Scam Advice.

scam1

I received an email today from someone in the USA who had found my fake check article and wanted to know if they were being scammed. As soon as they told me what was going on, I knew the answer was yes. Luckily, they had not received the check yet, and they will not be depositing it when they do. This scammer will be hearing from me as a surprise, instead..

I asked the scam victim to forward on the emails to me, so that I could post them here – this way any other potential victims can find these details and know right away that it is a scam.

Scammer Email #1

From: DONALD CRAIG {diesel@mail.wowway.com} (1)
Date: Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 2:50 PM
Subject: PART TIME JOB OFFER
To: (2)

If you are organized and honest, you can make three hundred dollars
($350) (3) a week, as a business assistant.Reply for more details .

Please all replies should be forwarded to donaldcraig18820@gmail.com

And please include your phone number.

Thanks
Donald Craig

Warning Signs #1

So, let us take a quick look at the clues here which point to this being a scam.

1. Donald Craig is emailing from one address (diesel@mail.wowway.com) and asking people to reply to a different address (donaldcraig18820@gmail.com) – Scammers do this because there is a very good chance the email address they are spamming people from will be closed down.

2. There is no name or email address in the To field. This gives the sign it is being blasted to multiple email accounts at the same time.

3. You can make three hundred dollars ($350) <-- one of these is not the same as the other. :) The person replied to the email with a brief note saying they were interested and they would like to know more. They received this reply -

Scammer Email #2

From: Donald Criag (1) <donaldcraig18820@gmail.com>

Hello {NAME},

Thank you for your reply.

Here is a brief overview of who we are and what we do. We are a Europe (2) based company, offering business consultancy services to numerous clients across the globe like auditing, accounting, investment counsels and particularly offshore incorporation services. You can read more about us below:

Snoskred deleted the link as these sites can sometimes contain malware and simply will say Connected Sky is the name of the website.

With an increase in our customers from different parts of the globe, the expansion of the company has made it essential in recent times to employ part-time representatives (reps) in different geographic locations where we render service. The current expansion is what has created job opportunities like this for people like you.

We currently have 12 agents i.e. certified accountants in the United States AND CANADA (3) working for the company. These agents periodically require materials like envelopes, files and stamps to carry out their daily job.
They shall email you whenever they need these materials and also state precisely which type of materials and the quantity they shall need.

Your job as a ‘rep’ is to contact the supplier through email to make orders for the materials requested for and also state the quantity that should be mailed to the agents address through post. (A standard supplier has been contracted to be making available these materials)

An agent can only order for materials once a week.

It has become quite untidy having 12 different agents, contacting different suppliers at different times for materials. It has not brought about accurate accountability for (ConnectedSky). We are employing you so all agents place their order with one person- You, and the supplier gets the orders placed, from that same person- You.
Having an employee like this in place would bring about precise accountability for the company, as we get to know what is been ordered and what is been supplied, and plus it saves us time. You shall be keeping a record of what an agent orders, and also a record of what you ask the supplier to provide. (Of course the logs have to match, as you are expected to ask from the supplier only what the agents’ demand).

Please note that all costs of supplies, shall be handled by the company, and at no time whatsoever shall you be asked by (ConnectedSky) to pay any charges or hidden fees- NO!.

Salary/wages payment: $350 weekly will be paid to you in form of cheque.

Just like we said, it is a flexible online/ ’work from home’ job compatible even with undergraduates as it does not require having a college degree, so long as you are computer literate, you have an email and you can keep records.

Agents will only contact you for materials during the weekdays.

We will always email you guidelines and instructions to follow in getting your job done perfectly when you start working.

If you still care to proceed with the job, get back to us with your information listed below then we can proceed from there.

1, NAME: (4)
2, CONTACT ADDRESS,
3,CITY,
4,STATE,
5,ZIPCODE:
6, MOBILE:
7, AGE:
8, SEX:
9, EMAIL ADDRESS

Please all replies should be forwarded to (5)

And please include your phone number and all replies should be forwarded to this email

And you can reach me on this number 7072603466

I will be waiting to hear from you soon.

Regards,

DONALD CRAIG

Warning Signs #2

So what clues have we been provided in this email?

1. Donald Criag – most people know how to spell their own name. If it is mis-spelled, chances are, this is not their real name.

2. Europe is not a country. Real companies would say they are based in COUNTRY not CONTINENT. EG We are based in Germany.

