General Question

dalepetrie's avatar

So, what's the scam?

Asked by dalepetrie (18014points) April 1st, 2009

OK, we’re all familiar with email scams. I have Gmail and I don’t even see 99% of the scams that are emailed to me. But I’m looking for work now, and I recently signed up on a job board and am regretting it, because I get TONS of spam now. Or at least, I’m ASSUMING it’s spam. But what strikes me is, I can’t tell what the scam is, maybe you’ve seen something similar and can enlighten me.

Basically, I’ve gotten about 4 of these in the last 24 hours. The first one I got said, “your resume was successfully reviewed and presently being reviewed on job”, which right there you know it’s spam. Here’s the next one I got, “Will like to inform you that the Hiring Department of the company has reviewed your resume and we believe you’re capable for this job and you have the right to an interview…” What both of these told me, which leaves me wondering “what’s the angle”, is that they say they want me to interview online via Yahoo IM, just set up an account and message this person. They all say they’re part time, work at home jobs, and they pay $25, $50, even $60/hr, for DATA ENTRY!

Here’s what one says about the job and how you are paid, “all your assignments would be forwarded to you and submitted back by either fax, regular mail, email, phone or IM (instant messaging).
All activities and corresponding time are to be recorded in excel
spreadsheet. Thats how we access your work and process your pay. So, it doesn’t seem like those ones where they say “we’re going to forward you a check for $950 and you keep $150 and send us the rest…” I got that one too this morning, but this one says they’re just tracking your hours.

And of course, the “to” field on the email always lists someone else’s name as it’s clearly something sent to a mailing list that they cull from Jobplanet (word of advice, don’t post your info here, I’ve gotten a dozen junk mails slip through gmail’s filter in 24 hours, it’s unprecendented!) I got another one, this one purports to be from a bona fide company I’ve actually heard of, though see if you can spot why I don’t think it’s legit, “I will like to inform you that the Hiring
Department of the company Tiger Direct has review your resume and you have the right to an
interview with the hiring manager on which you will have to mail back to this mail box in
other to get a response to you mail
for the job details and ( for the
interview mail..” This one then repeats the same thing the other said, but goes further, even encouraging me to cheat the IRS, “all your assignments
would be forwarded to you
and submitted back by either fax, regular mail and
All activities and corresponding time are to be
recorded in excel
spreadsheet. That is how we access your work
and process your pay
There is no
payment required for getting started.
All expenses are
handled by the company.
You are to take out taxes. The company pay’s
you and it’s on you
whether or not you want to claim.

Only thing I can figure is either somehow by virtue of them being in an IM chat session with you, they are able to get into your computer and access your data, or, perhaps that’s window dressing, they convince you it’s a real job in the IM session, no money or anything from you, but like any real job you have to fill out an I-9, and then they have your SSN and steal your identity?

Anyone know what this scam is? Just curious.

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20 Answers

Response moderated
casheroo's avatar

If they send you a check for $950, and tell you to keep $150…why don’t they just send you a check for $150 to begin with?
I think that’s the scam. You go and cash the check, or deposit it..and it bounces, but you’ve already sent them your money.
I wouldn’t give them any more info.

Judi's avatar

I think you’re right. They are trying to get more info out of you.

shilolo's avatar

Hi Dale. I found this article to be particularly useful.

robmandu's avatar

If it feels like a scam, it is a scam.

No one is gonna hijack your computer via IM… but it could be used as social engineering tool.

GAMBIT's avatar

Anything that seems to good to be true usual is. I wouldn’t even trust Publisher’s Clearing House unless Ed McMahon himself came to my door.

fireside's avatar

I’m thinking the hiring manager at Tiger Direct would have someone who could set him up with a legitimate email account.

I agree with Judi, and your assessment dale, that they may be looking for more info. They already have name and address, with birthdate and ssn they could cause some harm.

dalepetrie's avatar

@casheroo – The 950/150 wasn’t what I was asking about, that’s a 419, I know all about those, I’m curious about the ones where they want you to interview by IM for a job where they’re also not asking you to do that 950/150 thing, that’s what I’m wondering what their angle is.

@shilolo – I’ll read that article now.

