PHILADEPHIA—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at an express mail facility near Philadelphia International Airport seized $1,054,120 in counterfeit U.S. Postal money orders Tuesday that were destined for Virginia.
CBP officers discovered the money orders concealed between the pages of three magazines that were sealed with tape in a parcel manifested as "Documents/Magazines." The magazines contained six blank money orders, 912 money orders written for $990 each, and 152 money orders written for $995 each. The parcel was shipped from the United Kingdom.
CBP officers submitted scans of these money orders to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for verification. Postal Inspectors confirmed the money orders to be counterfeit.
"The seizure of these counterfeit monetary instruments is testimony to Customs and Border Protection's continued vigilance at our nation's borders to protect our citizens and businesses against things that would do us harm," said Allan Martocci, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia.
CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights, including air cargo, and intercepts currency, narcotics, weapons, counterfeit merchandise, prohibited agriculture products or other illicit items.
According to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the counterfeit check or money order scheme begins when a scam artist, typically associated with a criminal enterprise, poses as a person overseas who needs your help cashing a check or money order. The scammer sends you a check or money order with a request to cash or deposit it into your bank account. You're told to keep some of the money as payment for your help and to wire back the remainder.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.