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.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Avatar Web Promotions

Damn, these scams are coming thick and fast at the moment. A quick search shows that there is an entity called "Avatar Web Promotions" operating in New Zealand, but the scammers who sent this recruitment spam used a computer in Poland and a Spanish "from" address, so they're obviously not related, despite using the same name. They don't specify what the job involves, but it's always the same story with job scams targeting Australia and New Zealand: money laundering. Yes, I'll wager that these scammers are looking for money mules to receive stolen money via direct bank transfer, and forward it to them (probably somewhere in Eastern Europe) via Western Union. Steer clear.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: [redacted (suspected false)]
Date: 2008/9/11 UTC
Subject: Management consultant
To: [redacted (privacy)]

[image redacted]

Company Name

Avatar Web Promotions

Job Category

Cust. Rep.; Manager


Australia/New Zealand

Position Type

Employee, Part-Time


from 3,000.00/month

Sales Experience


Education Level

High School or Equivalent

Date Opened


We are looking for someone with superior communication skills to enhance our team. We have various positions opened. Don't waste your time, this position is limited. Read requirements and send us your CV for qualification.


  1. Strong computer and internet skills
  2. Be able to serve our virtual office system
  3. Perfect communication verbal and written skills
  4. Strong MS Office skills

Education and Experience:

  1. High school or equivalent
  2. Sales/management experience 1+ (desired but optional)

Mon-Fri; 9:30am – 12:30pm;

This is a great chance to enjoy large International Corporation and put your career to right hands. Send your CV to our E-mail right now, try your chances:

Give us 2-3 days to reply back with results. Thanks a lot for your time and have a great day!


AdvResources Inc. 2008


Anonymous said...

I received one of these in the United States. Apparently they are cruising the resume sites ( for emails to send to. I found your blog via a Google search for Avatar looking for information about them. Thanks for the info! By the way the person who replied to me was Mark Konagai []

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I did a Google search for this. It didn't feel right, but this just confirms it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Mark here from the real Avatar Web Promotions.

We have had numerous people complain about emails from these fraudulent Gmail etc accounts. Please be assured that these fraudsters have nothing to do with Avatar Limited of New Zealand trading as Avatar Web Promotions.

We have contacted Gmail requesting that they terminate these accounts.

It's very disturbing to us that they're using our name and branding for this nefarious campaign. It demonstrates that we're still in the Wild West phase of the Internet, when any jerk can steal your branding and send out this junk.

Spotter said...

Thanks for stopping by, Mark. I don't think the Internet is ever going to get past the "Wild West" phase. Being able to lie about your identity in this manner is just a side effect of an open, global communications network. The best that we can hope is that people wise up to this fact and start taking identity claims with a large grain of salt.