3. Capital letters as a surprise out of nowhere are a dead giveaway.

4. The part with 1, NAME: – if you ever receive an email that asks you to supply details in that kind of format, you can be certain that it is a scam. No legit employer would ever ask for your details in this manner.

5. Please all replies should be forwarded to blank? Forget to put something in there, did you, scammer?

If you go to the supplied website, it looks legit until you do some googling and then you discover that other sites out there have the exact same text.

Google A Line Of Text

Taking lines of text from this email and searching for them can be quite interesting. For example this line –

Please note that all costs of supplies, shall be handled by the company, and at no time whatsoever shall you be asked by (ConnectedSky) to pay any charges or hidden fees- NO!

comes back with these results – and you’ll quickly note the brackets contain many and varied company names within the exact same sentence –

Please note that all costs of supplies, shall be handled by the company, and at no time whatsoever shall you be asked by (sovereigngroup Ltd) to pay any charges or hidden fees- NO!

Please note that all costs of supplies, shall be handled by the company, and at no time whatsoever shall you be asked by (HI Audit Kyriacou & Partners) to pay any charges or hidden fees- NO!

Please note that all costs of supplies, shall be handled by the company, and at no time whatsoever shall you be asked by (Global Consultants) to pay any charges or hidden fees- NO!

Please note that all costs of supplies, shall be handled by the company, and at no time whatsoever shall you be asked by C&N to pay any charges or hidden fees- NO! – in this case there are no brackets, this scammer is likely the one who wrote the “script” to begin with.

What Script?

Scammers work on a script. When one of their gang finds the script to be successful, they will pass it on to other gang members who will use it – just changing their name, email address, phone numbers and the company name.

Scammer Email #3

Hello {name},

Thank you for the reply.

Your Details have been taken down and passed over to the admin. They have processed and reviewed your application so you can begin work immediately.

Please be informed that you will be working as the company’s representative in your location. Nothing hectic, as your recruit manager I’ll be giving you guidance every step of the way and attending to your every question until you get the complete hang of it.

Secondly, at this juncture I need to know through which channel, would you prefer receiving your salary- via check or via direct deposit?

We usually recommend paying via check, and I advise you select that also. As a straightforward and transparency principle, this way we can keep the working relationship as open and as simple as possible. (It is also via cheque (1) payments that the company shall fund you the money needed for ordering materials, which you shall pay to the supplier).

Note that your first salary shall be prepaid, (2) which means that your salary shall be included in the first check you receive and you will be paid as you start. Your salary after that shall be paid weekly, on Fridays.

Lastly, let me know if you can get started this week?

And please include your phone number and all replies should be forwarded to this email

And you can reach me on this number 7072603466 (3)

I will be waiting to hear from you soon.

Regards,

Donald Craig

Warning Signs #3

1. Note the two different spellings of check & cheque. It is spelled cheque in my own country but most of the scam victims I speak with are in the USA. I’ve often struggled to make sure I spell it as check myself and I am not trying to scam anyone. :)

2. They are going to give you money for doing nothing? Prepaid salary is not something legitimate jobs do.

3. Why is the phone number on the web site for Cyprus, and this one is for the USA? Both numbers divert to Nigeria, via a redirection service, by the way.

Scammer Email #4

Hello {name},

I got the response from the admin department earlier today and all your details with the company have been entered on there.

Please be notified that the company would be sending you a cheque to the residential address which you provided for you to purchase the necessary materials that our agents have been placing orders for.

The company shall also include in the cheque, your first salary of $350.

Note that your other salaries after this shall be paid at the end of the week- on Fridays.

The cheque shall be forwarded to you via courier and which begins this week Tuesday

Feel free to ask any questions and kindly stay close to your email, as I shall be mailing you at intervals.

Please all replies should be forwarded to (1)

And please include your phone number (2)

DONALD CRAIG

Warning Signs #4

1. Again no email address to forward replies to.

2. You have already provided your phone number, a couple of emails ago.

Scammer Email #5

Hello {name},

Check (1) for the supplier has been mailed out to your address you shall receive it this week Tuesday which is tomorrow.

The Cheque (1) is from one of our clients who is making part payment for auditing and account review services rendered by us. (2) You shall deduct your salary of $350 and pay the supplier the remaining funds.

As soon as you receive the Check, go straight to your bank and deposit the cheque at your bank. You’ll need to enquire from the bank when the funds would be available for withdrawal in 24 hours.

