Work Online Scams and Failures

(wHdc) No such thing as easy money. Look at these scams.


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Written 2010 by Will Johnson
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"Work Online Scams and Failures", by Will Johnson,, at
Copyright 2010, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License'

Most Money Scammers don't actually read or understand English at all.  So you can easily confuse them by just not sticking to their script.  If they ask if they can trust you with a large payment, say ""No, I will just keep it all.  Better to pay me only what I'm owed without any excess."


International Youth Exchange Scam

The ad states that they are looking for representatives to handle a local part of an exchange program, and they will even send you a long letter with many details which seem legitimate.  There are just a few odd grammar errors, so maybe you're trigger won't go up.  Here's how the scam works.  Notice in the details they will, among many many other things mention "distribute money to the students from sponsors".  ANYtime a company is going to hire you, sight unseen, and ask you to handle money, a big big red flag should go off.

What they will actually do is, once you start working, they will tell you right away, "We have some students coming to" (some airport not near you) "and need you to wire them their funds to complete their journey" (to your local area), etc etc.  So you will get a check or money transfer for a large amount, and they want you to wire part of that to somewhere else, on a will-call.  Of course the original check or transfer to you is bogus, but you won't know that until well after you've wired your good funds off to some stranger.


Bring Money out of my Country Scam

Another form of the Money Wire Scam

From: Sgt Joey Jone Hello,

I hope my e-mail find you well. I need your assistance. My name is Sgt Joey Jones, I am an American soldier with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in IRAQ for the United States, we have $25,000,000.00, that is in our Possession and we are ready to move it out of the country.

The Money is part of the one we seized from late Saddam Hussein, but was not declared. My colleague and I need a good partner someone we can trust to actualize this Venture,but we are moving it through Diplomatic way to your house directly. Your share is 40% while 60% is for me and my colleague.

Sgt Joey Jone


Tutor My Child Scam

Yet another form of the Money Wire Scam

Subj: Re: Tutor is needed 
Date: 11/18/2010 8:09:55 AM Pacific Standard Time

Hello and thanks for your prompt reply....well my Daughter is only coming for a month visit  in the USA and wants 3 weeks tutorial,her name is Justina,she is 16 years,she is a brilliant and smart girl.she is not coming to attend school but to tutor her in Math and she did not have any text book for these,she understand and able to speak little English and that will help her to understand what you are teaching her,well i will want you to teach her more in the topics i told you in the Previous message i sent to you..i work for a consultancy firm here in Switzerland,am happily married and blessed with three children,and my wife works with a TV station here,that's why we are settling a good standard of education for our children..well i will want you to calculate your charges for that 3weeks tutorial, in which i want the tutorial to start by last week of November/December respectively.

And for the payment You would be receiving a check drawn from a Bank in the US, from my business associates in the United state since i am from Switzerland and payments wont be honored in a bank in the US, These check would be made out for the cost of the tutorial services you are rendering, and also for the living expense, nanny fees and the taxi driver of my daughter.
   Regarding this- I hope i can trust you with these payments, as the payment would be made out in excess, so all you have to do is deposit the payment in your bank, deduct your full tutorial payment for the services and extra money for materials that will be needed and send the remainder money to the Nanny or driver who would be contacting you with further arrangements and instructions regarding pickup/drop off of my daughter to the library where the tutorial will be taking place.So hope i can trust you that you will impact good knowledge and good academics and some moral respects to my child.well i will need some information from you so as to issue out the check.

MAILING ADDRESS (no P.O.Box please):


ID Scammer

This is Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. We intercepted your Consignment which was abandoned by Air Cargo/Express freight forwarding company. On scanning we discovered that the content of the consignment is an undisclosed sum of money rather than Personal effect as declared.
Provide the following information's 1. Your full name, 2. Your address 3. Cell phone number and a copy of your ID for the normalization and release of the consignment box for immediate delivery to your address.
Fax the requirements through this fax numbers 208-460-4111 or via email.
I am waiting for immediate response for the normalization and release of your consignment box to you or the box will be marked as illegal and submitted with the FBI and the HOMELAND SECURITY for investigation.
Yours in service,
Mr. Aaron Whittaker


Money Wire Scam

Also known as the "Be Our Accounts Receivable Clerk Scam".  At first scammers were creating company names like WorldWire Garments or whatever.  Now they are merely copying the names of famous companies.  I just got an advertisement to "Work Online For Starbucks", receiving monies from various customers.  Here is how the scam works.

The scammer tells you, that their business wants to hire payment processors of some sort.  You will receive checks or possibly money orders, in the mail.  You will deposit them to your own bank account.  You will take ten percent (or something similar) out of the proceeds and then you will forward the remainder to their processing center.  Easy job to make ten percent right?  So it certainly grabs the attention of most readers at first glance.

Here's what they don't tell you.  The checks and possibly money orders you will be receiving are phony.  You may be surprised to know that your bank does not know immediately whether a draft is phony or not, so they will certainly take your drafts and deposit them and even credit your account.  Banks are required to credit your account within a certain number of days.  Your scamming employer tells you that after you've taken your ten percent or whatever amount, they want you to wire the rest to them, and they will give you information on creating a pick-up wire, which anyone with ID can pick up wherever.

However, banks are not required to honor phony documents.  So when, after say, seven days, the other bank says, "Hey this isn't actually an account here, this is phony", your bank will deduct the full amount of your deposits from your account.  Meanwhile you've already wired a large amount to ... some scammer.  So you are just S.O.L. on the entire amount of the deposited funds, not just your ten percent.

Starbucks is not in on this scam, they are just a random legitimate business name, some scammer picked, knowing that you will not have the intelligence to search the web and find this article, before you're out thousands of dollars.


