Current category:Anti-spam

Job spam – Exposing the fake job scammers

After our ventures into revealing the Whirl Wind Software fake software scam and the Google Earth scam we now turn our attention to another annoyance –  fake job spam. Yesterday SPAMfighter blocked 1.829.860 spam mails with the subject field “Administrative Sales Support – Virtual Office”.  Similar subject lines such as, “Current Vacancy”, “Working Part Time” and “Get a New Job Today” have been flooding our SPAMfighter spam filters as well.

You do not have to be a genius to figure out why spammers have turned their evil efforts towards job spam. The current economical crisis has resulted in the lowest global unemployment rates we have seen in recent times and made it an obvious topic for spammers to take advantage of . Interestingly we have also noticed a decrease in Rolex spam, travel spam and the type of spam promoting luxury goods. Who cares about Rolex watches right now with the Occupy Wall Street movement, or the situation in Greece, Italy and Spain  [Editor - other than the 1%] ?  Like art reflecting life, it seems that spam mail is reflecting state of the economy!

The big question is whether  spammers are going for your wallet or your identity, or do you really have a shot at landing your dream job by answering job spam?  The headline of this blog entry pretty much says it all but let’s have a look anyway. First of all, there are the tons of different job spam mails flooding inboxes. The mails all seem to use the same few templates but spammers are varying their identities as well as the job titles. The job opportunities seem to be from a large company with many assistant HR directors. In fact, we have seem at least 50 different assistant HR Directors. Here is one of the job spam mails from assistant HR Director Scottie Michael.

Mystery shopper? The mystery here is how they found us in the “internet resources”. Fortunately, the mails are pretty easily caught by spam filters although spammers are trying to get around this with traditional spammer tricks, such as Self sending spam where the recipient’s name is used as the sender to trick the recipient into believing the mail was sent to herself.  

The only way to apply for this job is by writing to Scottie at his @careerinhubs email address. Not much to say about that domain other than the fact that our check indicates that it was registered only three days ago! We have seen domains like @europjobboard.com, it-jobsearch.com and tech-newposition.com used the same way in previous emails and we are pretty sure it is the same job spammers.

We went on a limb and decided to contact the spammers anonymously. Not that we don’t like our jobs with SPAMfighter but the investigation called for action. We generally don’t encourage you to contact spammers but went ahead for the sake of the experiment. We replied to two of these mails received similar responses.

 

The email contained at application form and we nervously opened it (with SPYWAREfighter active and a closed Internet connection).  Luckily, there was no malware to be found, but lo and behold, the application form requests your bank account number and another reply even requested our passport number!  Just a little odd seeing as how we do not know a thing about the job in question nor have we accepted the opening.

We asked why they needed our bank account # and why we could not find any mentions of the company via internet searches. We never received answers, but instead they kept asking us for our bank account information. 

We kept the communication going on for a while but it always ended up with us having to supply our bank account number. See below:

You can bet that if they get your bank account number all hell will breake loose.  And we wouldn’t be surprised if they eventually started asking you for money instead. You know, the nigerian scam variant of luring your money away. Anyway, thats all for now folks. Here is some general advice on job scams:

Generel tips to avoid job spam:

1. Use a spam filter of course. That will keep the =)/&%% job spam away.
2. Google the job name, the company name and anything else that can be used to identify the sender.
3. Be aware of forms asking for your personal information like bank account and passport numbers.
4. Be rational. Unless you’ve been actively applying for jobs, it’s unlikely someone is going to find you in the “internet resources” and offer you an amazing job.

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About Kim Falkner

VP Marketing for SPAMfighter with a passion for IT-security and blogging. Follow me on Google+ (+Kim Falkner) or LinkedIn (Kim Falkner on LinkedIn)
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5 Comments

  1. Lauren B. says:

    I always get the mystery shopper job spam emails along with other job spam. As if an employer would email you and have a too good to be true job to offer you via email but would need your banking info straight away to pay you before they even hire you? Do people fall for this? I guess the answer is yes, unfortunately. Thanks for pointing out how bad these types of spam are.

  2. Karen says:

    Here is a job scam bank scam email I got today. You only have to work 1/2 hour a day – yeah right!
    _______________________________________________________________________
    This is Sciencetech Inc located in Canada, We are scientific instrument
    designers and manufacturers specializing in optics. We are looking for a sales representatives in your area. This person will be helping us in payment processing from our customers in the United States of America and Canada, expected to work at home.

    OUR MISSION:

    Our Mission is to serve the New Product Development market in the field of Optics and Spectroscopy with dedication, integrity, and excellence.

    YOUR TASKS ARE:

    1. Receive payment from Customers
    2. Monitoring Products and Information’s from Customers.
    3. You are entitled to 15% (percentage) on every Payment processed.

    Requirements:

    1: English proficient
    2: Must be over 18 years Old.
    3: Must have not crime record
    4: Must have a legit bank account.
    5: Must be able to come online at least 30 minutes daily.

    If you are interested reply back with your RESUME plus full name, address and telephone number to contact you. Remember you must have a legit bank account in US.

  3. Greg says:

    I just recieved an e-mail with the exact same verbage but a different name: Erica Stone. I guess Scottie got fired as she claims to be the assistant HR director, too.

  4. Falkner says:

    More of the same stuff. They seem to be promoting “Virtual assistant” jobs right now. Here is a snippet from one of the mails:

    Great company represented in 32 countries worldwide is seeking a Customer Service Representative.
    This is a temporary position with the great opportunity of going permanent.
    The responsibilities are as follows: assist to work with existing clients, arrange and assure preparation,
    final inspection, timely implementation of orders as well as all related documentation and paperwork.

  5. IT Recruitment Manchester says:

    Oh God! There are so many of these! As you can probably imagine, I see a lot of them. Are so many people so gullible that they still get taken in by them?

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