Here is the tracking number UPS.COM {number}

Use it to monitor exactly what time the package would arrive at your address.

Note that the funds would be available for withdrawal or 24/48 hours after you have deposited it into your bank account.

kindly send me me a reply or text me so i will be able to know when the funds would be available so i can get the name and location of the supplier and send them to you.

After you must have received the funds, keep your salary in your bank account (which is $350)

You can text me or call me on my this number (707) 676-3105 (4) to update me on the step after you have gotten back to me with reply from the bank

Would be waiting to hear from you soon.

Regards

DONALD CRAIG

Warning Signs #4

1. Again the check/cheque misspelling.

2. So now you are receiving a payment for the company and processing that via your bank account. Money laundering, anyone?

3. “kindly” is a word the Nigerians use a lot, along with “I will like to” “update me urgently” “compliments of the season” “modalities” and a few other catchphrases.

4. 7072603466 was the number previously given. Now we have a new number? And note it is written differently as well. (707) 676-3105

It was at this point that the scam victim became suspicious and did some googling – and they found my website as a result and sent me an email reaching out for assistance. Thank the deities, they will not be scammed. But for every one person who reaches out, there are thousands of people who do get scammed.

The scammers are constantly coming up with new scams – here is one which talks about wrapping your car in advertising to be paid a weekly amount via cheque and when you read through the comments there you will see hundreds of people who fell for it..

The Only Answer

Banks need to stop allowing checks / cheques / bank drafts. Full stop, end of story. There is no reason in these days of electronic funds transfer for this form of payment to be used. Allowing it simply allows the scammers to get away with these scams – especially when the bank is often a willing participant, telling people checks have cleared when they can bounce up to a year later!

Until then, you have to protect yourself, and here is the best advice I have seen on this subject – though I have added a rule #7 just to make things perfectly clear.

How To Avoid Fake Job Scams

Bitter Bastard said it best in their reply here

“Rules to follow” to avoid most fake jobs:
1) Job asks you to use your personal bank account and/or open a new one.
2) Job asks you to print/mail/cash a check or money order.
3) Job asks you to use Western Union or moneygram in any capacity.
4) Job asks you to accept packages and re-ship them on to anyone.
5) Job asks you to pay visas, travel fees via Western Union or moneygram.
6) Job asks you to sign up for a credit reporting or identity verification site.
7. Job asks you to deposit a check into your personal account.

Avoiding all jobs that mention any of the above listed ‘red flags’ and you will miss nearly all fake jobs. Only scammers ask you to do any of the above. No. Exceptions. Ever. For any reason.

Wait! I’m being scammed by Connected Sky

Did you find this post searching for something like “is connectedsky business assistant job a scam” – the answer to that question is yes – this is a scam. There is no job. You will be sent a fraudulent check, and they want you to send them money because your bank will clear the check at first.

If you have banked a check from them –

but you still have the money and have not sent it anywhere – PUT THAT MONEY BACK IN YOUR BANK RIGHT NOW. Do not send any money via Western Union or Moneygram.

If you have banked a check from them –

And you have sent the money via Western Union or Moneygram, then you may wish to seek legal advice. I strongly suggest that you do so as a matter of urgency, because..

In the USA, scam victims can be arrested for banking a fraudulent check.

Even the FTC in the US gives out incorrect information re check scams – they say “The bottom line is that until the bank confirms that the funds from the check have been deposited into your account, you are responsible for any funds you withdraw against that check.”

This is UNTRUE –

even if the bank confirms the funds have been deposited, the bank can undo the transaction at any time when they discover the check was stolen or fraudulent – even up to a year after they “cleared” it. But you did not know this, and nobody ever tells anyone this.

If you are not willing to seek legal advice, the only advice I can personally provide to you is to print out all the emails you received and the emails you sent, print out that page from the Federal Trade Commission and keep it somewhere safe for if/when the police eventually turn up on your doorstep.

but be aware –

and I want to make this very clear –

You will have to pay this money back to the bank eventually. The sooner you make arrangements to do this, the better.

Please Leave A Comment

If you have been in contact with these scammers, telling others about your experience, so that they can know they are not alone.

Every single day, several people are finding this post by searching for the text, email addresses, phone numbers, or company name contained within this post. If you are one of these people, please comment to let us know what you searched for and what led you here.

If you need further advice, please leave a comment on this post, or use the contact form to get in touch with me.

