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).

Permission Settings
You have been referred to (Quick Auction|Quick Auction Inc|Quick Auction Group Int|Quick Auction Co. Ltd|Quick Auction LLC|Quick Auction Group Co. Ltd). If you feel you (have received|received) this (email|message) (by|in) (mistake|error) or do not wish to receive any future (emails|messages), please reply to this message with "(remove|decline|unsubscribe)" in the subject field. We will immediately update our database accordingly.
    [mails] =>|Sailaja Machiraju|5039222497|Kristen Laramore|</td>|Dalia Diaz|413-512-1120|Pamela Johnson|8644331823
ALIZE093@HOTMAIL.COM|TABITHA COOPER|773-619-6334|Topher McClellan|509 240-4250

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

North Trade (

A correspondent just informed me of this job scam, which came via Careerbuilder. They are recruiting for money mules, to forward stolen money to them. The domain name used by this scam is "", and it was registered a week ago at the time of this post, so this is still a relatively fresh scam.

   Status: clientTransferProhibited
   Updated Date: 14-sep-2010
   Creation Date: 14-sep-2010
   Expiration Date: 14-sep-2012

Customer Service Position (application procedure)  
Dear X,

Thank you for your interest in a employment with North Trade. I would like to give you a succinct synopsis of the Customer Service Specialist's job description and position requirements.

Company Overview

North Trade is a private investment program backed by gold, Forex, bonds, stock trading, and investments in various funds and activities all over the globe. Our mission is to provide our investors with a great opportunity to grow their money by investing as cautiously as possible in a wide variety of arenas while obtaining the highest rates of return. North Trade is a well constructed investment portal; we provide a safe, secure, 100% guaranteed investment environment to all investors, all over the world. We have constructed an exceptionally secure system to provide our clients with this protection.
Visit Our Website at

Job Type: Customer Service
Position Type: Work at home
Employment Type: Full-Time or Part-time (20-30 hours per week minimum)
Opening Date: 9/13/2010
Closing Date: Open until filled

Job Description

Operational hours: 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, your local time.
Salary range: $19 per hour, plus bonus remuneration for every processed task.
The salary is paid every two weeks.

Position Requirements

This is not a telemarketing or a direct sales job, and there are no initial deposits or payments to be made prior or after taking this position. You're going to be processing client requests, performing day-to-day operations (e.g. editorial work with documentation, processing company's product-related paperwork, communication with clientele), and providing daily reports to your personal manager. You will be receiving assignments on a daily basis via online back-office system. Every assignment contains detailed directions on how to proceed with the current tasks, and must be processed within the designated timeframe.

Our Benefits

Each Customer Service Specialist is provided with employment benefits after successful probationary period (30 days). The employment benefits include:

- Stock options;
- 401k;
- Flex-Time;
- Health & Dental;
- Professional development programs

* Detailed information concerning the employment benefits will be provided after probationary period successful completion.

How to proceed with your employment process?

To get started with the Customer Service Specialist position we recommend you to review this step-by-step guide:

1. Download an Employment Application (Your application form is attached to this letter)

2. Please carefully review this form, print out, fill in by hand and fax back to one of our U.S. numbers: +1-800-537-6909 or return a scanned and signed copy via REPLYING to this e-mail.

3. Fill in the form below to confirm an offer. It must be completed and sent back via REPLY.

Offer Confirmation Form
Full name:
Phone #:

4. As soon as we receive required forms, we will provide you with all necessary instructions within 48 hours and a registration link to our online back-office system which will allow you to communicate with your personal manager and schedule interview time.

Please don't hesitate to contact us to eliminate any difficulties or if you have questions. Our support team and a free training course are always available for our applicants.

Matthew Howard,
HR & Operational Manager,
North Trade.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

SW Europe Company

I'm posting this one only because it got past the Gmail spam filter. The sender used a WiMax Internet connection in Pakistan (if the WHOIS record for is to be believed). The job description is really vague, but it's probably cheque fraud or a reshipper scam. It's definitely a scam, though: they're spamming it out and saying "I just found your email". No they didn't: they're looking for victims.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Hilary Richardson <>
Date: 31 August 2010 21:01
Subject: Launch your career - (id. 1283252493)
To: [redacted]

Hello !

My name is  Sam Arlandos and I am the HR manager for SW Europe Company. I have just found your e-email at one of the HR resource and I am sure that you would be interested in the new job vacancies at SW Europe Company:

Vacant position: Agent Sypply Department.

- promoting quality achievement and performance improvement throughout the organization
- working with purchasing staff to establish quality requirements from external suppliers
- setting up and maintaining controls and documentation procedures
- availability of spare time (3-4 hours per day)
- advanced user ability to operate PC and to use Internet and e-mail.

- flexible work schedule
- possibility to combine the job with primary employment

Our analysts observe strongly pronounced economic growth in all departments of SW Company for the latest quarter of this year due to perfect and well coordinated work of our team.

For more information, please reply to:

Best regards, Sebastian Turner
Senior HR manager
SW Europe Company

Friday, August 06, 2010

Chongqing Hockey Academy

A correspondent reports the unhappy news that he has lost money to these scammers. This fake job offer is actually an advance fee fraud scam: they express an interest in hiring you, but require that you pay airfares and other fees. There is no job: it's just a con. If someone wants to hire you for anything, require them to cover any and all associated costs, and assume it's a scam if they won't.

