Thursday, 10 June 2010

Scam email recieved

... and so on. The email always seems to come from someone called George Hamilton who may have a gmail or yahoo account. It purports to be offering you a job as a pay coordinator for a Chinese import/export firm based in China.

A basic BS test is failed right away because legitimate firms looking for trustworthy employees do not spam the internet to solicit applications. Generally they advertise somehow and you contact them. However it happens, the offer will not come out of the blue.
We are research and staffing agency base in the United Kingdom. We are contracted by China Resources Retail (Group) Co., Ltd to recruit qualified and trust worthy individuals who will love to = represent the company in your region.
The English is a bit funny coming from a UK agency. Not actually bad in itself, just the phrasing suggests someone for whom English is a second language. Besides, an offer of contract would surely be expressed more in legal language wouldn't it.
We have 5 positions for payment processing officer in your region; its a high paying job.
Duties: Receive payment from our supplies in bank wire transfers and to resend the money to us via Western Union Money.
This is an odd duty. Surely the people paying them can just use the money order themselves? Why do they need a middleman? The message implies it is something to do with English language difficulties. The trouble is that this job only enters the picture after some sort of payment has been negotiated - so any language concerns must have been satisfied already.

All this rings alarm bells. The clincher, however, is in the information they want:
please fill out the following forms = below.
Personal Details
1: Full name
4: Occupation
5: Annual Income
7: Do you own a business? Yes/no
Bank Details,
1: Bank name
2: Bank Address
3: Account name
4: Account number

OK, a legitimate business may want your account details in order to pay you for your services - but you have not agreed to work for them yet. They should not be asking for these details on a job application.

Notice that they don't mind if you keep your current job - odd for someone offering a "high paying" position.

Pasting a block of the text of the email into google search shows that this is, indeed, a phishing scam. Quite well known too.

The bottom line must be to do your BS test before replying to unsolicited emails. Even emails purporting to come from someone you know can fail - be vigilant. For eg. you bank won't ask for your account details: they already know them.

These are all simple scams which millions of people fall for every year. Keep your wits about you. Don't be a victim.

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