Monday, March 25, 2013

Help Wanted Scam Letter

I saw a Help Wanted ad posted multiple times on a classified ads website seeking a personal assistant. It was posted so often that I became curious about it and sent a reply. I wish that I had saved a copy of the ad itself, but I post the reply I received here:
From: Brian Parker

Subject: Personal Assistant Position PT

I'm looking for someone who can handle my business & personal errands at his/her spare time. Someone who can offer me these services:

* Mail services (Receive my mails and drop them off at UPS)
* Shop for Gifts
* Bill payment (pay my bills on my behalf)
* Sit for delivery (at your home) or pick items up at nearby post office at your convenience.

Let me know if you will be able to offer me any or all of these services.

I will love to meet up with you to talk about this job but I am currently away on business. I am in Australia so there will be no interview and that is why i stated that I need a trustworthy individual . I will pay you in advance to do my shopping and will also have my mails and packages forwarded to your address. If you will be unable to stay at your house to get my mails, I can have it shipped to a post office near you and then you can pick it up at your convenience.

When you get my mails/packages, you are required to mail them to where I want them mailed to. You don't have to use money out of your pocket. All you have to do is have the package(s) shipped to wherever I want and do my shopping. You are allowed to open the packages to reveal its content.

The content of the packages are Art Materials and Paintings, clothing, business and personal letters. All expenses and taxes will be covered by me. You will work between 15 to 20hrs a month.

The pay is $500 weekly. That is not a bad offer is it? I need your service because I am constantly out of town. I just bought into an Art Gallery here in Australia and would be here finalizing the buy and smoothing rough edges but I will be returning to the US as soon as this is done so this process will be on going till then and I will meet up with you when I return and then we can talk about the possibility of making this long term.

I will email you the list and pictures of what to shop for when I am ready. No heavy package is involved! You  can do the shopping at any nearby store. You will be shopping for Electronics and clothing.

I will provide you my personal UPS account number for Shipping. All you have to do is provide my account number to UPS and shipping charges will be billed to the account.

I will provide clear set of instructions for each task I need done as well as the funds to cover them.

If I were to mail you money to do my shopping plus upfront payment for your services, where will you want it mailed to? How should your name appear on the payment?If you are interested,Kindly provide me with the following details listed below to :

Full Name:
Full Address:
Zip Code:
Home Phone:
Cell Phone: For SMS alerts Only

Well, let me know if you are able to handle the position and I hope to hear from you soon.

Thank you,

Brian Parker
I think that this is a scam and here's why:
  1. the reply was sent to me with the "To" field empty, as is often done when a scammer sends an email to multiple recipients while not wanting them to realize that they are just one of many getting the same message. Likewise, the email did not address me by name;
  2. the domain is anonymously-registered website with servers based in the United States. Attempting to go to that site takes you to and not to a legitimate website. The address in an undeveloped website which has been created solely for a scammer to use as an email address to give the appearance of legitimacy;
  3. However, there is a legitimate website and that URL takes you to a website registered in Australia with servers located in that country.It's obvious that the scammer set-up the fake domain in an attempt to impersonate the legitimate one.
The Help Wanted ad is obviously part of a scam, most likely attempting to steal your personal information.

Duane Browning

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