How to Spot a Scam

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How to Avoid Employment Scams

Anyone who has posted their resume on one of the online recruitment websites (,, etc) will have received one or many offers for work. The work seems easy, the pay is good, the experience is negligable - what can go wrong? Well, in 99.9% of cases, it's simple fraud - and you can end up an accomplice - try explaining to the police why you're sending money to a known criminal and trying to cash fake checks - not going to look good on your credit history if you get a criminal record too!

The important thing is to do your research to avoid getting stung. A pretty good rule is this:

If you get an unsolicited email offering you 'work-from-home', hit the 'delete' key- it's almost certainly a scam!

The "Money Mule"

A"money mule" or "money transfer agent" is used to launder funds obtained as a result of phishing and Trojan scams. After being recruited by the fraudsters, money mules receive funds into their accounts and they then withdraw the money and send it overseas using a wire transfer service, minus a commission payment.

Money mules are recruited by a variety of methods, including spam emails, adverts on genuine recruitment web sites, approaches to people with their CVs available online, instant messaging and adverts in newspapers.

Positions on offer sometimes include "Local Representative Needed ", "Shipping Manager", "Financial Manager" or "Sales Manager". They offer you the chance to earn some easy money for a few hours work each week, usually just requiring that you have access to the Internet and a bank account.

Check Fraud

Example 1 (Africa Satellite Company) Example 2 (Germansun, Ricoh)

Recently the scam as perpetrated by Avanger/Avangar-europe/Germansun
etc. has involved using counterfeit 'certified checks/cheques', paid directly into the employee's bank account, followed very quickly by instructions to 'send on the rest'. By the time the check has been found to be a fake, the employee has passed on the cash, usually by Western Union (the Scammer's best friend!).

Remember, if a fake check is paid into your account and you draw on it, YOU are responsible for returning the money to the bank. The Bank will not bail you out!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good advice, I wasnt aware that "working from home" vacancies posted on the internet were tentamount to fraud. will post on our facebook group
online recruitment