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, May 11, 2009

Currency Exchange

This looks like an attempt to recruit unwitting volunteers into organised credit card fraud. One technique for turning stolen credit cards into hard cash is to set up a fake online shop, then conduct a large number of small fraudulent purchases on that shop with stolen credit card data. As is usually the case, the organisers behind this kind of crime prefer to hire some ignorant middle-man to handle most of the high-profile activity by which one might be traced. The middle-man has the task of forwarding on the ill-gotten gains in a less easily traced manner -- and liaising with the police when the fraud is eventually uncovered. In this case, there may be a direct tie-in with other "internet currency" services, but it's hard to be sure.

It's also possible that the entire point of this scam is the "test transactions" in the "training period". These could be used to directly defraud the "employee". Again, it's hard to be sure in advance. The modus operandi of the spammers suggests more sophistication than simple hit-and-run fraud, but it's a distinct possibility.

Multiple instances of this spam were received, all to fairly old email addresses which have long since been retired into service as spamtraps. In all cases, the "from" address was the same as the "to" address, and actual contact was requested through a Gmail account having a user name of ten or eleven random letters. The number of such random accounts appears to be quite large. The spams originated in South America: some from Brasil, some from Colombia.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: [redacted (same as "to")]
Date: 2009/5/4 UTC
Subject: Hiring
To: [redacted (privacy)]

Currency Exchange center is looking for responsible, bright and progressive representatives on territory of U.S.
Our company provides an opportunity for U.S. citizens to purchase internet currencies such as Web-Money, E-Gold and etc.

We need a person that will be in charge of a payment process within clients purchase an Internet Currency of particular
services that they have chosen.

All major Currency Exchange procedures will be covered by our accounting department.
Main responsibility of Representative in U.S. is a physical or online assistance with funds for an Internet Currency purchase.

Our customers purchasing Internet Currencies in order to have access to particular
services and products unavailable to purchase in U.S.

We will open an Corporate Account on Employees name in U.S. under company's authoruty.
During the training period which might last from 2 to 3 weeks, candidate applied for a position
ought to use his or her personal account for a test transactions in order to confirm that candidate is capable enough to manage this position.

Responsibilities of Regional Representative/Exchange Officer:
1). Make appointments with the clients (in person, over the phone, online chat) and schedule dates for payments.
2). Receive payments from U.S. customers for a particular Internet Currencies they are interested in purchasing.
3). Process funds to an Agents overseas.

Job Description:
- Part Time Job (2-4 business days a week)
- Flexibale Schedule
- 1000 USD basic salary once every two weeks (plus from 5 to 10% from every processed operation)
- Tax Free (except Personal Income Tax by the end of the year)

If you are interested in this offer please reply back to [randomletters] with following information and one of our Operators will contact
you shortly to assist you with your questions:
- First Name:
- Last Name:
- Full Address:
- Cell/Residential Contact Number:
- Best time to reach you:

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