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Contracting out
« on: November 09, 2008, 10:00:25 AM »
Contracting out

Money transfer scams, which were once relatively exotic, are now as ubiquitous as 419 and prize pitch scams (and, in fact, may even be run by some of the same people). One notable change is that many money transfer scammers no longer bother advertising a fake website that supposedly gives details about the company, or even linking to a legitimate website that they pretend is theirs. Instead, they simply supply an email address (Gmail seems popular, but Yahoo!, Hotmail and AOL are also widely-used) and a description of their imaginary company, larded with the usual key phrases and promises of high returns for little work.

One interesting variant landed in the trap this morning, however. In this one, a "Mr Jonathan Kirk" who claims to be a "chartered payroll specialist" invites recipients to work with him to earn extra income. What makes it interesting is the 'list of requirements' given:

A computer system at home with internet connection.
You will buy versa check Gold 2008 software. It will come with 150 blank
checks so you might not be buying blank Cheque anymore
You will buy versa ink Nano' 4X Life MICR Ink - 94MX Black
You will buy Versajette M400 Print, Copy, Scan Ink jet Printer
You will buy Business-size Cheque 250

"Mr Kirk" estimates that you will need to pay "J250" (it's not clear what currency that 'J' corresponds to) for all this, but promises that you will earn "J700 or more every month". Your job, apparently, is to print out and send off checks according to his instructions.

Reading between the lines, it sounds as if he's looking for someone to prepare and send the fake checks that give the fake check scam its name. The intention may be to create another level of separation between the scammer and his victims, but maybe the whole point is simply to get someone else to pay the up-front costs of running the scam. You have to wonder where this will go next. Will the pharmacy spammers start hiring people to make their sugar pills for them, or the porn vendors begin issuing instructions for you to buy a video camera and shoot your own sex tapes?

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