelia

          Yeah, neither did I. I could get that this man was doing something he wanted to hide by going under a different name to receive his money than depositing it, but that was about it. I never actually knew what money laundering was, since it’s always spoken without context (as in “This man was arrested for money laundering” or “Those people were engaged in a money laundering scheme,” statements in which I could not infer what money laundering was except that it involves a group of people) and is very rare in fiction (presumably because it’s boring).

          That being said, I knew of the concept of dirty money and some techniques criminals use to clean it. I just didn’t know of this particular technique or that this is what money laundering is.

    • Nicole Richardson

      Hi, I’m OP. I tried notifying my manager first once I noticed the pattern. She waved it off and told me to keep doing it. I should have called Western Union about the fishy transactions even after she waved it off, but I don’t really have a spine and have trouble telling someone no. Until a few months later when I went to train at another store and noticed the similar handwriting. I did forget to mention that I did call the Western Union fraud department immediately after I noticed that transaction in the pile and they put a hold on the two transactions he did as “Thompson” and when I was back at my own store the next day and he came in, I called him out on his bullshit. At the other store I was training at, I also called around to all the other stores in the area and asked if they had any similar transactions with that same pattern and told them to watch out for that guy if they hadn’t yet been hit by him. He hit 4 stores all together from the information I gathered.

    • Daniel Ralph

      One of my favourite movie lines is from ‘Licence to Kill.’ James Bond sets up someone to appear as a traitor to the drug lord bad guy. The drug lord locks him in a pressurised vault containing money, which makes the guy’s head explode, splattering blood everywhere. Someone asks him what to do about the money. He replies, “We’ll launder it.”

  • AmoebaStampede

    “Whatchyou talkin’ about, Thompson?”

  • Michael Bugg

    This should have been named “Stop! In the Name of Fraud . . .”

    • NessaTameamea

      When I read the title I heard U2 in my head. Your idea is better though.

  • jdb1984

    So is he sending money to himself through Western Union? As long as the money is real, I fail to see how it’s fraud.

    • LordViking

      I wasn’t sure either what this was about at first, but it appears it was a form of money laundering.
      The money itself was probably real, but the way Willis/Thompson obtained the money was most likely illegal.

    • Dsru Bin

      He’s allowed to send $299 per day, so he goes to multiple WUs and sends $299 from each of them using a different name. Not necessarily fraud (on a legal scale), but highly suspicious.

      • Donnell Hanog

        It IS fraud. He’s using different identities and locations to evade the maximum daily sending limit. In other words, he is fraudulently sending more money than he is legally allowed to without ID.

        • Dsru Bin

          Perhaps I misunderstand. Is the $299 limit set by WU or is it a gov’t requirement? I assumed it was the first, but if it’s the second, then I agree.

          • Ophelia

            It’d still be something he could get in deep trouble about, especially if law enforcement gets involved and starts digging into why he’s doing it.

          • Dsru Bin

            Not disputing that law enforcement might be able to use it as a pretext to investigate him, but unless it’s actually illegal to send more than $299 without ID, it wouldn’t be fraud.

            OTOH, if we work with the assumption that there is nothing actually illegal about his transfer amounts and it’s just a WU policy, I don’t know if a judge would be willing to sign off on any type of investigative warrant, simply because he wants to send $600/day instead of $300.

            Finally, I also think that this is a step in a money laundering process, executed by a moron.

          • Ophelia

            It’s only fraud if the law says he’s not allowed to do it? I always thought that any act of deception meant to trick a victim out of their money or other belongings was fraud.

            I mean, there were those seedy carnivals in the UK that were sued for fraud. The carnivals didn’t technically do anything illegal, just highly misleading, like saying Santa Claus was there when it was just a skinny and poorly dressed man in his 20’s who called himself Santa Claus, or an ice skating rink whose floor was room-temperature plastic (as it’s meant for the act of ice skating, not that there’s ice there). The patrons won and the carnivals had to be shut down.

          • Dsru Bin

            By definition, something can’t be illegal if it doesn’t violate a law (in some fashion). I can’t speak to the UK, but in the US, there are business laws against them misrepresenting and/or lying to the public. However, I don’t believe there are any laws about giving a fake name (without ID). I don’t know about the sending of more than $300.

            I always thought that any act of deception meant to trick a victim out of their money or other belongings was fraud.
            That is true. However, that isn’t what is happening here – the customer is only tricking the company into providing services (for which they are getting paid, which eliminates any type of “damages” claim).

          • Ophelia

            I think I see. This is more about exploiting a loophole, in that case?

          • Dsru Bin

            Exactly.

