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

Blogger with a passion for IT-security, online marketing and blogging. Follow me on Google+ (+Kim Falkner) or LinkedIn (Kim Falkner on LinkedIn)
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24 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?

  6. Shelly says:

    I’m not sure if this job is a scam or not. The interview was done over Yahoo Messenger and they said they will mail me my hire documents to sign. They have not asked for any personal information other than what is on my resume that anyone could see. I am a bit unsure of how legitimate this is.

  7. Toni says:

    Beware!! 1-904-414-6808 number is not a legitimate phone number for Innovative Systems Inc or isys in Jacksonville Fla. It’s used as a front to appear legitimate on a website they just registered on 11/11/2014 at isysincorporated.com on the Vooservers hosting account in the UK that’s hosted numerous bogus webdesign, graphics, printing etc business websites for them so they can operate a “work from home employment scam” to get unsuspecting new “employees” SS numbers and bank account info in order to deposit stolen money and get them to withdraw the cash and wire the cash money to the Czech Republic or other country overseas.

    Tip: They use the same webpanel that employees “work” from on all their fake websites and the isys one can be found at isysincorporated.com/panel and they are using the actual name of the registered agent for the real Innovative Systems company -Ann Bergman! The legitimate phone number is 904-367-0355.

    The last job scam they ran was for Alphagraphics Inc in Jacksonville Fla. in Oct and Nov 2014 and the phone # they used was 904-638-9119 The website they set up was us549alphagraphics.com
    and the “webpanel” address was us549alphagraphics.com/panel working under the name of Kent Brooks who has a strong foreign accent.

    They are getting resumes off of job sites like Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com and sending emails to actual job seekers to offer a Customer Service Manager “work from home” position. This is how they find their unsuspecting mules.

  8. phil Humphries says:

    Yes they conned me, now my bank is investigating me, not happy, ( it was too good to be true lol )

  9. Tony says:

    +1 (904) 414-6808

    This is a scam and Ann Bergman does not exist.

  10. anthony says:

    so im not getting paid ? phil how many times did you transfer money ?

  11. phil says:

    only did one transfer lol the bank has now closed my account. have to go and open another one today

  12. anthony says:

    did you go to the police ? did you get paid ? lol

  13. anthony says:

    how much did you transfer and were did you send it ?

  14. phil says:

    will go to police soon I transferd £1890.00 to russa

  15. anthony says:

    Have you spoke to ann bergman since ? proper gutting was hoping to get paid today !!!

  16. phil says:

    never spoken to her, where do you live? ann dose not exist

  17. anthony says:

    have you messaged the person acting as ann bergman since ? England you?

  18. phil says:

    yes but no reply

  19. Ivan says:

    It seems I’m another fool that was cheated. I’m from Bulgaria and I talked to Ann Bergman once, she introduced herself, etc. She used to give me tasks on daily basis /marketing researches mostly/ and on December, 5th she disappeared suddenly. I tried to log in the web panel yesterday and of course the server was not found neither their corporate website. I know I’m not going to get a dime but thanks God I’ve never transferred money to anyone. The positive is that I learned my lesson but I’m now wondering if there’s a way to make those bastards pay?

  20. Rasmus says:

    Hello to all,
    I read about this Ann Bergam and I can’t find any more the website/panel where Ann is make me to lose my job before new year for work like Regional Representative in UK.

    After one month I get one ” job ” to send in Ukraine money. After I send all money, I been out from server and I can’t reply them or have ensure from this email careers@isysincorporated.com what I hope it to continue with, the contract I have it.
    Now I need to look for new job but is very hard to find in UK special with no hope when I am from different country.
    I wish this people to go in prison or to stop them for ever.
    All this number I get phone call from them +13058515097.

    I will go with my contract to Police and I hope they can help me to find what they doing this???
    Is any one here from London to have Contract from this “fake” Company?

    Thank you to all for comment what you share here.

  21. Kimball Edwin Durand says:

    I need your help. I was cheated by Qualify Me in Australia. US$7000 is a fortune.

    I have spent lots of money in different parts of the world 10 years. I would estimate in those times that totaled, they almost reach a million dollars. Don’t get me wrong whoever is reading this. The topic I am about to give is about spending WISELY.I warn everyone, personal and professional, who plan to spend anything to get to Australia, NOT to spend it with Qualifymenow, Qualifymefast, Qualifyme.edu.au. Once it gets in their hands, Its damned to hell, It is like hammered shit, Just forget about it.They put the words “Recognition of prior learning” or “E-Learning” and “Career Development” and “Professional Development” in the same sentence as their short courses are absolute bullshit. They just run off and fuck with the money of other people who desperately want to get to Australia one way or another. Spend wisely, my dear beloved readers. It does not grow on trees.

