I just received a particularly harrowing email concerning a new twist on the old fake check scam. This one will have you trusting a company first and doing work for them before the real scam even begins to show. It sucks that these guys are evolving, but as long as they keep coming up with new scams, I’ll keep you guys informed.
The New Fake Check Scam
The following text is the email I received…
I received an e-mail from Peter Zubov stating that he found my resume on a job board. This could have been true. I have been seeking a way to earn money from home in expectation of my new baby due in June and posted many resumes on many sites. He asked if I would consider revising some texts for payment. I agreed and off we went. Over the course of a week and a half, I received texts in an e-mail from him, almost every day Mon-Fri. The texts were badly written (broken English) and some were quite challenging to interpret. However, I continued.
He had informed me that every two weeks my earnings would be deposited to my PayPal account. I had earned over $100 when he offered me (by e-mail) a new position within this travel service company. He asked that I be a financial representative and accept payments from US clients, keep a 5% commission on each payment and send the difference to Russia (to the travel service).
This sounded very much like a scam I had heard about years ago, and so I proceeded in this fashion: I will gladly be a financial representative for your company. I would love to earn the funds that you are offering. I will only accept client payments in the form of money orders or cash. (Steve edit: Never even offer to accept this kind of a position. It is ALWAYS a scam.) If this meets with your approval I am eager to begin. If not I would appreciate the opportunity to continue revising memos for you. When can I expect to see the funds deposited to my PayPal account for the revisions I have already done?
I never heard from him again and was never paid the $135.00 for work done. This man claimed to work for a Russian travel service. Thankfully I was only out my time.
Here are some examples of the text which I revised. They explain the nature of the work he was offering.
Thank you for your order. We will send you instructions within the week on paying for your order. We would give payment instructions sooner, but we have a limited supply of representatives to accept your payment due to the upcoming Holiday. We will get payment instructions to you as soon as possible. Use this time to give consideration to any additions you might like to make to your order. You will be hearing from us just as soon as possible.
Regrettably we don’t sell air plane tickets or tickets of any kind. We can recommend an affiliate company of ours at http://www.airtickets24.com or suggest you search on google.com for flight tickets.
Hello Mr. Lloyd!
Thank you for your interest in working as a representative of our company in the US by accepting payment for client orders. Our company organizes trips to Russia, we reserve hotel room and rent cars for clients. We arrange their business meetings and tourist activities also. Some clients subscribe to our services in assisting them locate real estate for their purchase or assist with their purchase of cars here. We also plan celebratory actions for anniversaries, weddings and so on. We need representatives in the US to accept payments for these services from our US clients. Our representatives then send the money to us. We pay a monthly salary and commission for each payment processed by our representatives. This job is very important. Our clients make their order selections online, but are not able to pay in this same way. Online payments are prohibited to Russia. Our clients need our services for the reasons mentioned above, as well as renting apartments or acquiring vacation homes.
We must verify your information to ensure proper care of our clients’ funds. This position is very important and we must take the proper steps to ensure the protection of our clients and our company. We will contact you by phone as one form of verification and to assess if you are a good candidate for this position.
This message is to inform you that a cell phone and photo album were found in the apartment where you lived. We assume these to be your possessions. Please notify us a.s.a.p. with instructions explaining where you would like these items sent.
We are approaching the pay day of your first salary amount. Would you like your salary sent to the bank account that you use to accept client payments? If you would like your salary deposited elsewhere please let us know and provide us with the account information.
The sum of your salary is $1200+ a 25% award for a job well done. During this month you have earned commissions totaling around $8500. We are able to offer you a 7% commission instead of paying the salary amount. If you would like to change the way you are paid and accept this offer, please let us know. Thank you!
Yes, we are a famous company, and our website is www.rambler.ru. We offer services to foreigners who plan to visit Russia. If you are interested in working for us as a representative in the US (to US clients), we welcome you to apply. The position requires excepting payments from US clients for services which they ordered online. We have so many US clients we are in need of many representatives to fill this vacancy. To protect our company and our clients we must obtain information from you to verify your authenticity and prove that you do not pose a threat to the safety and security of our information as well as the information of our clients. This position has large profit making potential, but does require us to do some checking on those who are interested in working for our company in this capacity.
Let us know if you are interested in being considered for this position.
Thank you for your order. Please inform us of how many persons will be traveling with you?
What is the scheduled date of your arrival and how long will you be staying?
We will prepare lodging (apartment(s)) for you based on the number of people and the length of your stay.
If your party is more than 3 people you only need pay 60% down and the balance you will pay upon arrival here.
We will need your contact phone number to discuss additional details. Please respond with your phone number as soon as possible.
The Fake Check Scam
This one is a double-whammy.
There is no real indication up-front that this is a scam. The initial emails will have you believe an international company needs a native English speaker to proofread their emails and work. It’s not all that suspicious. Yeah the company is overseas, but the global nature of the Internet allows for these sorts of things.
The scam begins when the payment for your work doesn’t come in, and you get offered another position within the company with the promise of getting paid after you complete some work at this new position. The new position has you pretty much laundering money from either fake or stolen bank accounts. Completing the work as a “financial representative” will cost you thousands of dollars, and may even land you with a felony for helping criminals overseas launder money.
This one is exceptionally frustrating because you will have believed you landed an actual job, will have completed some work, and are expecting to be paid when the real scam rears its ugly head. It’s a complete waste of your time and trust.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: always stay vigilant and never accept a position that has you handling money for another company.