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I want to MS, but I have kids. Worried about getting detained while with kids.

I want to MS, but I have kids. Worried about getting detained while with kids.

Old Aug 22, 18, 11:30 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2018
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I want to MS, but I have kids. Worried about getting detained while with kids.

I am a female and have little kids, and I want to manufacture spend to fly internationally (long haul) once a year with my whole family. So far, I have a toddler and a baby, but I am planning to have a large family. I also have two citizenships and I want to visit my home country at least once a year with my family. Obviously, just getting sign up bonuses won't be enough, as it takes like 70-80k delta miles for a round trip for one person from my US location to my home country location. Multiple that by several people, and you need a lot of miles. I really want to manufacture spend, but I am worried about getting detained.

If I'm out at the grocery store buying 5-10k+ worth of VGCs and MOs with my kids (toddler and baby), or if I'm flying with both of them long haul, what are my chances of getting detained for MSing? I read some posts on here where people got detained and interviewed in a room for like an hour, but like, if I have kids with me all the time, they will be crying, so how will the officers handle that? Will they call social services if I get detained, or what will happen?

I am not trolling, this is real. I want to be able to have a large family and be able to fly with them to my home country once a year. I don't want to pay $1500 per person per round trip for flights, I want to MS to get miles.
stormpelt is offline  
Old Aug 23, 18, 12:15 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 523
Money laundering is the act of concealing the transformation of profits from illegal activities and corruption into ostensibly "legitimate" assets.The dilemma of illicit activities is accounting for the origin of the proceeds of such activities without raising the suspicion of law enforcement agencies. Accordingly, considerable time and effort is put into devising strategies which enable the safe use of those proceeds without raising unwanted suspicion. Implementing such strategies is generally called money laundering.
cashcyclone is offline  
Old Aug 23, 18, 2:26 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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I’d be more concerned about a shady character seeing you buy all those GCs and following you home or something even more dangerous.

Its happened more than getting “detained” - just not something that’s mentioned for obvious reasons

Jesperss is offline  
Old Aug 23, 18, 2:35 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
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The chances of it are low. That is your basic answer.

My general recommendation is that until you develop a rhythm and knowledge of the process, you should not be taking your children with you while you MS. There may be difficulties that you might encounter (for example, a fraud alert on your credit card) that would take time to resolve, and it might even keep you longer than any possible detainment. Until you have a set pattern down, avoid taking others with you.
Phantom707 is offline  
Old Aug 23, 18, 2:47 am
  #5  
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Sorry, but is this a serious question? You are afraid of getting arrested for buying some money orders?
LondonElite is offline  
Old Aug 23, 18, 6:09 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Northeastern United States
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Originally Posted by stormpelt View Post
I am a female and have little kids, and I want to manufacture spend to fly internationally (long haul) once a year with my whole family. So far, I have a toddler and a baby, but I am planning to have a large family. I also have two citizenships and I want to visit my home country at least once a year with my family. Obviously, just getting sign up bonuses won't be enough, as it takes like 70-80k delta miles for a round trip for one person from my US location to my home country location. Multiple that by several people, and you need a lot of miles. I really want to manufacture spend, but I am worried about getting detained.

If I'm out at the grocery store buying 5-10k+ worth of VGCs and MOs with my kids (toddler and baby), or if I'm flying with both of them long haul, what are my chances of getting detained for MSing? I read some posts on here where people got detained and interviewed in a room for like an hour, but like, if I have kids with me all the time, they will be crying, so how will the officers handle that? Will they call social services if I get detained, or what will happen?

I am not trolling, this is real. I want to be able to have a large family and be able to fly with them to my home country once a year. I don't want to pay $1500 per person per round trip for flights, I want to MS to get miles.
I think your expectations of MSing enough miles to fly Delta internationally once a year with up to seven people are a little too unrealistic for someone just getting into MS. The popularity of MSing, especially with the volume you are thinking, these days can and often does lead to:
- Store limitations on MO purchases via VGC or MCGC if not a complete discontinue of such practice.
- Change in store policy on purchase of VGS or MCGS limiting volume or complete complete discontinue of sale via CC.
- Credit Card shut downs
- Possible store or law enforcement detainment (This is possible, but highly unlikely. Cases of this are very few and I have yet to see any evidence or anyone ever being truly charged with anything.

