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, March 17, 2008

Holmes Recruitment Agency

This is just a random Nigerian scammer, and the name he's using seems to be completely made up. He's being extremely nondescript about the kind of work available, which leaves me insufficient information to determine which particular scam he's pulling. It's probably one of two Nigerian specialities: advance fee fraud, or check forgery. If it's advance fee fraud (which I think is the more likely case), the scammer will say that he's found you a job, but there are certain expenses involved in getting it. The promise of a job (there is no actual job) is the bait; the fee is the hook. If it's check forgery, then the scammer offers you a job as a money mule, accepting payments by cheque, and forwarding cash via Western Union. The chance to keep a percentage of the payment is the bait; the fact that the checks are clever forgeries and will eventually be dishonoured is the hook.

The originating IP address of the second email below was, which (by current WHOIS data) is in Nigeria. Note that the UK +4470 telephone number can be redirected internationally at no cost to the scammer -- Nigerian scammers love them.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mr. Richard Holmes <>
Date: 16 Mar 2008 XX:XX UTC
Subject: JOB OFFER

William Recruitment Agency is an outfit in England
that helps people to live and get a good work in
We are a non-profit organization that is here to help
the underdeveloped countries.
Do you really need to live and work? Gibbon is the answer Apply today with your resume attached to us online via email attachment for safety.

Mr Richard
Phone (+44) 702 405 2582

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: 17 Mar 2008 XX:XX UTC
Subject: Information on Request......
To: Deception Spotter <>


Thanks for your mail to us.We are happy to have heard
from you and want to let you know that we do welcome
questions like yours.

I want to let you know that we recruit all spheres of
qualifcation ranging
from,Unskilled,Skilled,Semi-Skilled Labours and

Experince and Awards attached is an added advantage to
you because its attracts more salary to your offer.

We will be expecting to have your Resume sent to us
soon for review and possible offer to you.

With Regards,

+44 702 405 2582

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