Google work at home scam

Any information or research into the rampant "Nigerian Scam" messages.

Google work at home scam

Postby AlphaCentauri » Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:18 pm

I guess work at home scams fit more into "advanced fee fraud" than anything. I was talking today to someone who fell for this:
http://www.myeyewitnessnews.com/news/lo ... nNxQA.cspx

The scammers imply you can become a Google employee working at home. In reality they just tell you how Google AdSense works. They also post a Better Business Bureau logo. Since the BBB rates non-member businesses, you could even link to the BBB site and the victims would find no complaints for the first couple days a site was up.

The woman I talked to felt that she was doing her homework. She had bypassed several other work at home schemes, but the Google name and the Better Business Bureau logo took her in. She was fortunately still skeptical enough to insist on getting a postal address and mailing a money order for her $1 processing fee rather than giving them a check or a credit card number, as part of the scam is to start charging the victim recurring fees.

But what really got me was that when I told her she should never trust anything advertised in spam, she replied that she didn't hear about it from spam. When I asked how she did hear about it, she replied, "In email." It turns out her ISP is doing such a good job filtering her spam that she assumed the process was 100% accurate and that anything that bypassed the spam filters must be legitimate.

It's another example where spam filtering actually makes it easier for spammers to deceive people by making it seem that one particular spam email is not like all the others. I'm sure the 419ers would have a much harder time if people really knew how many Nigerian widows were all trying to give them money.
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Re: Google work at home scam

Postby spamislame » Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:36 pm

I think a story like this is the one related in that "Stop H*Commerce" documentary (for those of you who still have not seen it: go here. It's worth it.)

This raises a key, key point: the most vulnerable victims of these crimes might be brushed off as being "stupid" by any tech-savvy user. It is crucial to note that these are the key targets for this type of crime because they just flat out don't know what they don't know. It can be extremely difficult to get across to someone like this that they're even participating in a crime like money laundering, or that their money is being stolen by someone 7,000 miles away. They simply can't understand the underlying details. This doesn't make them stupid, merely uninformed.

At a certain point - say, the 12th time you've been asked to send the same guy $40,000 - I would personally have to admit: this person is not the brightest. (You've been told you're getting an inheritance, and yet you're the one sending all the money?! 12 times?! To someone you've never met?!) But the reality is that especially at the beginning, in order to properly help these people, there needs to be a LOT of information out there to get across to them that these are scams. That is a much more difficult process than informing someone who's even mildly technically competent.

Has she done further research or is she now dissuaded from continuing further?

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Re: Google work at home scam

Postby AlphaCentauri » Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:11 am

spamislame wrote:Has she done further research or is she now dissuaded from continuing further?


No, once I showed her the write ups about 1500 complaints to the BBB, she knew her $1 was gone for good. :lol: I'm sure they'll put her on their list of people worth trying to scam in the future, though. It will be interesting to see if they send her the kit or try to get the rest of the money from her somehow -- apparently the $1 is for a "risk free trial" and you owe money if you don't cancel.

She understood when I explained that unsolicited commercial email is spam whether the spam filters think so or not, so I hope she'll be in a better position to resist that stuff in the future. She does actually look in her spam folder and knows what kind of stuff is there, so she isn't completely in the dark. There's just so much to know when you're new on line.
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Re: Google work at home scam

Postby spamislame » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:03 am

AlphaCentauri wrote:She does actually look in her spam folder and knows what kind of stuff is there, so she isn't completely in the dark. There's just so much to know when you're new on line.


Agreed.

I have a friend who travels extensively and he said this to me one time regarding how to protect people from online criminality:

"New Internet users should treat connecting to the internet as if they were walking around back alleys in Sao Paulo. You're going to come across a lot of scumbags and criminals who will seem like perfectly friendly people, and they will try to steal your money by any means necessary."

It's a pretty apt description, except without the fear of physical danger that being in such a distant and (at least on the surface) dangerous place would entail.

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