Scammers change the names associated with their scams quite regularly, so if you see something that looks similar to this, but with different names, the chances are that it's exactly the same scam.

From: Martin Chen []
Subject: Experienced Coaches/Players Needed


Chongqing hockey Academy is a newly opened hockey club/academy located in Liaocheng, Shandong Province in China.
This hockey academy is sponsored by the Chinese Sport Council (CSC), Chinese hockey Federation (CHA) and
other reputable companies.

The Academy looking at building on this and make it a profitable academy at beginner and intermediate level for the
Chinese Sport Council CSC in the nearest future. You may need to expand to all levels from mini tots to advanced
tour players to old social players Just to make it more profitable at present we have 6 hockey Courts
including Clay with Modernized indoor and outdoor facilities.
The players are from 38-42 in number all are beginners.
The players can communicate in English.

The job description includes, training, instructs hockey players by analyzing their Performances and developing
their abilities.
You閳ユ獧e Responsibilities: 

Carry out all aspects of the hockey program necessary to accomplish objectives of the sport within the guidelines of
the Chinese Sport Council (CSC), Chinese hockey Federation (CHF) and Academy rules rules.

Responsible for managing the hockey Academy, which includes memberships, court scheduling, recruiting of members,
financial accounting and hours of operation as set by the (CHA).

* Select, supervise and evaluate assistant coaches.

*Manage the academy budget.

*Market and promote hockey Academy program.

*Ability to effectively analyze and teach the fundamental hockey skills and strategies of 
 the sport

*Plans Game-Day Tactics and Skill Instruction

Each coach is entitled to a self contained house with all equipped housing facilities.Luxury
Apartments. Air-conditioned. 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms with fully fitted kitchen, laundry room, lounge/dining room
and balconies.
Suitable for families or small groups (up to 8 people).Two swimming pools and private communal garden.
1 kilometer From the hockey Academy.
Our living apartments are Private.
Salary and Benefits: $18,300 monthly can be transferred to any Bank or Country
of your Choice and all transfers must be made in conformity with the existing tax situation in China.
Furnished House, Air Way Ticket, Health Insurance, language tutor.

Contract Duration: 24 months (Liable for upward review depending on your commitment and expertise)

We hereby inform that if this Offer is acceptable to you, you are requested to send us an Acceptance letter
with your passport photograph via email to :( and your C.V/RESUME
to enable us proceed with relevant Processing.

Mr.Martin Chen Lee

Chonqging hockey Academy
No.52 international Park Xiang Gang Zhong,Liaocheng,
Shandong Province
CHINA 252000

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Chiffon Lace Fabric

This is a money mule scam. I haven't done a search to see whether or not there is a real "Chiffon Lace Fabric" company at the given address, but you can rest assured that they have nothing to do with this scam if they exist.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Chiffon Lace Fabric <[unverifiable]>
Date: 5 June 2010 22:21
Subject: VACANCY

Chiffon Lace Fabric is actively seeking For Online Clerk/Representative
in the United State Of America, United Kingdom and Canada to
represent its interests. We were able to get your email address with the
help of marketing research based in your location. You will work as an
independent contractor right from your home or office. This vacant
position is available for anybody that is interested in earning some extra
money to pay bills and to go on vacations. This job will not take too much
of your time and there is no reason for you to quit your present job. This
post is available for everyone both employed and unemployed because this
will not affect your present occupation status all you need is to have a
minimum of 1hr to spend for this work everyday.


We have sales representatives to distribute our products. There are hundreds
of competitors, close direct contacts between suppliers and customers and
other difficulties, which impede our sales promotion. We have decided  to
deliver the products upfront, it's very risky but it should push up sales on 25
percent. Presently with the amount of Orders we have, we cannot put them on
hold For fear of loosing the customers out rightly.


You are to coordinate payments from customers or dispatch payment slips.
Your status will determine where you will be posted. You will be notified
when you are getting any payment by a representative of our company or when
any slip will be sent to you depends on the position you fit into.
You are not involved in any sales. Once orders are received and sorted we
deliver the product to the customers and you coordinate the payment as instructed.
You will need to take record of every payment sent to you and for every payment
you process there will be 10% percent commission for you which means if you can
successfully get 10,000 Dollars or Pounds from our customer's per week, you will
have 1,000 Dollars or Pounds as your commission and if you work harder there will
always be a monthly bonus for you. You do not need any materials than your
computer with internet access and telephone to be qualify for this Job.

if you are interested in this job let me know and confirm you availability by
filling the form below and sending it back to us.

Full Name:----------
Street Address:----------
Zip code:----------
Phone Number:----------
Current Occupation:----------
Position Held:----------


If you can not meet this requirements, Please don't
reply to this email, We are looking for people with the highest
standards of honesty and integrity only. Please do not apply if
you feel you cannot handle large sums of cash without being
tempted to perform a dishonest Act. Passwords, SSN etc, If anyone
asks for those on our behalf please do not give out this info.
This is to ensure your security and non involvement in cases of
Identity theft.

Chiffon Lace Fabric
210, Sinsiao Road, South District,Tainan,Taiwan
2008 (c) Chiffon Lace Fabric