Is this job a scam?
February 15, 2011 11:04 PM   Subscribe

I can't tell if this job is a scam or not. Help please!

I applied to a job on Gumtree (the Aussie version of Craigslist, I think) and found this job. It seems like an interesting job that doesn't take too much time. She says she'll pay $200 p/w, which is not unrealistic.

On Preview: is this similar to this scam?

Here are the emails she sent me:

Basically I’m looking for assistants or shopping helpers, which can buy some stuff by orders of my clients or to receive corporate documents and some other special orders for delivery locally by you.
No heavy stuff to lift up.
Every day I have different orders.
Your duties:
Every week I’ll send you each item description, which I’m looking for.

It is easy job but a little specific.
I have 10 – 40 customers every day with different orders from all areas of EUROPE and Australia.
I have some special orders also as corporate documents delivery, cash delivery, jewelry delivery and gifts delivery etc.
I’m giving you more information regarding your job.
You don’t need a car.
How is money sent to me in order to buy the items you need?
Money will go directly to store or going to your bank account. You’ll have cash for your job in your hands.
It is very easy for people which are not experienced shoppers.
This is legitimate. As I said I have different orders every day. If you really interested I’ll teach you about each deal at the same time when it will come to that point.
I’ll try to make you busy if you would like to.
I’m busy too much. That’s why I’m looking for assistants.

The second one:

You get the money in your bank account as payment for your job and for laptops, which I sold at auction, make sure you have your first order and you can handle.
I’ll give you easy job for the first time. If you don’t have available time please give me your plan for the next week. As you know our hours are flexible.
So please give me your banking information

Every time I’ll provide you with all necessary information and instructions in details.
I am selling and buying stuff on the auction all around Europe and Asia.
I don’t need any company and any websites for that.
For example, If I have to buy stuff in Germany locally I have to pay high taxes.
That’s why I am using different people in another country.
This is good for my customers. I‘ll be clear under the LAW of any Country.
I need your help. If you will follow my instruction I’ll give much more possibility for your future with real profit.
P.S. the first deal for you as a test and I must see how you can candle that.
If you are ready to go let me know about your plan for the week.

To be honest, I'm still unclear what exactly she's doing and that makes me think it's a bit dodgy, on the other hand, from my recollection and from my googling, it doesn't seem to fit into the normal scam pattern.

I will be opening a new account for this if I'm going through with it and will not keep any money in it, so I don't think there's too much risk to me? I have not given her any information which I would otherwise not give to anyone else. (ie. they're just information from my CV)

Any advice would be appreciated!
posted by moomootown to Work & Money (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If someone has to tell you their business is legitimate, it's usually not.

It sounds like she's trying to use people to dodge paying taxes on goods she fences... er, buys to resell.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 11:19 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Well-known scam. I can't remember the details, but essentially you're fencing stolen goods or collecting money for goods which will never be sent or something like that . . . all of which you will be responsible for, eventually. Stay away!
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 11:20 PM on February 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

She's asking for your bank information. I can't think of a reason she would need that. I would dismiss as a scam.
posted by studioaudience at 11:20 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Looks like a money mule advert to me. Lots of other people seem to be getting identical emails - I'd steer clear if I were you.
posted by orangeseed at 11:21 PM on February 15, 2011

The money deposited in your account could be the result of fraud such as a stolen cheque. You then get the blame and have to return the money.
posted by JonB at 11:21 PM on February 15, 2011

-Emails in somewhat broken English,
- which don't lay out a clear explanation of specific jobs you would be doing -- would you be doing pickup or delivery? of a suspiciously wide range of things from documents to jewelry? for clients in EUROPE (why capitalized?) who want things picked up and delivered "locally" (but with no specifics about your actual town?)
- which protest to the job's legitimacy before you even ask ("we're a legitimate business!")
- which protest to the job's easiness, and
- which ask for your bank account number?
These signs point to scam.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:21 PM on February 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

"Please give me your banking information". That's all you need to know. It's a scam.
posted by fatbird at 11:23 PM on February 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

Fatbird: she only asks for my account number and name, which she would need to transfer money.

Thanks everyone,I'll steer clear of this one. Was pretty sure it was a scam, but figured I'd make sure and see what her angle was
posted by moomootown at 11:36 PM on February 15, 2011

"She" may keep emailing you, trying to offer reassurances and build a rapport with you, to gain your confidence. It's a scam pure and simple. Don't write back to refuse; just say no, and filter your emails so you never see anything from "her" again.
posted by jon1270 at 1:21 AM on February 16, 2011

she only asks for my account number and name, which she would need to transfer money.
I think, as a general rule, anybody who has enough information to electronically send money to your bank account also has enough information to write fake cheques that draw on your account. In Australia, this is account name, number and BSB.

This is probably not the particular scam that's being pulled here; faking personal cheques is a charmingly quaint sort of crime these days. But I think it's still worth remembering.
posted by dansdata at 1:49 AM on February 16, 2011

aghh.... just say no, and filter your emails
posted by jon1270 at 3:20 AM on February 16, 2011

she only asks for my account number and name, which she would need to transfer money.

....And conveniently, it's also all she needs to transfer money OUT of your account.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:58 AM on February 16, 2011

Sorry, hit "post" too soon.

If it's a data point -- I have given my employer this information as well, but I wasn't asked to provide it until AFTER I had already been hired, and it wasn't a requirement for the position. I was only asked for this information because I had MYSELF requested to be paid via direct deposit.

So while reputable employers do sometimes get their employee's bank details, it's usually not until after they've hired them, and the employee is the one that initiates the process. This situation is neither case.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:00 AM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

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