            However, I have since been corrected by Donnell Hanog that the act of placing an incorrect name on a document could constitute fraud, even without showing ID.

        • Dsru Bin

          That’s why I specified “on a legal scale” – if a store has rules and he broke them, he can’t be prosecuted for fraud.

          • Donnell Hanog

            Yes, actually, he can. It’s not *that* he broke the rules, it’s *how*.
            Misrepresenting yourself in order to obtain information, money, goods, or services you do not qualify for from a person or organization is, in and of itself, fraud. Had he simply tried to get away with not showing an ID, it wouldn’t be, but, by using two identities, he made it into an intentional misrepresentation and therefore fraud.

          • Dsru Bin

            Even though he never actually showed any type of ID, and just lied on a form? I stand corrected, and I thank you.

          • Donnell Hanog

            Yep. All he had to do was claim to be someone else. Intent and the statement, written or verbal (though the latter is harder to prove), are all it takes. It’s like with those phone scams. If they can find the people doing them, it doesn’t matter that no ID was ever shown.

          • Donnell Hanog

            Depending on the wording of the fine print on the form, perjury may also apply.

  • Andrew Garrard

    Agreed with the others – you need to report this to your fraud service (now, if not three months ago). And quite possibly report it to the police, if you don’t want to be considered complicit in allowing the crime. A criminal customer isn’t the same thing as a “not right” customer, although it’s pleasing that you caught them in it.

  • Harold Wagner

    Managers like her are the reason fraudsters like using Western Union. Clearly a lot of WU managers don’t care because many people get scammed into using WU to send fraudsters money.

  • sunshine20011

    Of course it is fraud, but it’s not unheard of for people to legally use two names. I’m a professional actor and due to Union rules legally can not work under my birth name, so I have to have two names. I have a (business) bank account and credit card under my stage name and personal bank account under my real name, both with the same bank.

    • SgtFraggleRock

      I assume your bank account are DBA (Doing Business As) accounts.

      Plus, you’d at least have ID for your real name.

      • sunshine20011

        No, it’s a business account not a personal account. It’s purely in my work name, no different from any other trading name (like the name of a company). Not as a DBA.

        I’m not in America so ID is barely ever used (I don’t own any kind of ID except my passport). I honestly can’t remember the last time I had to show ID except for flights. Of course I had to show ID to set up the accounts in the first place.

  • Kathy Plester

    I don’t know if there is more to this story that OP has left out but in telling the customer they know, they have tipped them off which is illegal (certainly in the UK although as I understand it money laundering and fraud prevention is a universal law across most western countries to make cooperation easier, particularly as money laundering often involves sending money abroad). Even if you suspect fraud you cannot tell them.

    Also OP didn’t report this or gather up evidence (again not sure if this happened in the background) – OP has a legal obligation to report any fraud no matter their rank – even a janitor or night staff must report anything fraud related. But even if they did gather evidence and report it, they still tipped off the fraudster. Big no-no. It might even get you wrangled in as an accessory in the crime.

  • I Troll Libtards

    That’s pretty much how Hillary got most of her votes.
    Stories like this exist and you liberals still fight against identification to vote. You can’t win without cheating (or even with cheating as 2016 proved).

  • Oriel91

    As a former fraud advisor, stories like this are painful to read. If you suspect anyone of committing fraud, the last thing you should do is tell the potential fraudster! Sure, you’ll probably stop them from committing more fraud but you’re leaving yourself wide open to be brought down with them as an accomplice. What you should do in these situations is process the transaction as normal and report the details to both your employer and the police after the customer has left. Trying to catch them in the act actually makes it harder for the authorities to do their jobs.

  • Dawn Seaman

    Can someone explain what’s going on with this story, and what the issue is?

  • TheSeventhBrat

    I had a customer who would come in and send $999 to China. At the time, Western Union did not require an ID for sending less than $1000. He came in one day, sent $999, then came in the next day and sent another $999. Problem was, he used two different names and two different addresses, but the receiver in China was the same. So I went back through three months worth of WU sends (we didn’t send a lot, so it didn’t take too long). I found 20+ sends with the same exact handwriting, using different names and addresses, but always sending $999 to the same person in China. I Googled all the addresses and they were all fake, except for one of the earliest sends, which was to a nearby Chinese restaurant. I filled out a SAR (Suspicious Activity Report) and notified my WU compliance department. Then I told my store manager, who would go there on her lunch quite a bit. She told me that they only accepted cash. I was told to request an ID the next time he came in. He, of course, refused, so I refused to send his money. I never saw him again after that and a couple weeks later his business was shut down by the city for failure to pay sales tax.