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Classic spam: job scams
(or, Don’t Quit Your Day Job)

The bottom line: Job offers made to random individuals over the internet are almost always scams of one sort or another. Many, like the one shown here, are efforts to steal money from the prospective "employee."

If I got five bucks every time someone offered me an easy and potentially lucrative job via spam mail, I’d probably be well on my way to retirement in the South Seas or somewhere like that. If, on the other hand, I were to actually accept any of these offers, I’d probably end up in a cold-water SRO near the railroad tracks.

Sending out e-mail solicitations for “employment” seems to be the specialty of a small but determined group of internet scam artists. Most often, the jobs on offer are described as “payment processing” or some other vague term. The following scenario is typical of the scam:

Even if the transaction goes through, there’s a strong possibility that the sucker may actually be participating in illegal money laundering — helping break the chain of custody by which law enforcement people might trace the proceeds of drug deals and other illegal activities. The sucker might even face criminal charges himself.

Obviously, then, job scams fall into the large class of mailings to which we should apply my spam rule #1A: If the offer came via spam, you should run away as far and as fast as you can.

Typical job scam mailing

Time for an example: recently, I receieved the following missive, apparently from the furniture (specifically, the desk) of Mr. James White, ostensibly of Kayukayu Incorporated of Indonesia.

Return-Path: <DREYES@dc.rr.com>
Received: from 66.75.162.134 ([172.18.12.131]) by vms052.mailsrvcs.net
 (Sun Java System Messaging Server 6.2-6.01 (built Apr 3 2006))
 with ESMTP id <0J92001ZCIX92ID0@vms052.mailsrvcs.net> for
 address defaced ; Tue, 21 Nov 2006 00:48:45 -0600 (CST)
Received: from ms-smtp-02.socal.rr.com (66.75.162.134)
by sv23pub.verizon.net (MailPass SMTP server v1.2.0 -
 112105154401JY+PrW)
 with ESMTP id <5-17139-150-17139-1304-1-1164091724> for
 vms052pub.verizon.net; Tue, 21 Nov 2006 00:48:45 -0600
Received: from ms-mss-01 ([10.10.4.10]) by ms-smtp-02.socal.rr.com
(8.13.6/8.13.6) with ESMTP id kAL6mhbp002412 for  address defaced ;
Mon, 20 Nov 2006 22:48:44 -0800 (PST)
Received: from socal.rr.com (localhost [127.0.0.1])
 by ms-mss-01.socal.rr.com
 (iPlanet Messaging Server 5.2 HotFix 2.10 (built Dec 26 2005))
 with ESMTP id <0J92001Y2IX729@ms-mss-01.socal.rr.com> for
 address defaced ; Mon, 20 Nov 2006 22:48:43 -0800 (PST)
Received: from [10.10.6.205] (Forwarded-For: [41.204.233.213])
 by ms-mss-01.socal.rr.com (mshttpd); Mon, 20 Nov 2006 22:48:43 -0800
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 22:48:43 -0800
From: DREYES@dc.rr.com
Subject: WORK WITH KAYUKAYU COMPANY WHILE AT HOME,
TO EARN MORE AND ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS!!!
X-Originating-IP: [66.75.162.134]
Bcc:
Reply-to: kayukayu_company01@yahoo.co.id
Message-id: <e70888fe1c6f7.1c6f7e70888fe@socal.rr.com>
MIME-version: 1.0
X-Mailer: iPlanet Messenger Express 5.2 HotFix 2.10 (built Dec 26 2005)
Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-language: en
Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT
Content-disposition: inline
X-Accept-Language: en
Priority: normal



FROM THE DESK OF
Mr James White (Executive Manager of Kayukayu,Inc.)
Jl. Gunung Mandalawangi No. 3
Denpasar 80119
Bali - Indonesia


Our company, Kayukayu, Inc., has career opening in Representative
Manager (Code SMR: 207). Job opportunity is available for United State
only. This will be a permanent or part-time and the applicant can do
primary responsibilities below.

Starting salary is from direct commission and monthly salary, and the
working hours are relative, Monday through Friday. For instant
application, please reply this kayukayu_company01@yahoo.co.id included
your Full Name, Address, Date of Birth, Phone Number, and Last Job
Experience or send only your Resume.


--------------------------------------------------------------------
About Company
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Kayukayu.com is Retail and Wholesale Indonesia Bali Products and Bali
Furniture. We export high quality kiln dried Indonesia Indoor Outdoor
Teakwood Furniture, Wicker Woven (Rattan, etc) Furniture and Bali
Handicrafts. We are manufacturer and exporter of quality handmade
designer home interior and exterior rattan furniture, wicker
furniture, outdoor furniture, indoor furniture and home decorative.
Kayukayu company has registered international market admission to
Indonesia Embassy and Federal Bureau in USA, also United State of
America Consulate in Indonesia.



--------------------------------------------------------------------
Primary Responsibilities
--------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Help in answering customer queries.
2. Represent company business to business performer.
3. Manage and record financial transaction.
4. Handle customers payment
.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

If you require any additional information please contact us to
kayukayu_company01@yahoo.co.id We invite you to browse our fascinating
collections and look forward doing business with you and your company
and we anticipate a mutually beneficial, long term relationship.


Best Regards,

Executive Manager of Kayukayu, Inc.
Mr James White
Email:kayukayu_company01@yahoo.co.id
website: www.kayukayu.com


This note from Mr. White’s sentient desk seems to be a bit more discreet than most of this variety, but it does give a couple of clues as to the scamminess of the offer (see the green highlights). I’m not impressed with the desk’s fluency in English, but as Dr. Johnson once observed of lady preachers, “...it is not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all.”

As for Kayukayu Inc.: it does appear to exist, and does use the website address given in the note, but I’d bet a wicker armoire that they don’t have anything to do with this scam; frequently, job scammers will claim associations with existing and innocent businesses so as to beef up the credibility of their pitches. They figure that the most that a sucker might do by way of due diligence is to browse the proffered website.

You will observe that the reply e-mail address given in the note (pink highlights) is a freemail address issued by Yahoo’s Indonesian operation (yahoo.co.id). If Kayukayu has its own internet domain, and if Mr. White is indeed the executive manager of this operation, then why is he using freemail for business correspondence? Why, for that matter is he using what appears to be zombie mailing from the Roadrunner (rr.com) domain, as the header of this message attests?

For what it may be worth, the header contains entries suggesting that the origin of the mail was 41.204.233.213, allocated by AfriNIC to an ISP situated in Lagos, Nigeria; it is tempting to think that this is more dirty work by the Lads from Lagos, but I’m not sure I believe this information since it falls after a forged header line.



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Updated: Sat, 18 Aug 2007