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Security Response

Money for Nothing (And the Cops for Free)

Created: 07 Jul 2006 07:00:00 GMT • Updated: 23 Jan 2014 18:58:57 GMT
Candid Wueest's picture
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The amount of email I have received lately regarding "making easy money from home" has increased tremendously. These “job offers” all have two things in common; you are required to have an online bank account and you must be able to check email frequently. In return for these requirements there are promises that large amounts of money can be made, usually five to ten percent in commission for every payment forwarded to the company headquarters.

To make it even more convincing, fake companies are created and complete Web sites with job offers and background information are generated. Interested parties receive convincing job offers with social benefits and health care plans. So, what's behind it? As you have probably guessed by now, these are recruitment emails from phishers. They are constantly searching for "money mules" that will receive payments from stolen accounts and then transfer the cash back to the real attacker. Many phishers are swimming in stolen account credentials and can hardly keep up with the transfers of money out of the accounts. This type of money laundering makes it difficult to trace the money, and since the gullible middleman (not the real culprit) is often arrested by the police, we see that the latter part of “money for nothing, and the cops for free” comes into play.

So, just remember that if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is, and this is usually the case with spam and phishing email. If possible, please ensure that your email spam filter is up to date, and if these types of messages still get through make sure to delete and ignore any such offers. Users should never even begin to involve themselves with any type of scam, as they will be the ones to suffer the consequences, not the phishers.