Thursday, April 13, 2006

BBB Worker Takes Job Processing Fraudulent eBay Transactions

A Better Business Bureau worker was recently involved in eBay fraud by taking a part-time (work-at-home job) processing account receivables for criminals from Eastern Europe. According to her, she even checked them out before accepting the job and found nothing that would suggest a scam.

The job was to process payments (primarily from eBay transactions) and wire the money to her employers.

These scams, known as check-cashing schemes solicit people to process fraudulent financial instruments and wire the money to a far-away locale. Their employers normally prefer the use of Western Union, or Money Gram, which offer little to no protection once the money is sent.

News clip from in Denver, here.

There is also another version of the work-at-home scam, which entails receiving the stolen merchandise and then reshipping it.

In work-at-home (check cashing) schemes, the worker is normally instructed to set up an account (using their information and good credit) to process the financial instruments. Quite often, they are held financially responsible after the financial instruments are discovered fraudulent and they have wired the money.

No matter what the scam entails, the fraudsters always prefer "unprotected" methods of wiring money. I would highly recommend NEVER wiring money to someone you don't know, or haven't done a lot of business with for a LONG TIME.

To add to the confusion many auction fraud victims buy merchandise from seemingly highly rated sellers when their account is taken over. Account takeovers are normally accomplished via phishing, where a legitimate account holder is duped into giving up their account information.

Phishy e-mails from eBay and PayPal are circulating the internet at a record rate.

Interesting that the BBB worker was savvy enough to do a little "due diligence" on the scam company, which revealed nothing. When I looked at their site, I found two articles that describe activity very similiar to this.

Work-at-Home Schemes

Work-At-Home-Schemes Now Peddled On-Line

I wasn't able to find an article on the BBB regarding "check cashing schemes," but in reality this scam is nothing more than a "mutation" of the "work at home" scheme.

I'd offer to write it for them, but after writing this post, I doubt they will solicit my services.

It's becoming quite common for organized gangs to set up fraudulent businesses as a front for the various scams out there. They are often complete with office space, telephones and even web sites.

I guess the moral of the story is that when a business has no verifiable track record a prudent person should dig a little deeper? I stole that one from my friend Paul, who writes prying1.

Let's face it, processing proceeds from auctions using your own account and wiring the money to Eastern Europe seems a little risky. At least to me, it does.


Anonymous said...

Hey Ed! - I got a hit through the link in this article. I guess that means someone from the wonderful state of Hawaii read it to at least near the end. I certainly hope they share this info with people and this type of activity looses a bunch more potential Marks.

P.S. You're smart. Should "Marks" be capitalised like it is a person's name? - I'm thinking not but they capitalized the form of it in the Shirley Temple Title: Little Miss Marker

Wait! That is a title. It has to be capitalized there...

Anonymous said...

i recive cheq from mr Peter Newmen , I send the cheq but in write time i so that is wrong

Anonymous said...

Just a note to all, my husband asked for the FBI to review his so called offer in being chosen to participate in a check cashing/wiring scam and the FBI agent told him he didn't see a problem. He is subsequently paying the bank back in the 6 digit figures for the amount of bad checks he cashed and wired over about a 6 month period. BEWARE! Don't think anyone is going to give you good advice or protection!

adrin said...

Will definitely come back to read more.......

Work from home