@robmandu – thanks for letting me know your computer can’t be hijacked via IM, and yeah, I know if it feels like it’s a scam it is a scam, hence I asked “WHAT’S the scam”, not “IS THIS a scam”. Same not to @GAMBIT.

And @eponymoushipster – I think I’ve asked longer.

GAMBIT's avatar

@dalepetrie – I never try to figure them out I just don’t get involved with them in the first place.

dalepetrie's avatar

I think @robmandu nailed it, social engineering.

robmandu's avatar

The scam here is likely what you’ve already alluded to: it’s a social engineering ploy to get to your personal info.

If you elect to proceed down the IM chat path for the “interview”, I suggest establishing a new, temporary IM account and using that instead of your regular one.

And even if they get you on the phone, I still wouldn’t give out personal info until they’ve established their bona fides to your satisfaction.

dalepetrie's avatar

@GAMBIT – I just find them fascinating for a number of reasons. One would be first off, how horrible of a person do you have to be to pray on the vulnerable, which is what ALL these things do, usually they prey on the elderly who are lonely and not as savvy, that and the stupid. But now they’re even going after unemployed people, I mean, who’s more broke than a job seeker. I suppose people who have the kind of money they’re after wouldn’t be stupid enough to fall for it in the first place. I just like to know what the latest and greatest scams are, because even people who I thought to be intelligent have from time to time told me about things and I’ve had to tell them DO NOT RESPOND TO THAT EMAIL. I like to know about these things so that I can spread the word to those more trusting than myself I guess.

@robmandu – I’m not going to IM anyone, I didn’t fall off a turnip truck. Part of me says, if you’re stupid enough to believe that someone is going to look at your resume which doesn’t even mention data entry skills, and offer you a data entry job for $60 working at home and all you have to do is IM them, then I say, maybe this is economic Darwinism. I’m torn between my desire for stupid people to get what they deserve, and my wish that dishonest scumbags not prosper from taking advantage of vulnerable people.

GAMBIT's avatar

@dalepetrie – yes and I am glad that you are alerting us. There also seems to be a scam going on over the phone with car warranties that someone was talking about yesterday. I am glad you are notifying people.

robmandu's avatar


Spam ≠ freedom of speech.

dalepetrie's avatar

@GAMBIT – I got that call yesterday. This guy calls me and says, hi, I’m updating auto warranties, hold for a minute while I look up your info…I hung up. I don’t usually even answer these things, I’m on the do not call list, by my phone rings off the hook anyway.

By the way, to everyone, I ALWAYS report these things, and I encourage you to do the same. Any email where you suspect they’re trying to get hold of your personal info, don’t JUST hit “report spam” (do that as well, though), but forward the message to:

Not that it probably matters, most of these scams come from Nigeria and places that don’t have extradition agreements or laws to keep this from happening. But one of the funnest things I’ve come across, and I’m not NEARLY brave enough to do it, is called “scambaiting”. This is a great site from a scambaiter:

Essentially, what they do is they engage the scammer and waste their time at minimum, or at best, they even get the person going and get the scammer to send THEM money. If they convince these people that they’re an easy mark and they just need money for postage or some kind of processing fee to get the money to send to the scammer, sometimes the scammers are stupid enough to get it to work. One thing this guy does is he gets the people who he engages to pose for an embarassing Polaroid and send it to him. My favorite tale of all time is The Tale of the Painted Breast

xBRIANx's avatar

@dalepetrie wow, The Tale of the Painted Breast is hilarious! Thanks for sharing.

dalepetrie's avatar

@xBRIANx – I think I just about wet myself the first time I read that.

xBRIANx's avatar

@dalepetrie It’s taken me a course of 2 days off and on to read it. I think my favorite part it the Security Validation Form that Prince Joe fills in – I love the questions… Do you enjoy the refreshing taste of Pepsi?... Please spell the work kleptomanic… Please explain (IN FULL) why you like/do not like filling in forms…

Bwhahahwhawhhahaa… ahhh, that’s great.

Judi's avatar

@dalepetrie ; I can’t believe I spent the last hour reading those emails. Great stuff!

dalepetrie's avatar

You could entertain yourself for MONTHS just reading these letters, I mean this one is just one of many scammers this person has scammed…he’s my personal hero.

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