Similar Posts:

fake checks, Internet Safety, scam victims are not stupid, scambaiting, scams

24 thoughts on “Scam Advice.

  1. Quite fascinating to look at the detail, but I don’t know how people could be so gullible. Without going over carefully as you have done, it just smells like a rat. You are going to get something for virtually nothing? Not in my world.

    • There are so many answers as to why people can be tricked into being scammed – the scammers do tend to target the stay at home mums, the disabled, the elderly, the new to the internet, and the desperate.

      However, I look at it similarly to any crime – I prefer to blame the criminal and not the crime victim.

      If I hired a car and ventured to Melbourne, and then parked my car somewhere you would never park it, would you blame me if my car got broken into and/or stolen? :) I hope you would not. I hope you would blame the criminal who committed a crime.

      The trouble is, in Nigeria there is so much corruption that nobody is ever prosecuted or jailed for their part in scamming people. There is a culture that this kind of crime is fine, and they justify it similarly to what you’ve said here – people fell for it, so it was perfectly fine.

      And in the case of fake checks/cheques, banks actually assist the criminals. Did you know a cheque can bounce up to a year after it was “cleared”? Yes, this happens in Australia, regularly. But the scam victim asks the bank “did the cheque clear” and the bank says YES but then takes no responsibility when it “unclears”.

      Banks have everything they need to figure out the check is fraudulent, yet they choose not to figure it out, and they often tell people the check has cleared – and take zero responsibility when it “unclears”.

      People assume if the check “clears” it must be fine, because they believe that banks have done some homework and checked to see if the account exists and if the funds are there.

      If the banks were the ones to lose the money, you betcha they’d stop allowing checks at all – or they would do their homework and make sure the check was real.

      I have seen people get a letter in writing from the bank to state that the check has cleared and the funds are available, and even that does nothing for them once the check unclears.

      So it isn’t quite as simple as it seems on the surface, but then nothing in life is really. :)

  2. I recieved this email yesterday. Obviously, it’s a scam. I did a search on the telephone number & found this article. I would like to report this to the proper authority. Can you provide me with that information. I’m sure there are plenty of people that will get dupped if this isnt stopped. It should be obvious that noone is going to pay anybody $350 a week to order office supplies, but many people are hungry & will fall victim to these scammers. Of course, it’s the saddest, poorest members of society that are prayed upon. So sad!!!

    • Michele, there is not really a proper authority to report this to, unfortunately. In Nigeria the police are corrupt and nobody does anything about these crimes. In other countries, there is not much the police can do as the crime is taking place in Nigeria. The only thing that might help is to shut down Western Union and Moneygram to Nigeria, but that is something people have been working on for years and it does not seem like it will happen. Those companies profit from this crime, or else they would warn people sending money to these and a few other countries known for these scams eg Accra Ghana, South Africa.

      There are some prosecutions happening in the UK because some of the scammers have based themselves there, but those are fairly few and far between.

      The only thing that I can personally do is to post it here and hope people find it when they google the company name. The only thing *you* can do is make sure your family and friends are educated about this – print out those 7 steps and pass them around. Stick them up on community noticeboards, if you can. Speak to your bank, make sure the tellers are aware that checks can bounce up to a year later and that they make sure to tell people that.

  3. My son is a freshman in college and told me about a part time job working from home. It sounded fishy so I asked him to forward me the email. It was this exact email. I told him I could tell right away I thought it was a scam. A Europe based company & the fact that they were asking him to reply to tonyhook1983@gmail.com, a completely different email address which is a Gmail and not a business email. Glad I saw this post & forwarded him the link. He is naive to email scams & identity theft and this was an opportunity to teach him to always be skeptical of emails asking for personal information or in this case, a job reaching out to you that you haven’t applied & wanting to pay your for doing nothing. The email was sent to his college email too. I’m sure this has been sent to many other college students who were very eager to hear more like he was.

    • Hi Heather,

      First of all, that cheque should go nowhere near your bank or any place you can cash a cheque. Keep it at home.

      Second of all, if you can take a photo of the cheque and send it to me, I will try to track down the company or the people whose account information has been compromised and warn them.

      Thirdly, you may find the scammers try to threaten you or push you to cooperate – do not reply to any more of their emails. If they will not stop, I can threaten them on your behalf if you would like.

      I’m commenting with this info here on my blog but I will also email this directly to you.

