|Elliott Sound Products||Scams & Ripoffs|
Copyright © 2005 - Rod Elliott (ESP)
Page Created 07 March 2005, Updated February 2021
|Scam & Ripoff Index|
|Introduction||General details about these pages|
|1 - Swiss Invest||The too-good-to-be-true job offer|
|2 - National Australia Bank||Standard "Phishing" email scam|
|3 - Ecolife||Another fake 'job offer' scam|
|4 - seek.com.au||A mystery as to the intentions, but you know it's not legitimate|
|5 - WorldWideWeb Register||A very nasty bunch here - sheer trickery, but people get caught|
|As of 2021 it's still going (different name, same scam), using a non-secure website and asking €995 a year for inclusion|
|6 - Trademark Publisher (TMP)||Another slimy bunch here - sheer trickery, and people still get caught|
|7 - Domain Renewal Group||Looks just like an invoice, but it's just another way to steal your money|
|8 - Australian Tax Office||Your 2014 (etc.) 'Benefits'. Oh really?|
|9 - orderconfirmation 6763456||Allegedly you can renew your domain name for only 10 times what you'd normally pay.|
|10 - PayPal / Apple||People seem to have been paying silly amounts to Apple using the PayPal account (phishing).|
|11 - Microsoft (etc.)||This has been around for some time, and there's plenty of info on the Net. But! It's worth repeating.|
|12 - Trade Mark Fake Invoices||A new scammer, trying to rip people off to renew patents and trade marks at grossly inflated prices.|
|13 - Internet Domain Name||Chinese scammers, trying to convince website owners that a Chinese company is about to hijack their domain name.|
|14 - 'Shipping Account Overdue'||Purporting to be from a shipping company (often 'MSC'), the malware is triggered from macros in a spreadsheet file.|
|15 - Amazon Prize Scam||Supposedly Amazon is offering 'prizes' - it's not true!|
Most of us have seen e-mails that promise an extra income (or several million dollars), and the purpose of this page is to alert people to some of those I have come across. That the list is very much smaller than some of the other scam sites is intentional - there are many people who monitor all the latest scams and publish lots of detail.
My list will only cover those I have come across (those that managed to get past my spam filters), and starts with one that appears new (at least when this was first published). Like many similar scams, this one appears to be the classic fraud or money-laundering approach. You collect the money from the company's 'clients' and deduct a percentage. The details are below.
The second on the list came through as I was writing the details for the first. I have taken that to mean that the 'cosmic consciousness' really wants me to publish this information, and so I shall.
Always beware of any job offer. Amongst other things, they may want your bank account details and hope they will be able to con you into sending them money via an untraceable Western Union service. The criminals will open bank accounts for the purpose of fraud. They may try to con the banking system so that a bank transfer appears to have been made to your account. The next phase is that they pressure you to withdraw most of the alleged money and send it to another country via Western Union (untraceable!). You get to keep a percentage for your trouble.
Your bank may then let you know that the 'bank transfer' was fraudulent, and you will be responsible for the money you withdrew. In the US, you may find yourself arrested for being party to a fraud. In the UK, you may have your account closed and find it difficult to open a new one. You may be offered a bank loan to pay off the thousands the bank let you withdraw. The situation in Australia is unclear, but police action is certainly possible (depending on whether someone other than you was defrauded with your help).
Most of these scams are forms of money laundering, where the original funds are either stolen from other peoples' accounts, or are the proceeds of crime (drug dealing, illegal weapons, etc.). Many are operated by organised crime syndicates or terrorist organisations. If you get involved, you may well end up in prison for your efforts.
A couple of very useful resources (especially for Australians) are WA ScamNet (Western Australian Department of Commerce) and AFP (Australian Federal Police) Internet fraud and scams. There are countless others, so before you open that email attachment or send money to those nice people in Nigeria, do some searching first !
Please be aware that ...
Any job offer that involves any of the above activities is a fraud!
Job offers on the internet such as the ones listed here (and elsewhere) involve stolen money, stolen goods or depleting your bank account. If you participate in these scams, even without criminal intent, you could be held liable and face criminal charges. If you have been recruited, contact the police and notify your bank.
Do not ...
You must talk to the bank and the police - let them know what is happening, and they may even be able to catch the perpetrators!
Why Western Union is still allowed to function in this manner is a complete mystery to me. How hard would it be to obtain world-wide legislation that banned all financial transactions that cannot be traced? How hard would it be for Western Union to demand proper proof of identity before handing over funds? They do in Australia, but I don't know if this is strictly enforced at WU offices. My local post office accepts WU, but they are very diligent about ensuring that the appropriate form is completed.
Western Union (and any other similar service) is acting as a go-between for fraudsters, and IMO is criminally negligent if it allows stolen money to pass from one country to another with zero useful identification needed. It's well past time that they were indicted for the criminal offence of money laundering, and put out of business. They do have a pathetic FAQ page that warns you of possible frauds, but this is no substitute for demanding identification from recipients of transferred funds. This act alone would stop many of the fraudulent activities - a huge number (probably the majority) of frauds rely on the anonymity provided by such services.
If you absolutely must use WU wire transfers, do so only to send money to friends or family. Never use any wire transfer service to pay for anything online (especially auctions), and never send money to someone you don't know and trust. All Western Union has to do is give people this warning before each transaction, but they refuse to do so. I accept WU Money transfers for PCB purchases, but always provide full details and ID in the 'Collect Money' form because it's a legal requirement in Australia.
From Western Union's own FAQ page, we see the following ...
Remember that Western Union does not require a receiver to present a money transfer control number (MTCN) to pick up funds.
Now, that just oozes confidence that you are dealing with a professional company, doesn't it? No? Not impressed? Nor am I. At the very least, their 'MTCN' should be an absolute requirement to collect funds, but W.U. appears to have no controls whatsoever. This company is a willing and knowing party to world-wide money laundering and fraud, and should be boycotted until it ceases to exist. Since no government seems interested in preventing these crimes by cutting off the illegal funds transfers at their source (W.U.), we should have nothing to do with them (or the parent company First Data).
Although W.U. does have some information on their site about avoiding scams, they seem indifferent about actually doing anything that will stop those scams dead. All that's needed is official identification, typically a photo drivers' license or passport plus some additional ID for verification, and record the details in case there's a problem later.
|Copyright Notice. This article, including but not limited to all text and diagrams, may be freely distributed in the interests of helping to prevent fraud, scams and spam. Please include a link to this page if you use the info elsewhere. Note that the ESP® logo is the registered trade mark of Elliott Sound Products, and may not be reproduced without permission from Rod Elliott.|