Most frauds in general exploit human greed. Recruitment of Unwitting Money Launderers by Bogus Letters of Employment (RUMBLE) is a recently christened but hardly new fraud and money laundering scam.
Almost everyone using email these days has at one point been a target of this con. The RUMBLE scam exploits the genuine need to find employment. In other cases, family commitments might prevent one from retaining a job with regular work hours, for example with a mother taking care of new born.
It also takes advantage of the desire to boost existing income and due to its seemingly harmless and easy nature, is cultivating numerous victims.
Here is how a typical scheme works.
You receive an unsolicited email with an offer of part-time employment. This is done by professional email spammers who can send out thousands of emails to unsuspecting targets.
Most are normally blocked by spam filters but a substantial number land their targets and a few take the hook. Normally, the company is located in foreign country to ensure that the targeted victims will not try to establish a physical address and the nature of the job is such that the company would not find a justifiable need to recruit and retain permanent staff in the region as the job requires a maximum of 4 ï¿½five hours weekly.
The exact nature of the job offer will vary in nature or industry but the bottom line is that the employment will require the person to be a local contact person receiving and remitting payments for specific functions and in the process deducting their salary or commission for the job done.
Normally, the employee will receive money through their personal accounts and remit a certain percentage, say 10 per cent, to a third party through a different money remitter like Western Union, MoneyGram, Hawala or other forms or informal remittance systems. This is done to obscure the paper trail in case an investigation is launched into the scam.
In an example, a company calling itself Amerifreight Enterprise with a website at www.amerifreightusa.com sends an email using the email address email@example.com with the subject reading Subject: Employment - Amerifreight Enterprise.
The company purports to be recruiting CS Managers (Contingency Support Managers) to be representatives for their clients in transport trouble. That means that the company sends alternative transport means to the client in trouble and send the vehicle for repair to their factory.
Using a simple Google search, you will find a similar company called Amerifreight with a website with a domain name www.amerifreight.net and realise that it is meant to create credibility through familiarity.
These fraudsters are audacious enough to associate themselves with internationally recognised and reputable organisations. On reading details of the company and their operations, the alleged business would not be convincing to anyone in the freight industry. Your main job description is to receive funds from the Head Manager and send it to the nearest Repair Manager where the transport has broken.
For this effort, you are paid an agreed commission to be deducted from the money sent to you. If the company sends $10,000, you are simply to deduct 10 per cent or $1,000 withdraw $9,000 which you will remit as per given instructions in an email. Effortless! You would say.
They will ask for your personal details including bank account number where they should remit the money but this can be also used for the twin objective of defrauding your account through forgery of negotiable instruments like cheques.
There is no legitimate reason a company would retain an independent person to transfer money in this manner unless they want to defraud or launder proceeds of a phishing syndicate (a credit card fraud method) or proceeds from other illegitimate business like human and drug trafficking.
To avoid being a victim, as a rule, search ownership of websites on www.allwhois.com ï¿½ legitimate businesses will definitely have verifiable owner details. Second, do not take up unsolicited e-mail job offers with no plausible commercial purpose as they are suspicious and almost obviously criminal.