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.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Regional Logistics Manager at Quick Auction

Hi, everyone. It's been years since I've posted anything new here, because there's been nothing new and interesting to report -- just more of the same old same old. Today, however, I happened across something I haven't seen before. In one sense, it's just another run-of-the-mill job scam, but this time we get a special behind-the-scenes peek at how job scammer spam works, and I think that's worth sharing.

So, while doing a little research for someone who sent in an inquiry about a job offer from "Quick Auction Group", my Google search struck gold. This particular spammer is using a compromised third-party website as his spamming platform -- a popular choice these days -- but this one is indexed by Google, which usually doesn't happen. As a result, I found the template file that is being used to generate this particular spam.

When you're a spammer, one of the problems that you face is that it's easy to detect spam when you send out millions of copies of exactly the same message. Spammers don't want to be easy to detect, so they need to make each message as different as possible, while still being similar enough that it makes no difference to the people who receive it. One way they do this is by the use of randomised templates.

A randomised template is a file that contains all the information which is to go into the email, but parts of it are alternative phrases enclosed in brackets and separated by vertical bars. When the email-generator encounters these constructs, it picks one phrase at random from the group. Thus, if the template contains the text, "See you next (Monday|Tuesday|Wednesday|Thursday|Friday), spammer!", the email-generator might produce the phrase, "See you next Tuesday, spammer!" as its output -- or it might choose some other day of the week.

Given enough alternative phrases of this sort, each email can be more-or-less unique, while being more-or-less the same as every other email in all the important details. This technique also makes it much harder to search for key phrases in the email, since there's no guarantee that any particular phrase is fixed rather than random. Or it would make it much harder to search for key phrases if it weren't for the fact that these hapless crooks left their whole template in a location which is indexed by Google.

In any case, without further ado, here is what a job scammer template looks like, given the particular template system that this one uses. Note that they've put a lot of effort into making the email "subject" header variable. Nearly half the template is dedicated to variations on that one part!

    [id] => 51c37dc004a07
    [key] => 123
    [from] =>
    [subjects] => (Fresh|New|Latest|Current|Brand new) (job|work|vacancy|position|opening|job offer|offer|employment offer|employment|post).
(Explore|Investigate|Examine|Consider|Study) (career|profession|employment) (opportunities|occasions|openings|options|possibilities).
(Find|Get|Obtain) New (employment|job|work|position|place|post).
(Find|Get|Obtain) new (work|position|employment|job|place|post).
(Job|Work|Employment) (opportunity|offer|option|possibility).
(Job|Work|Employment) (opening|opportunity|possibility).
(Position|Job) offer for %cell1% !
(Message|Notice) for %cell1%
%cell1%'s (resume|careerbuilder profile)
(Dear|Hello) %cell1% ! (We are|Our company is) interested in (your skills|you)
(Job|Work|Employment) (advice|direction|guidance|help|hints|guidelines|recommendations).
(Equal opportunity|Equal rights|Equality|Equality of rights|Fairness).
(Find|Get|Obtain) your (next|new|fresh) (career|profession|employment|job|post|position) (here|with us)!
(Help|Assistance|Support) (wanted|needed|desired).
(Manage|Direct|Control|Rule|Organize|Handle) your (career|profession|employment|job|post|position).
(Employment|Work|Job|Career) (opportunity|offer|option|possibility).
(Build|Get|Make|Create|Have) a Better (Career|Employment|Job|Career Development).
(Find|Get|Obtain) your (calling|profession|occupation|job|work|career|employment).
(Job|Work|Employment|Vacancy|Opening) (Fairs|Festivals|exhibitions|markets).
(Find|Get|Obtain) the (job|work|position|post|employment|career|profession) that's (right for|just for|suits) (you|your ambitions|your expectations|your requirements).
(Launch|Start|Begin|Boost|Develop) your (career|work|employment).
(Looking for|Seeking|You are after|Want to find) (prospective|good|decent|well-paid) (jobs|employment|career|work|positions|opportunities)?
(Great|Fantastic|Decent|Good|Marvellous) (career|employment|job|career development) (opportunities|occasions|openings|options|possibilities).
(Find|Get|Obtain) your (dream|best) (job|occupation|work|job|position|post|employment)!
(Job|Employment|Work|Vacancy|Opening) (Offer|Proposal|Proposition) (Letter|Notification|Message|Note|Information)
We are (Hiring|Engaging|Contracting). (Description|Summary|Information|Info|Data|Report|Presentation) (Attached|Enclosed)
Our company is (Recruiting|Employment|Enrolling). (Immediate|Instant|Prompt|Fast|Rapid) (Start|Beginning|Commencement)
(Employment|Work|Career|Job) (Opportunity|Possibility|Options) – (Freight|Goods|Cargoes) (Forwarding|Delivery|Shipment)
(Career|Employment|Work|Job|Position|Vacancy|Profession) in Logistics - (Immediate|Instant|Prompt|Fast|Rapid) (Start|Beginning|Commencement)
(Freight|Goods|Cargoes) (Forwarding|Delivery|Shipment) (Assistant|Manager|Representative|Employee) (position|job|opening|work). (Details|Further information|Description|Summary) (inside|attached|enclosed)
New (Career|Employment|Work|Job) (Path|Way|Boost|Opportunity) – (Apply|Put in for) (Today|Now|This Day)
Logistics (Job|Employment|Work|Vacancy|Opening) (Offer|Proposal|Proposition) – (apply|put in for) (now|today|this day|as soon as possible), (start|begin|commence) (tomorrow|the next day)
(Position|Job) offer for %cell1% !
(Message|Notice) for %cell1%
%cell1%'s (resume|careerbuilder profile)
(Dear|Hello) %cell1% ! (We are|Our company is) interested in (your skills|you)
(Position|Job) offer for %cell1% !
(Message|Notice) for %cell1%
%cell1%'s (resume|careerbuilder profile)
(Dear|Hello) %cell1% ! (We are|Our company is) interested in (your skills|you)
    [message] => (Hello|Good day|Nice to meet you) %cell1%