I'm not trying to turn you away, but rather caution you to the problems that may arise. MS is unreliable. What worked today might get shut down tomorrow and can you handle being stuck with $5-10K in GCs if it does? These things need to be considered seriously before you take the risk. Also, to address some of this other things in your post:

Originally Posted by stormpelt View Post
it takes like 70-80k delta miles for a round trip for one person from my US location to my home country location. .
Unless you truly need to fly Delta, you will do better flying a different carrier where your MS'd points will get your further and possibly CCs that can be churned faster than Delta. Citibank US Airlines cards might work out well for you here.

Originally Posted by stormpelt View Post
I am a female and have little kids, and I want to manufacture spend to fly internationally (long haul) once a year with my whole family. So far, I have a toddler and a baby, but I am planning to have a large family. I also have two citizenships and I want to visit my home country at least once a year with my family. Obviously, just getting sign up bonuses won't be enough, as it takes like 70-80k delta miles for a round trip for one person from my US location to my home country location. Multiple that by several people, and you need a lot of miles. I really want to manufacture spend, but I am worried about getting detained.
Kids are great buffers for MSing as you look less suspicious at a grocery store with kids in hand, but it's not likely to be enjoyable for them if you do get detained. The two citizenship thing could be an issue as well since a good amount of LEOs are not properly educated on statuses such as yours. Again, more often than not you'll just get told "NO" and have to move along.

Originally Posted by stormpelt;30118424If
I want to be able to have a large family and be able to fly with them to my home country once a year. I don't want to pay $1500 per person per round trip for flights, I want to MS to get miles.
I'm sure everyone would love to fly for free year after year, but that's pretty unrealistic. Don't be disillusioned by blogs and posts you read talking about flying all over the world for free on a consistent basis. Most MSers traveling internationally are single people or couples, not families of seven. Even those who do travel internationally with families don't often do it a yearly basis with just MSing alone. It usually involves churning, referral bonuses, sign up commissions, travel hacking, points transfers, and or other factors.
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Prometheus77 is offline  
Old Aug 23, 18, 7:12 am
  #7  
 
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I do some MS with my toddler every weekend-- not anywhere close to the volume you're describing, but around $5K-10K a month total. We pick up a GC or MO during the normal course of our day at the grocery store. He's happy because he gets to ride in the "car cart" or push around one of the little kid's carts, and he's added "money order" to his vocabulary

The biggest hassle is getting him in and out of his car seat if we make multiple stops! You have nothing to worry about, but just start small.
wahooflyer is offline  
Old Aug 23, 18, 8:44 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Hopkinton, MA
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Originally Posted by stormpelt View Post
I am a female and have little kids, and I want to manufacture spend to fly internationally (long haul) once a year with my whole family. So far, I have a toddler and a baby, but I am planning to have a large family. I also have two citizenships and I want to visit my home country at least once a year with my family. Obviously, just getting sign up bonuses won't be enough, as it takes like 70-80k delta miles for a round trip for one person from my US location to my home country location. Multiple that by several people, and you need a lot of miles. I really want to manufacture spend, but I am worried about getting detained.

If I'm out at the grocery store buying 5-10k+ worth of VGCs and MOs with my kids (toddler and baby), or if I'm flying with both of them long haul, what are my chances of getting detained for MSing? I read some posts on here where people got detained and interviewed in a room for like an hour, but like, if I have kids with me all the time, they will be crying, so how will the officers handle that? Will they call social services if I get detained, or what will happen?

