Large counterfeit money order scheme investigated in Southern Illinois

METROPOLIS, Ill. (AP) - The Massac County sheriff's department and U.S. Postal Service investigators are looking into a scheme to distribute counterfeit money orders and money transfers through people working out of their homes.
Ted Holder of the Massac County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday authorities are working with a Metropolis woman who had counterfeit money orders worth $627,655.
The unidentified woman told investigators someone in an Internet chat room convinced her to help as a home worker in a distribution effort. She said she received the money forms from the West African republic of Benin with instructions to send them in smaller numbers to specified addresses.
Holder said the phony money orders apparently are the reward in a purported sweepstakes, which likely involves each winner cashing the counterfeit order and returning part of it to the scammer.

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