      Thanks for leaving a comment! :)
      Snoskred

  4. They, Connectsky, just left me the first of the scam e mail…the one that says I can start this week. Should I reply and say I am not interested? I feel stupid because now they have my phone number/address….What should I do? suzy

    • Suzy – I suggest you keep it simple and reply as follows –

      —————-
      I am now aware that this is not a legitimate job and that you are trying to scam me.
      Do not email me anymore – I have reported your emails to the local police and I will send any further emails directly to them. Do not mail me any fake checks – I will not accept any deliveries that you send to me.

      Leave me alone!
      —————-

      Copy and paste the bits in between the —————- into your email, send that off, and do not reply to any further emails.

      You may find the scammers try to threaten you or push you to cooperate – do not reply to any more of their emails. If they will not stop, I can threaten them on your behalf if you would like.

      I would not worry too much about their having your phone and address – they are not likely to waste their time and phone credits calling someone who has told them they know it is a scam.

      What I would be concerned with – they will give your email address to other scammers, and you are likely to receive all kinds of scam emails. So just keep the number one rule in mind –

      NO money is coming to you as a surprise via your inbox

      Also, if you receive an email and you think it might be legit, you can always forward it to me and I will investigate – possibly even here on the blog so more people than just yourself can be able to find out the email is a scam – or you can use the scamomatic –

      http://www.scamomatic.com/

      which will tell you if an email is a scam, and also will report the email to the 419 watch list.

      I will send this to you via email as well as via the comment here. :)

      Safe internet travels to you!
      Snoskred

  5. I was just emailed this exact letter this morning to my school email. After the initial excitement (since I have been fervently looking for a job) I did a search and found this page. Thank you so much for the information!

  6. I have been sent the same email and was actually about to deposit it in my account .. Thank you please email me !

  7. I was contacted through my college email account. I’m glad this post is here. I have a check in my hand. I almost deposited it. I’m going to file it and the emails away just in case. And I’m having them blocked by the tech team at my school.

  8. I received the same email. It was originally sent to my friends college account and she knew I was looking fora job and told me to check it out. The only information they have is my name and email but I figured it was a scam when they offered to send me money to purchase materials for their workers and they don’t know anything about me. I googled them and this site came up. Thanks for informing the public.

  9. I got the emails and replied. Got the check today. I thought all along it was a scam. When I searched a week ago, I did not see this site. Thanks. I will respond to them that I know it’s a scam. I emailed that I wanted to talk to a person all along. I did not like the lack of information but I felt that giving them information that they could get from white pages was safe enough – name address, phone and email only.

  10. I cannot thank you enough for this information. A young relative thought he had 3 great-paying jobs lined up to start this week….until he told me the name of one (Connected Sky). I looked it up and found this page. My relative actually deposited a $2,000 check from one job, but the bank has been holding it for about 2 weeks. That turned out to be a blessing after all, since the check and the job are actually fraudulent. You are saving people a lot of trouble and heartache. Thank you!

  11. I just got the first few emails. I had posted my resume to Craigslist out of desperation of job-hunting. I replied back to find out more info. Smh. Good thing I asked for more info because it was so vague. I don’t need to reply back, right? It’s not like they can do much with just a name/phone number/email address/resume, right?? Anyway, thank you for having this post up. With every other horrible thing happening to me lately, this really saved me.

    • Allison, do not reply any further to them. ;) They may call you if you gave them your number. Tell them A FRIEND told you it was a scam, and you are reporting them to the police. Do NOT tell them about finding their info here on this website otherwise they will just change their name again.

  12. It is December 22, 2016 and I responded to an ad posted on Craigslist looking for reps. It said office help position $18/ hour working from home. It was signed Londell Futrel. I received an email this morning. Before I replied to it I thought I would go the website that was connected to it. The website looked fishy. The words were all over the page and very spaced out. So I decided to google it. The company never showed up which led me to this page. The things on this page is exactly what the email that was sent to me said. WORD FOR WORD! I am upset because this is the holiday season and I am a single mother in need of income in the next 3 weeks. I have just had a baby 5 weeks ago and should still be resting. But to keep from being evicted I decided to try and find work on the internet that way I could still be home with the baby and not have to do any labor work to strain my body. I am thankful for this page because though I need money in not willing to do anything illegal to get it. I hope my comment can help someone. It is so sad over a year after this page was put up and these people are still trying to scam people.

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