Recently, MoneyGram removed the Travelers Express name from their money order product. The new version is branded simply as MoneyGram, printed in Spanish (Espanol) in addition to English.
The old version with the Travelers Express name have been counterfeited and circulated via Internet scams for a couple of years. A lot of them had Walmart’s logo printed on them. We’ve seen similar counterfeit American Express Gift Cheques and Postal Money Orders in recent years, also. Some of these items are still in circulation, including the older Travelers Express version.
The newer version (MoneyGram) printed in both Spanish and English are now being counterfeited and being circulated via Internet scams. The one I saw was accompanied by a letter from Walmart Financial Services.
Like other counterfeit financial instruments, we’ll probably see these circulated via romance, auction, job, secret shopper and lottery scams. The common theme is that the scammer will always request that you send a portion of the money back to them (wire transfer is the preferred method).
In the case of auction scams, they may be used to buy expensive merchandise.
Cashing these items will leave you at a minimum, financially liable. I’ve also been told by readers that people are sometimes getting arrested for passing them!
The new version (recently seen) have receipts attached to them. Money Order companies often attach receipts to their products as a security feature. These receipts are used to obtain refunds, if a money order is lost, or stolen.
The counterfeiters have probably added this feature to instill a false sense of security.
Like their predecessors, these counterfeit Money Orders are (normally) easy identified by calling in and verifying their authenticity.
MoneyGram has an automated system to do this, which can be accessed by calling 1-800-542-3590. Live customer service help is available during normal business hours.
MoneyGram also has a page with a lot of relevant information on how to SAFELY negotiate these items, here.
Since this is something new, if anyone would like to help get the word out, please leave a comment on this post, or drop me a line at EdwardDickson@SBCGlobal.net.