Monday, March 21, 2005

Money for jam: a new kind of scam

Money for jam: a new kind of scam
By Sam Varghese
September 10, 2003

In what appears to be a scam of a different kind, an email is doing the rounds offering people 10 percent of the money deposited in their bank accounts by outsiders.

The email starts off:

"Looking for a perspective (sic) and well-paid job in Australia?
1. If you are looking for a perspective and well-paid work in Australia (of more than 1000 $ aud in a week guaranteed).
2. If you are a Australian resident (Obligatory condition).
3. If you are over 18 (Obligatory condition)."
A link with the text "Check up our site for the further information" follows, advising the readers to "Click here (once)".

Clicking on this link take one to a webpage located at advinc-ma.netfirms.com which provides the following advice:

"My name is Andrew Colobanoff. I am an advertising manager of the A.I.C company. Our website address www.aicau.net

(Reader Derek Jenkins added a word of warning about the aicau site: "It contains malicious VB scripting that creates a trojan (Win32/Aicau.Downloader) EXE called c:\2.exe. It was only discovered on September 9 and I suspect that most users' antivirus packages would not offer protection from it at this stage," he wrote.)

"The company deals with many overseas partners, but for the time being we have offices only in Russia and in the USA.

"At the moment we receive a lot of orders from Australia and New Zealand. So we are looking for agents in Australia for distant work.

"Our clients stipulate that they pay for our services only in Australian banks such as ANZ, National, and Westpac.

"Our offices will be opened in the country only in 2-3 months. Meanwhile, in order to start working with the clients in Australia we need to have accounts in the above-mentioned banks.

"If you live in Australia and you are ready to become our agent you should do the following:

"1. Open an account in one of the above-mentioned banks

"2. Send us the bank account data

"3. After receiving money (you'll get $2000-3000 monthly) you are to take 10% commission and send us the rest by WesternUnion

"With time you'll be able to open more accounts...

"Frequently-asked questions (FAQ's):

"1. Do I have to pay the money order tax?

"No, you don't, all the taxes are included.

"2. How long do you intend to cooperate with me?

"We are going to cooperate with our agents until we open an office in Australia. Provided we are satisfied with your work, we might suggest you signing a full-time job contract.

"3. Are you not afraid of entrusting me your money?

"As far as we know your bank account data, we can easily find you. We need honest and reliable people who have unlimited access to internet. You'll get a chance to earn some money, it can be both a good perquisite, and a favorable collaboration with us. The internet business is developing rapidly and has good prospects. It will bring you considerable profits, besides it can provide you with a place in our company. If you are ready to cooperate, you should open an account in one of the above-mentioned banks and inform us of its data."

Reader Robert Coleman, who received the email and did a bit of sleuthing, said: "The basic modus operandi appears to be, money is not transferred out of the bank, but across to another account within the bank. Who would think to look within the bank for the proceeds of a robbery? It is then taken out of the country via Western Union. Neat and simple. This is based just on the websites I saw and a bit of supposition, but it fits pretty well."

Another reader, Daniel McNamara, wrote in that he had received a different piece of spam that creates the same trojan. McNamara was curious and did a bit of investigation which makes for compelling reading.

An email query to Colobanoff as to where the money was coming from received no reply.


This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/09/10/1062902087603.html

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