This is an offer of employment as a Regional Logistics Manager at (Quick Auction|Quick Auction Inc|Quick Auction Group Int|Quick Auction Co. Ltd|Quick Auction LLC|Quick Auction Group Co. Ltd), the Australian drop-off sales (business|company) which is expanding to the USA (the following|this) month. This offer is provided to you after looking up into your resume, (provided|sent) to us by our HR agency. 

Your (title|post|position) will be Regional Logistics Manager if you (accept|agree to) this (offer|proposal) and you will report to (Herlinda Mallow|Cinderella Kushner|Virgina Tupper|Marie Glorioso|Janessa Azar|Chaya Plata|Olga Kesselman|Laverna Stober|Salina Grist|Shani Claire|Marlon Vanslyke|Julieann Kolb|Dennise Halcomb|Larita Brierly|Kate Raffield|Fabiola Mcnerney|Jestine Lowe|Trinidad Garth|Terrell Wasinger|Monika Laguna|Sade Nicley|Wendolyn Beam|Danette Romig|Tosha Bull|Carleen Eilers|Adena Gendreau|Francoise Brister|Nakita Essary|Herta Hoos|Olin Everette|Roselia Burrowes|Naida Frick|Selena Alvin|Elke Chatham|Perla Truelove|Josette Yochum|May Mckinnie|Winnifred Herrada|Mariel Tawney|Sanford Yancey|Jesusa Huckstep|Misti Lukasik|James Olander|Kyong Cabezas|Booker Vandeventer|Carolann Maselli|Heide Laman|Jacqueline Gayman|Michael Remaley|Dorine Nuss) - (HR Manager|Head Office Manager|General Director|CEO|Commercial Director|Human Resourse Departmnet|Recruiting Department|Hiring Department|Local Representative|Logistics Manager) of (Quick Auction|Quick Auction Inc|Quick Auction Group Int|Quick Auction Co. Ltd|Quick Auction LLC|Quick Auction Group Co. Ltd) through the (trial|probation) period.

(Pay|Payrate|Salary) : Payments (during|within) the first (trial|probation) (month|work month) are piecework. In case of further permanent employment a fixed fee for each deal will be (completed by|combined with) a monthly (pay|payment|salary) in the amount of 1,600 ($|usd).

Requirements: Access to the internet during the (day|workday|business hours) and basic microsoft office skills are required.

(Where?|Place|Location) : Home (office|based) US wide.

Schedule : Flexible during the daytime, not more than (2-3|3-4) hours (per|each) day.

Costs and Fees : There are NO costs and fees (ever|at any time) for our employees.

Further Hiring Process: If you are interested in (position we offer|offered post), please reply by email and send us the copy of your (cv|resume). As soon as you express your interest by (confirming|sending us) your (cv|resume) - we will provide all the (connecting|required) details about the company, the business we operate, your future job-responsibilites, bonuses and vacations for our staff.

Thank You for your attention
(Quick Auction|Quick Auction Inc|Quick Auction Group Int|Quick Auction Co. Ltd|Quick Auction LLC|Quick Auction Group Co. Ltd).

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