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 Is this a new scam? Bold fishing

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SlashDotKarma
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Joined: 01 Jul 2011
Posts: 8


PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hello Folks

I found this website yesterday and spent about ten hours reading all the scams - and love what you are doing. Normally I lurk before joining forums but, this time, I decided to sign up and tell you about something a friend has recently experienced which I think is a document/Id/information fishing expedition by some bold scammers. I haven't found anything similar on the forum so thought I would put this out there.

I believe this is a scam in progress so I won't go into details and will generalise the information.

The following phone call is un-solicited and they sound similar to a real agency that was contacted but they are not the same.

Here we go:

Friend is contacted by telephone - The caller only uses the first name of the friend. (maybe they don't have the surname?)
The caller is from an agency and informs my friend that a drop in is being held geographically close (city) to the friend at a local public venue.
The friend is asked for a time they can drop in - friend says 3pm and the caller confirms that it is ok.
Friend changes mind and asks for a 2pm slot - caller says yes that it is ok.

Caller then tells the friend to bring documentation: (for inspection - to be photocopied no doubt)
Driving license
Passport
Birth certificate
Utility bills
Council tax statement
Professional registration
Bank account information (Sort code, account number etc)
Bank statements
However, and this is where it gives itself away, they do not ask for a CV or work history.
Obviously, if this was real, the most important information would be CV and work history - but this was not asked for or mentioned.

The appointment was for today but my friend contacted trading standards, passed on the info, and did not attend the appointment.

Trading standards seem convinced this was a bit dodgy - and are investigating.

Anybody come across this before?
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Jim Morrison
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I don't believe be deal with this type of scam here, this is not a 419, a mod will probably drop by soon

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Raga Man
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:06 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Welcome to eater, slashdot. This sounds like an attempted identity theft. Was your friend looking for a job and these guys were posing as an employment agency?

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SlashDotKarma
Hello I'm New here!


Joined: 01 Jul 2011
Posts: 8


PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Jim Morrison wrote:
I don't believe be deal with this type of scam here, this is not a 419, a mod will probably drop by soon


Fair enough - I understand the 419 scam but I thought this relevant because what I posted is part of the process.
It seems that one of the ways they operate involves using fake id and bank accounts so surely this is evidence of how they garner this information - to use later in a 419.

Surely prevention is part of the cure.

By nipping the scam in the bud - we should see less 419's being initiated.....in other words depriving them of tools must be relevant. no?
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SlashDotKarma
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Raga Man wrote:
Welcome to eater, slashdot. This sounds like an attempted identity theft. Was your friend looking for a job and these guys were posing as an employment agency?

My friend (sorry to be general) belongs to a profession and sent basic information to various agencies which my friend kept records for (I'm hot on ID security and they listened to my advice) all the agencies contacted.
The caller(from a so-called agency) stated the agency name when questioned which sounds very similar to one of the agencies contacted - but it was not the same only similar.

Personally I think there has been data leakage to a scam organisation and they are trying to exploit that.....albeit with limited info ie first name and telephone number only. The rest of the pitch/script seemed to be an extraction process.
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SlashDotKarma
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:24 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Aagh! I just read my second post and I sound like a scammer.

I started with "My Friend" whoops!

I literally meant my friend (the person who was contacted)

Very Happy
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Mr Tambourine Man
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:15 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It's extremely rare for a 419 scammer to meet a victim, certainly not at the start of a scam.
I'm not sure what it is, but I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. There's no genuine reason for anyone to ask for that much documentation.

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SlashDotKarma
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Mr Tambourine Man wrote:
It's extremely rare for a 419 scammer to meet a victim, certainly not at the start of a scam.
I'm not sure what it is, but I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. There's no genuine reason for anyone to ask for that much documentation.

Exactly what I thought - My initial thought that was that they are prepared to get bolder in the effort to get information from people.
Obviously, the more people are warned of the dangers of giving personal info over the phone, the more the scammers will look at new ways to get that.

