I have been investigating and publishing blogs about scams and the internet for a few years now. I’ve seen many different types of scam situations but I have to say the personal job scam and package shipping scams are(in my humble opinion)two of the most insidiously vicious scams I have ever seen.
Unfortunately the internet has given birth to a digitized version of bad guys, the eCriminal. Those running the scams are extremely devious and particularly imaginative individuals, when devising scams and schemes to lure unsuspecting people into their web of deceit and lies. Never showing their faces, they can pretend to be anyone they want and they hardly ever get caught. With the Worldwide Web as their playground, the sandbox just got a whole lot bigger. And meaner.
So I’m cruising the comment section, trying to do a little catching up, There I was minding my own business until my eyes landed on the “comment.” Or as I like to call it…the p%@* in my Wheaties. Perhaps you are wondering why a comment from someone I don’t know would get on my last nerve?
I’ll tell you why. “Tracey” claimed to be gainfully employed as a(wait for it…)”package forwarding reshipper”. And then had the nerve to try and comment here thinking I would actually believe and publish it.
She continues on, expecting me to believe it I might add, explaining what she does , how it works etc., etc. Check this out;
I’ve redacted the name of the company she(you know who you are) “works” for and the name of the other companies mentioned. To protect my readers. Also to protect myself from any sort of lawsuit for libel or slander, mostly because I am about to say some very scandalous things and talk a lot of smack about her so called employers.
I went to that website, to check it out for myself . I gotta tell you, I really wasn’t expecting the answers I uncovered. It’s worse than I thought. What I learned was enough to start a very loooooonnnng and involved reply to that B.S. Before long, I realized I could not contain my reply to the comment page. Terrible things are happening, and I really need to enlighten as many people as possible. So I got busy and went to work.
Get Job. Fill Form First.
Seemed pretty normal to begin with, but as I dug deeper and deeper, I realized it was eerily similar to both the personal jobs scams and the package shipping scams.
For instance: At the bottom of every single page I visited,(and I do mean every. Single. One.) was a button to fill out an application. With the exception of…hmmmmmm. Come to think of it there were no exceptions. Some pages displayed the application more than once. On the home page towards the middle. another button popped up and this time I really had to laugh.
Before I tell you, I want to stress the fact that I am not making fun of anybody’s grasp of the English language,(well maybe a little) more a gentle chuckle of realization. Okay, so the button said “Fill the form Get Job Apply Now “
Bad English (speaking, writing, whatever)is one of the top five indicators of the likelihood of a scam broiling just under the surface. I mean just look at the image. Fill the form?? Most would say fill out the form. Am I right?
It’s not just the butchering of the English language but just little odd things. Like, located in the footer was the word vacancies. What comes to your mind when you hear the word vacancies? I personally think of empty hotel/motel rooms.
Turns out to be a link to the career opportunity page which appeared to have been written by a 12 year girl/boy/other. I didn’t exactly feel a grown up kind of vibe emanating from the screen.
Clicking on vacancies I landed on another page with a title you have to see to believe. Fortunately, I can show you. Please look at the image to the right. Apply Job. Inspires no confidence so far. Moving on I scrolled down to peruse the job opportunities.(a term I use very loosely). All five of them.
Included entries were, Development assistant, front office agent, quality Inspector, administrative assistant, and my personal favorite, the pickup and delivery foot carrier., In the comment above “Tracy” specifically said she was a package forwarding reshipper. Odd. Considering none of the “vacancies” listed was that of package forwarding reshipper. Quality inspector’s job description came close to what “Tracy” described.
Each contained job description information, and a link to the application form.
Upon my arrival, my first action was to look over this so called application for employment. Very sensitive information was required here and I noticed some areas of the application were pre-filled out. Most notably, the area asking what position is being applied for. Quality inspector was already inserted no matter which link I chose.
I wanted to see if I could change it to something other QI. I could change it, as a matter of fact, but somehow I don’t think it would matter much. I get the feeling no matter what I applied for, I would be offered the job of quality inspector.
Then again, there might not even be any jobs and this application is for one thing only. Collecting private, sensitive information in order to perpetrate identity theft. I checked the page security and found this:
No encryption. I think this is a phishing site as well as base of operations for the package shipping scams. Quite a tidy little package. Data for potential identity theft and the package shipping scam all in the same place.
Double The Trouble
I wasn’t expecting the curve ball that shot my way from nowhere that I could see. Whilst exploring the site, I was transported to the twilight zone apparently, because the weirdest thing happened. Somewhere along the way I went through a portal(on the web)and when I looked up, I was on a different domain but the site was exactly the same.. It was kind of spooky.
Different phone numbers and different domains. I called both numbers. Totally disconnected. The support email addresses are not links. I was not surprised. Only thing working here is the application form button.
I researched the domain names, the IP addresses, and various other databases to try and find out as much as I could about these people.
The mizdeal domain has been in operation for 4 years and is located in new York somewhere. The leci domain has only been in operation for a month or two and operates out of the Ukraine(Russia)Lots of scams originate in Russia.
In addition to this I delved into the coding of both websites, I looked(or tried to look)at cached pages, revealing differences in page to page links. I won’t go too deeply in detail but suffice to say; Both sites are fake. Merely baited traps, designed to suck you in before you know you’ve been caught. Yeah. Bait.
Scam Spotting 101
The point I’m trying to make here is that these scams can be anywhere. Whether it’s an unsolicited email offering you a job, a website like mizdeal or an advertisement for employment. Or cleverly disguised in some other way.
You need to train yourself to look past the pretty packaging to what lies beneath. No matter how it’s presented, at the core, they are the same. Once you learn how to recognize the signs, it will be easier to avoid the scams. Here are a few basic guidelines to follow.
Personal Assistant Job
Unsolicited emails are the most common way to introduce this scam. Don’t open anything you don’t recognize. But let’s say you do it anyway. If you see something like this: just delete the email.
The most important rule is that never under any circumstances, give your personal 411 to a perfect stranger. Doesn’t matter what the email says. If at the end you have to give them personal info, it is a scam.
I had a lot of comments from people who actually received something like this.
A check that is to be deposited in your bank account. You keep some as advance payment, then wire or send the rest somewhere else. Never ever deposit one of these into your account!!! Take it to your bank and show it to them. Maybe they can get the word out to their clients and help minimize the damage.
I heard from a college student in a comment. The job offer of personal assistant was given to him by the counselors aiding students in securing part time employment. He deposited the check , paid himself and sent a money order to the next town. I still don’t know what happened to him.
A woman told me she answered a want ad for a nanny, only to be told the position had been filled. But they just happen to have an opening for personal assistant.
Package Forwarding Reshipper
is NOT A REAL JOB!!! Period.
Check Page Security
There are instances when entering sensitive data is required. i.e.,e.g. passwords, address, credit card number, you get the idea. Nothing wrong with that. You just need to take one more precautionary measure before entering anything
Make sure you are on a page with encryption. Most browsers, are equipped to check for encryption and certificates. If there is no encryption, find another way to do business, or don’t do business at all.
Check Website Security Using Internet Explorer
Check Website Security Using Microsoft Edge
The point I am trying to make here is that these scams can come from anywhere. Practicing internet security and safety goes a long way towards keeping you. your identity and your finances safe from the faceless eCriminal.
If you have any suggestions for internet safety and security, pleas leave me a comment. The more we keep each other informed, the safer we will be.
See ya next time. PollyB