Pinecone Office Management

For the time being, I'm just going to call this "Pinecone Office Management" until I can write up exactly how the scam works.  See this Google search to convince yourself that others have noticed this as a scam or phishing attack of some kind.  "Kim" responds to all sorts of ads you place on Craigslist.  I'm not certain yet if "Kim" is an actual person, or a robot, but the responses "she" sends, are all identical.  We're desperately looking for a receptionist, or something like that, and yet directs you to a survey taking website.  It's all nonsense.  What they want you to do, is signup to take surveys and get paid for it.

Look at the research this person did to uncover exactly what is this kind of scam.  Here is an article about this Vindale Research with which "Kim" says she is working.  Apparently you are supposed to take surveys and get some cash for doing it.  Frankly, it's my belief that 99.99% of these sort of come-ons are bogus.  You can do your own research.  Here is what Lori Voth says at the end of her excellent article: "Whatever you do, don't let yourself fall for Vindale Research's professional website appearance, their fame and fortune style promises and their smooth writing style. Even if you, just for curiosity sake, find yourself checking out the Vindale Research scam website, don't let yourself be tricked into giving it a try. I could pretty much guarantee for 95% certainty that you will be disappointed. Vindale Research is an example of a paid survey site or market research company that sounds too good to be true because it is too good to be true."

What I think is that Vindale Research is merely some sort of scam where you sign up for various 30-day free services, with a credit card and they are hoping you will forget to cancel in 30 days so they can charge you.  So essentially you are paying yourself with the profit they are making off your own payments.


Watch my Child Scam

I'm not quote sure yet what this scam is about.  An ad for a housekeeper gets an odd response from "David Holmes" whose son "Johnson Holmes" is three years old.  David is coming to work in a city near you, and wants you to watch Johnson while he is working.  David is a property evaluator, whatever that means.  I'm fairly certain this is some kind of scam or phishing response, but I'm not yet certain how it works.  In the first email he asks these questions.  Why would someone ask in particular those question? Stayed turned for the next update.

1)Can you swim?
2)Do you smoke?
3) Can you drive?
4)where are you located presently?
5) Are you First Aid and CPR certified? ( Its an added Advantage..)
6) Charge Per Hour : ?
7) Total Weekly Charge :

Okay here's the next update, he sends me this email

"Thank you for your understanding and your interest in taking care of my son, I think you have a satisfactory answers to my question, i will like to inform you that my client who is hiring me as an Evaluator agent (personal) for this project, will be responsible for both my hotel bills and any other of my expenses, he has requested i forward my expenses to him. I have informed my lovely son (Johnson) and he is quite okay but just too anxious to meet you, he is all i have and i please him always. I am quite okay with all arrangements, I hope this work for you? and for your charges, i am very ok with whatever you charging me. I will have the  financial manager informed about this and will like you to get back to me with the below details so that i can pass it across to her and have her make and mail out payment to you for an upfront booking.

Full Name:
Full Residential Address:
Zip code:
Phone #:
Exact Charges  for babysitting Johnson for a month -
Age -
Present occupation (If any ) -
Hotels close by where i can get a reservation -

"Please forward the requested details to me and as soon as i have this details forwarded across to the financial officer to process your payment. Also i will like to inform you that i will be needing your assistance in helping me pay for Johnson's toys, that was initially ordered for, the order is on hold and awaiting payment. I was able to talk to my client about the payment of the toys and he agreed to help me pay for the toys and he is going to deduct them out from my charges,my client can send you more than what you charging me, as soon as you have your own charges deducted, the left over funds will be used in paying for Johnson's toys. I recently bought our new home and i am low on funds right about now.I won't like to sound like a disappointing father to my son and this is the only chance i can get to pay for Johnson's toys,i hope you understand this, Johnson is all i have.

   Johnson sends him regards and wants to know if you will take him to the park,yes you can email me some options with the prices where he will meet and play with other kids ??  I hope to hear back from you soon.

Thank you and God bless.

David Holmes
Property Evaluator"

So now we see the scam.  It's the same old, "I'll send you an overcharge, if you send me the balance" Scam.  Works the same way as the Money Wire Scam above.  The check they send, even if it's a cashier's check or a money order even, is bogus.  By the time your bank figures that out, the scammers already have the "balance" you've sent them in their hands.


Shopping and Personal Assistant Scam

Are you looking for a part time job other than the job you are doing before? I am looking for someone who can handle my personal and business errands at his/her spare time. Someone who can offer me these services: Receive my mails and drop them off  at FedEx (nothing illegal). Shop for Gifts 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 of these services.

     I would 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. I will prepay you in advance to do my shopping. I 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 put money out of your pocket,  all you have to do is have packages shipped to your house and do my shopping. You are allowed to open the packages to reveal its content.  The content of the packages are computer and electronics, clothing's business and personal letters.  All expenses and taxes will be covered by me.  You will work between 20 and 25 hrs a month.  How much will you charge per month? I will pay $500 like i have posted in my ads on craiglist.  I guess that is not a bad offer oris it?  I need your service because I am constantly out of town. I work in real estate and I own an Art Gallery in Australia, I will meet up with you when I return and then we can talk about the possibility of making this long term, I will want you to keep track with your email address at least three times a day so that no vital information will pass you by. Well, let me know if you are able to handle the position.

Full Name:
Mailing Address (Not PO Box):
City, State, Zip Code:
Phone Numbers:

And also i want to know if you can receive text messages on your phone because i can text you any time to come online so we can chat on Yahoo Messenger reply me back with your detail and Yahoo im id or if you don't have Yahoo i want you to open one now and send me your id okay,I wait to read from you.

Allard Ronald