    Operating a company is a professional business in Australia as it is everywhere. Those who have access to money will qualify for the criteria. If their campaign with their short courses is successful and the business is successful, Income is generated and the recognition of prior learning business grows. This is needed to be sure that you have a stable and professional partner with their career to get to Australia. The cost of professional advertising is just a small amount of money. Since. Qualifymefast, Qualifymenow, qualifyme.edu.au weasels out most of the deal with their short courses, the stolen money is always more than enough to compensate for their advertising costs. Only in them I see a lot of mysterious stuff that will qualify as paranormal activity with recognition of prior learning going on. They promise a lot with their short courses to have recognition of prior learning and a professional career in Australia. They surely have a career keeping your money, but NOT their promises of developing your professional career to qualify and move your chosen industry in Australia with their short courses for recognition of prior learning. They also offer more short courses for your career and professional development than a fast food restaurant has on their menu. The most difficult task for the candidates is to pass the interview with the Australian embassy, the first requirement to have a career in Australia, without it, all recognition of prior learning is useless. Those professional Qualify Me Bandits will take the money of every guy whether they pass the interview for Australia or not. They only care to be paid for their short courses and recognition of prior learning. It is one of the most difficult yet they took my money even if I failed. WHY THE FUCKING SHIT AM I PAYING FOR A CAREER IN AUSTRALIA WHICH I WILL NEVER HAVE? They cook the main courses for disaster with their recognition of prior learning.

  22. Christian says:

    Here is a job spam I got few days ago
    Yeah too good to be true.
    Btw they frigging knew my name

    In this letter we would like to offer you to collaborate with our company as a “QUALITY CONTROLLER”. ROMO PROMO represents some of the world’s finest corporations, including many Fortune & Global 150 companies.
    Our clients include restaurants, retail stores, casinos, financial institutions, hotels and resorts and more. In order to continually provide a fresh perspective for our clients, ROMO PROMO screens secret shopper and exit interviewer applicants on an ongoing basis. We provide clients with a comprehensive customer intelligence solution which includes collecting and analyzing multiple customer experience data streams from their locations.

    • OPEN POSITION:

    QUALITY CONTROLLER (REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE)
    QUALITY CONTROLLER DUTIES: Performing secret shopping projects is a great way for you to make additional income while helping companies to improve their level of customer service. ROMO PROMO offers 100 secret shopping assignments each month across more than 12 industries.
    LOCATION: JAPAN (Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, Chubu, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, Kyushu, Okinawa)

    This is a part-time job:

    1) With part-time schedule (planned schedule)
    2) With permanent employment (planned schedule)
    3) With pre-planned schedule

    Please find in the attachment all the necessary documents:

    1) Quality Controller_Job Offer.pdf
    2) Employment Application.docx

    In a case you have any questions left about your future position, duties and benefits, or want to learn more details , feel free to contact HR Department. If you agree of this offer, You can send a request for cooperation with the information about you or your company (Employment Application.docx) on e-mail/fax: hr@event-promotion.co.uk or +44 (0)20 7681 2543
    If you need any assistance, or any further info do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

    Best regards, Michael Tooley
    Regional CDM
    hr@event-promotion.co.uk
    http://www.event-promotion.co.uk

  23. Jeremy says:

    Anyone get a job offer from teleperformance? I did a lot of research and everything looked fine. They sent me a check for supplies and the bank cleared it. I thought it was legit. They had me wire money to serveral people and days later the bank told me the check was altered and charged my account for the amount the check wad worth. The lady’s name was madaam angel brown. Shes on google and linked in.

  24. Teresa says:

    Jeremy, I received that same one. I received this the check, but thanks be to God that I had a feeling that something didn’t “smell” right. I kept playing the game with her after she kept asking me (via google hangout). I sent the check to my bank & after I did it, that’s when I actually smelled a rat. I called the fraud department immediately to report it. The bank didn’t charge me a dime. These scammers tried that about a month ago. But, lo & behold, I just received (this morning) another scam job offer from them. It appears that a “Mr. Kari Toivonen” will be conducting the next “interview.” I’m praying that the FBI will find these scammers, lock them up & throw away the key!

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