Job scam quick guide: it's a scam if...

  • they want you to collect and forward money in any way (a "money mule" job). You'll wind up engaged in money laundering, personally defrauded via expertly forged cheques, money orders, etc, or defrauding someone else who pays for goods that never arrive.
  • they want you to receive packages and reship them somewhere else. The goods will have been obtained fraudulently, and they're just using you to make the shipping address appear local. You will be aiding fraud.
  • they want up-front payment (either to them or someone else) of any sort for anything before you can get the job. This is advance fee fraud: there is no job -- it's just a big con to extract money from you.
  • they want you to buy any kind of "membership" or "kit" in order to start. Forget it -- it's not a real job at all: they're trying to sell you something, and they're probably making a bunch of other false claims about it if they're pitching it as a "job".
  • it's a job offer, and it's spam. There are LOTS of these scams about, as you can see.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Western Solutions

Summary

Although the spam itself is extremely vague, the style of the website clearly identifies this job scam as an old one operating under a new name. Back in the days when this scam was operating under the names "Trigon Partners" and "River Partners", this was a money mule job with an eBay angle. It's not clear whether the eBay angle had any substance to it, but sometimes money mules receive payments from eBay users as a part of fraudulent auctions: the buyer sends payment to the mule, and the mule forwards the money to the fraudster. Later, the buyer demands his money back from the mule, since no goods are forthcoming.

If you know more information about this particular scam, please post it here.

The Spam

Payload is HTML, no attachments.

Representative sample

From: "gaming World:" <xbevqgvebdq[@]pppool.de>
To: [redacted]
Subject: Open position available for right individuals
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2007 17:30:14 -0100

Open position available for right individuals


We are looking to train 8 hard-working, dedicated individuals to work from home no matter if your background is in: Admin, customer service, or marketing.

You can now put your computer to work in the comfort of your own home with our expanding company.
Are you stuck in a dead-end job?
Are you tired of spending more time at work then with your family?
Are you not being rewarded for your hard work with more income?
Do you ever wish you had more control of your work schedule?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then take the next step by http://western-solutions.eu/vacancies_form.html

In this business, we have learned that you can have any level of education and work experience. We have guided many individuals in the USA, Canada, Australia, UK, and worldwide who are seeking to earn an extra income or find a new career towards financial freedom. It doesn’t matter if your background is in Admin, Sales, IT, Customer Service or even Consulting.

By using our simple system, you can learn step-by-step how to get started on the path to becoming financially independent.

Please reply so that we could email you more information about this position. No financial contribution of any kind required.

Regards,
Mike Lee

Links encountered

Listed in order encountered; not necessarily a comprehensive list.

  • http://western-solutions.eu/vacancies_form.html

Website

Here is a snapshot of the website taken at around the time this entry was posted. Note the extreme similarity to "Trigon Partners" and "River Partners".

Sample text

The following text is included on the "vacancies" page, shown above.

Please fill out the form if you are interested in joining our company. We will endeavor to help you find an appropriate position. We are seeking people who are serious about changing their financial future using our exclusive systems and information technology. You can start making money right away, and it's FREE to join! Please fill in the information below, and we will contact you shortly!

Domain information (for experts)

Limited WHOIS information is provided here, primarily for the purposes of trend analysis. I do not include most of the registrant details, since these are invariably false and may point to innocent third parties.

western-solutions.eu

Query at around 2007-01-30 06:18 UTC

Domain:      western-solutions
Registered: Sat Jan 27 2007

Registrar:
Name: CSL GmbH Computer Service Langenbach d/b/a joker.com
Website: www.joker.com

Nameservers:
ns1.time-am.com
ns2.time-am.com

2 comments:

Sean Kearney said...

I would like to ask that this post be taken down now, since it is fairly old now. Western Solutions, LLC is a real company based in the United States and is not in any way affiliated with this scam. We try hard to recruit professionals and we fear that potential candidates may be getting confused and thinking that this company is us. Most intelligent people research employers on the internet these days and this post is quite likely hurting our recruiting efforts. We have already had several of our vendors and partners forward your article to us with concern.

If you do not wish to remove this post, would you at least revise it to inform readers that this is not the same company as ours, located at www.wswebhq.com?

Thank you,

Sean Kearney
Business Products & Services Manager
Western Solutions, LLC

Spotter said...

As always, my readers should bear in mind that names are usually not unique. The "Western Solutions" that has posted above is not related to this scam. If you are trying to determine whether the "Western Solutions" located at www.wswebhq.com is legitimate, then I don't know and I can't help you.

I am, however, not taking this page down. It's part of the historical record, and it pre-dates the registration of wswebhq.com, which only happened in mid-2008, according to WHOIS records. I'm not going to make a habit of deleting my blog entries for every Johnny-come-lately that turns up using a name that has been involved in a past scam.