Patrick Jordan (Sunbelt blog) did a nice post about a huge problem that frequently occurs on the dark-side of the Internet.

The problem, I’m referring to is people being recruited (some might say duped) to assume the risk involved in collecting the proceeds of Internet crime.

With all the fraud occuring on auction and e-commerce sites — criminals need a way to move they money they are stealing. This activity is often referred to as money laundering.

They accomplish this with money transfer scams, which are sometimes referred to as job scams.

These scams are nothing more than a way to trick people into negotiating bogus financial instruments, or launder the proceeds of auction fraud!

We’ve all probably seen a spam e-mail, or two (I get several daily) with job offers that seem a little too good to be true. Most of these jobs seek a financial representative to handle payments for a foreign company. In reality — the person is moving stolen money overseas — where it disappears into thin air.

Besides being offered in spam e-mails, people are also recruited off job sites and sometimes even from the classifed sections of newspapers and magazines.

A sister scam to money transfer scams is referred to as a reshipping scam. The difference is in this job a person reships hot merchandise (normally from auction sites) to their bosses.

In most of these scams, they prefer you use Western Union, or MoneyGram to send them their money. Once the money is picked any efforts to recover it will most likely be useless. Please note that there are many e-cash venues that are used, also.

While these jobs might have fancy titles, a lot of people refer to someone doing this as a “mule.”


(courtesy of mattcoz at Flickr)

In Patrick’s post, he reveals another twist to this activity, which are websites set-up to make these jobs appear to be legitimate.

Here is a screen shot (courtesy of the Sunbelt blog) of the site Patrick discovered:

He also lists some other sites to avoid from the same IP in his post, which can be seen, here.

Most of these scams are pretty easy to discover because they are offering too much money for too little work.

These job offers are nothing more than a way for criminals to get other people to take all the risk, while they reap the rewards of their illegal efforts!

Besides facing almost certain financial ruin, some of these employees are ending up living in new digs:

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