I think that eventually people will get wiser and it will take a bolder offensive to set up a scam and as a result we will see more efforts like this - unfortunately, this will probably involve foot soldiers who are not privy to the intent.
As my example outlines - I would not be surprised if they sent out innocents to these "job fairs" just to collect information.

Cheers
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Dorothy
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Plenty of cons are carried out face-to-face. I have no doubt this is a scam, but I doubt it has a connection to the types we deal with here. This sounds like a more traditional con. The more "traditional" con artists often rely on charm and smooth talk, and can be quite brazen. Honestly, if you think about it, an approach like this is only a step away from some of the tactics used by some of the sleazy timeshare companies, pyramid scheme operators, and other snake-oil salesmen.

Obviously, identity theft comes to mind, but if that were in the US, based on the set of documents that were requested, this is the first scam that comes to mind:

Quote:
House Stealing

House stealing involves a combination of identity theft and mortgage fraud. The crooks pick a house to steal, possibly a vacant vacation home or a rental property. Next, they assume the homeowner's identity using any information they can find on the homeowner (property records are public information). The crooks then create fake IDs, forge signatures and notarizations, and file a fraudulent deed transferring the property from the legitimate homeowner to themselves. They then record the deed and sell the property or re-mortgage it and pocket the proceeds. The crooks are long gone before the homeowner is aware of what has transpired. [NOTE: Since the document they created and recorded is fraudulent, the crooks do not actually own the property.]

How can you prevent your house from getting stolen? "Stay vigilant", advises the FBI. A few suggestions from the Federal Bureau of Investigation:
If you receive a payment book or information from a mortgage company that is not yours, whether your name is on the envelope or not, do not just throw it away. Open it, figure out what it says, and follow up with the company that sent the information.
From time to time, it is a good idea to check all information pertaining to your house through your county's recorder of deeds office. If you see any paperwork you don’t recognize or any signature that is not yours, research it, then contact your local authorities.


http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2008/march/housestealing_032508

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Mortal
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:03 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Mr Tambourine Man wrote:
It's extremely rare for a 419 scammer to meet a victim, certainly not at the start of a scam.
I'm not sure what it is, but I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. There's no genuine reason for anyone to ask for that much documentation.

I beg to differ.
From what I have heard some of them tell you their offer on the street, face to face.

I've seen plenty of gold lads who asked me to travel to ghana to inspect the gold in their first email.

So, not as rare Smile

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Dorothy
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
From what I have heard some of them tell you their offer on the street, face to face.


Very true, depending on the area. In this case, though, the organization, targeted approach, and the things being requested suggest a more sophisticated con.

Your average 419 scammer wouldn't be telling you to bring most of those documents--his concern is getting you to bring cash.

In the US, utility bills are often used as proof of residence. Combined with the other documents on that list, a con artist could thoroughly steal an identity, and also has everything needed to file/transfer a property deed.

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SlashDotKarma
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:37 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for all the feeback folks.

This was reported to Trading Standards (UK) and I will keep you updated on any further info I get.
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The Monsignor
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:48 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Boiler Room staff recruitment?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Mortal wrote:
I've seen plenty of gold lads who asked me to travel to ghana to inspect the gold in their first email.
and they expect you to say that's not possible to arrange .. and before you know it you are dealing with his "barrister" who has all the documents and procedures and can represent you in court ... for a small fee of course Very Happy
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Pisspot
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The OP suggests to me that this was an unsophisticated attempt at identity theft. I think all of us here are au fait with phishing but for a rather more oblique angle and how it may be applied may I recommend Agatha Christie's "Pale Horse".

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:51 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

An acquaintance of mine from Mexico told me that this type of scam is pretty common there, although rather than a job interview they tell people that they've won some sort of a prize and will just need to pay a processing fee. In Mexico it's very easy to rent offices for a day or a few days and so the scammers collect the money and leave town.

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