I am not trolling, this is real. I want to be able to have a large family and be able to fly with them to my home country once a year. I don't want to pay $1500 per person per round trip for flights, I want to MS to get miles.
You won't accomplish what you're looking to do.

1) You're scared to MS. Sorry, but to make money in this hobby, you need to have enthusiasm for it. It has to be a game you enjoy. You need to have a thought process (Let's see, I can buy $500 GCs at Stop & Shop with the promotion of gas points. Not only will I get the 2% back on my credit card, but by the time the week is done, I'll be buying 1.9 cent a gallon gas for a month).

2) Airline points are for suckers. (sorry flyertalk) What you'll find is that you'll have all the airline points you need, then you'll find that the flights you want are blacked out.....or will have 2 seats....one in the front and one in the back, nothing together......or the route will take you through Toronto, Dallas And have an overnight stay in some dangerous foreign country. If you do get flights, when someone needs to be bumped, you're #1 on the list. Go for cash (Cap One, HSBC, Citi) and buy your own tickets. This way, you will have better seat availability and if things don't work out, you have the cash for other things. I haven't found anything that I can't use the cash for. Pretty much all cards have an option to ACH cash into your checking account if you don't want to use the statement credit.

3) This can be a time consuming hobby and you will have a steep learning curve. Which Wal Marts will even give you a MO for gift cards. Many will not. With the ones that do, what are the times you can walk right in and get the MO and when are the times when there will be 30 people in line trying to send $30 to their home country, taking 15 minutes each? When something goes wrong, what are you going to do? (MO machine is down, CSR is new and doesn't know how to do MO, manager is in the money center and says no to using gift cards, your credit card shuts you down for MS activity). We all have back up plans. You need to roll with it. If you can't, this ain't for you.
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Car Jack is offline  
Old Aug 23, 18, 10:04 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
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Originally Posted by Car Jack View Post
You won't accomplish what you're looking to do.

1) You're scared to MS. Sorry, but to make money in this hobby, you need to have enthusiasm for it. It has to be a game you enjoy. You need to have a thought process (Let's see, I can buy $500 GCs at Stop & Shop with the promotion of gas points. Not only will I get the 2% back on my credit card, but by the time the week is done, I'll be buying 1.9 cent a gallon gas for a month).

2) Airline points are for suckers. (sorry flyertalk) What you'll find is that you'll have all the airline points you need, then you'll find that the flights you want are blacked out.....or will have 2 seats....one in the front and one in the back, nothing together......or the route will take you through Toronto, Dallas And have an overnight stay in some dangerous foreign country. If you do get flights, when someone needs to be bumped, you're #1 on the list. Go for cash (Cap One, HSBC, Citi) and buy your own tickets. This way, you will have better seat availability and if things don't work out, you have the cash for other things. I haven't found anything that I can't use the cash for. Pretty much all cards have an option to ACH cash into your checking account if you don't want to use the statement credit.

3) This can be a time consuming hobby and you will have a steep learning curve. Which Wal Marts will even give you a MO for gift cards. Many will not. With the ones that do, what are the times you can walk right in and get the MO and when are the times when there will be 30 people in line trying to send $30 to their home country, taking 15 minutes each? When something goes wrong, what are you going to do? (MO machine is down, CSR is new and doesn't know how to do MO, manager is in the money center and says no to using gift cards, your credit card shuts you down for MS activity). We all have back up plans. You need to roll with it. If you can't, this ain't for you.

This is the reality . Dont ever read blogs like onemileatatime , frequentmiler , thepointsguy , viewfromthewing. What they portray is not reality . Just read , doctorofcredit.
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kingofkingsforu is offline  
Old Aug 23, 18, 10:29 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 515
Originally Posted by stormpelt View Post
I am a female and have little kids, and I want to manufacture spend to fly internationally (long haul) once a year with my whole family. So far, I have a toddler and a baby, but I am planning to have a large family. I also have two citizenships and I want to visit my home country at least once a year with my family. Obviously, just getting sign up bonuses won't be enough, as it takes like 70-80k delta miles for a round trip for one person from my US location to my home country location. Multiple that by several people, and you need a lot of miles. I really want to manufacture spend, but I am worried about getting detained.

