DO NOT SEND ANY MONEY AND DO NOT DEPOSIT OR CASH ANY CHECK THEY SENT. THE CHECK WILL BOUNCE AND YOU WILL LOSE ALL THE MONEY YOU SEND THEM.
I'm not sure I would call this "money laundering" per se, because that term implies actual money is being processed through what you do, and you get a cut of it, and most of it goes to somebody else, now in a "laundered" state that can't be traced back to its source. In this classic check scam, the check is just completely bogus. It does not represent any actual money. So there's no "laundering" going on. There is only you sending money to a scammer, and you deriving no benefit at all.
There's no money to be made here for you, even if you don't care about laws or Upwork rules or anything.
The only things that can happen are you waste your time and earn nothing, actually lose money, or have charges brought against you.
And Jenna, you need to understand that you were targeted because you are a newbie and because you offer your services as a virtual assistant.
If you had more experience on the platform, you would instantly recognize that this was a scam... literally from the first sentence of communication the scammer sent you.
Scammers know this, and that's why they don't waste their time with more experienced contractors. So that's something for you to look forward to.
More experienced contractors, such as myself and John, are never contacted by scammers. If we come across a scammer job post or scammer offer, we can instantly recognize them and don't get involved with these people. You'll get to that point soon enough.
@Joel A wrote:
Report this! It's a money-laundering scheme. The money you keep will be frozen as proceeds of a crime.
Report it YES, but this is not money laundering. There IS no money, the check is fake.
Oldest scam on the Internet, been around for at the very least 15 years. Nobody ever got any money, laundered or otherwise.
@Nichola L wrote:
Petra, if I had a cent for every time you have had to say this (with infinite patience), I would be a rich woman!
Haha, I am the least patient person in the universe, I assure you...
Maybe I am getting old, and forgetful, like a goldfish.
Once I have swum once around my little Upwork goldfish-bowl I have forgotten that I said the same thing last time round, and the time before, and the time before, and the .................
.................. what was the question.......... ?
@jenna W wrote:
Thank you all for your comments and advice. I had felt a little iffy about this but this just kinda sealed the deal. I recieved the check today via FedEx express. It was a Bank of America cashiers check and the Bank of America logo and information seems legit with watermarks and the "original document" watermark. Attached to the FedEx envelope was the senders information and that was the same as well. The actual check felt like normal thin paper and that didn't seem right to me. You all just confirmed my fears. Thank you!
Please report this client and also take a look at the job warning thread.
Just to add You are not allowed to accept payment off platform and you just admitted to doing that. Doing this can get your account suspended. Please keep that in mind also for the future.