Work-At-Home Scambuster Series — Email phishing

Work-at-home and home-based business scams come in many flavors, and this one seems to be a sweet opportunity — until you bite into it.


Here’s a letter we received after posting a resume on a job board:

From: [email protected]

Subject: No fee required to work with us

Date: November 27, 2007 11:31:54 PM PST

We are looking for partners worldwide. The position is home-based. Our Company Head Office is located in UK with branches all over the world. We are looking for talented, honest, reliable representatives from different regions. The ideal candidate will be an intelligent person, someone who can work autonomously with a high degree of enthusiasm. Our Company offers a very competitive salary to the successful candidate, along with an unrivalled career progression opportunity.

If you would like to work with our active, dynamic team, we invite you to apply for employment. Preference will be given to applicants with knowledge of multiple languages. Please send the following information to [email protected]

1. Full name

2. Address of residence

3 Contact Phone numbers

4 Languages spoken

5 Whether you are interested in part time job or full time employment.

Thank you. We look forward to working with you.

Looks good right? Wrong.

There are a couple of clues: why is someone from nVidia, a huge computer graphics hardware manufacturer in Silicon Valley writing to ask you if you want to work at home. And why are you supposed to reply to a different email address; why can’t they spell ‘unrivaled’ if they’re such a big deal company?

You guessed it, Brianna at nVidia didn’t write this at all. They stole that address and used it to write to you in hopes you’ll reply so they can add your email address to a list of verified victims that they’ll sell to other scammers. Nice, huh?

One way to fend off email spam is to use disposable email addresses (a.k.a. DEAs). Yahoo and others email services allow you to set up custom addresses that you can throw away after your job search is done of if you start receiving spam. If your regular address is [email protected], for example, you can set up other addresses such as [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], etc.

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