If I'm out at the grocery store buying 5-10k+ worth of VGCs and MOs with my kids (toddler and baby), or if I'm flying with both of them long haul, what are my chances of getting detained for MSing? I read some posts on here where people got detained and interviewed in a room for like an hour, but like, if I have kids with me all the time, they will be crying, so how will the officers handle that? Will they call social services if I get detained, or what will happen?

I am not trolling, this is real. I want to be able to have a large family and be able to fly with them to my home country once a year. I don't want to pay $1500 per person per round trip for flights, I want to MS to get miles.
Take your partner/baby's father with you. He should be able to take care of them and keep them calm while you are being detained. If your detention is more than a few hours, surely the children can spend time with their father and bond with them.
JamesKidd is offline  
Old Aug 23, 18, 10:43 am
  #11  
mia
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Originally Posted by Car Jack View Post
....

2) Airline points are for suckers. .... Go for cash ....
Cash back from credit cards is a dead end, because there is no arbitrage. It costs the bank $0.02 to give you $0.02, but banks can buy miles for less than their redemption value. Anyone who can master the intricacies of manufactured spending could learn how to reliably redeem miles for award flights.
mia is offline  
Old Aug 23, 18, 10:51 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by JamesKidd View Post
Take your partner/baby's father with you. He should be able to take care of them and keep them calm while you are being detained. If your detention is more than a few hours, surely the children can spend time with their father and bond with them.
I will be flying by myself with them.
stormpelt is offline  
Old Aug 23, 18, 11:00 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by stormpelt View Post
I will be flying by myself with them.
He was joking...
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LondonElite is offline  
Old Aug 23, 18, 12:12 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Like others said, you will likely never be detained for MS'ing. I've done a lot of MS'ing and have never come close to being detained. I have experienced the following though:

1. 30 minute waits at Walmart because of the queue.
2. 30 minute wait after purchasing the MO because something went wrong with the printer or it ran out of paper.
3. Had all of my credit cards and bank accounts from Chase shut down.
4. Had VGC's that were hacked.
5. Had VGC's that were not activated
6. Been told I can't purchase MO's with VGC's
7. Been told I can't purchase VGC's with a CC.
8. Been called by CC company about my spending levels.
9. Had CC declined when purchasing over a certain amount, even though I had plenty of available credit line left.
10. Probably more that I'm not thinking of at the moment.

Once you get to a certain level of MS'ing, it becomes less of a hobby and more of a part time job. So ask yourself if you are ready to take on a part time job. If that answer is yes, start slow and ramp up your level a little each month.
knopfler is offline  
Old Aug 23, 18, 12:17 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by knopfler View Post
Like others said, you will likely never be detained for MS'ing. I've done a lot of MS'ing and have never come close to being detained. I have experienced the following though:

1. 30 minute waits at Walmart because of the queue.
2. 30 minute wait after purchasing the MO because something went wrong with the printer or it ran out of paper.
3. Had all of my credit cards and bank accounts from Chase shut down.
4. Had VGC's that were hacked.
5. Had VGC's that were not activated
6. Been told I can't purchase MO's with VGC's
7. Been told I can't purchase VGC's with a CC.
8. Been called by CC company about my spending levels.
9. Had CC declined when purchasing over a certain amount, even though I had plenty of available credit line left.
10. Probably more that I'm not thinking of at the moment.

Once you get to a certain level of MS'ing, it becomes less of a hobby and more of a part time job. So ask yourself if you are ready to take on a part time job. If that answer is yes, start slow and ramp up your level a little each month.
Why were your chase accounts shut down? I am only planning to MS for the minimum spend on the united airline card, but I am not planning to MS regularly on chase cards. Does chase care about MS if it's just for the minimum spend?
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