There is a new fraud game afoot, though it seems this is mostly an old money laundering scheme with a new twist. The twist is that instead of an offer to buy your for sale item with fraudulent funds deposited into your own bank acct and then wire transferred to some obscure party in a third location, the fraud comes as part of a very enticing job offer for something called a Financial Manager.
I Googled an entire paragraph from the contract that was sent to my son, and it came up with exact paragraph matches on several other companies reported to be likely frauds. Because there was not clear information that they are frauds, I am reporting this as a new fraud game.
It works roughly like this, in fact, here is the "Duties" paragraph from the contract, it matches many, many other contracts verbatim, and describes something that most would recognize as money laundering, but to a desperate young person unable to find work, this comes as quite a treat to read this after little or no interview with the company.
The Contractor undertakes the responsibility to receive payments from the Clients of the Company to his personal bank account, withdraw cash and to effect payments to the Company's partners by Western Union or MoneyGram money transfer system within one (1) day. He/she will report directly to the senior manager and to any other party designated by the senior manager in connection with the performance of the duties under this Agreement and shall fulfill any other duties reasonably requested by the Company and agreed to by the Contractor."
"TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT:
The Contractor is engaged by the Company on terms of thirty-days (30) probationary period. During the probationary period the Company undertakes to pay to the Contractor the base salary amounting to 2300 USD per month plus 8% commission from each payment processing operation. After the probationary period the Company agrees to revise and raise the base salary to 3000 USD."
"The Company has the right to cancel this Agreement at any time within the probationary period or refuse to extend it after that, should the Contractor refuses to fulfill his/her obligations under this Agreement or fulfills them not in good faith."
"The Contractor has the right to terminate the Agreement at any time on condition that he/she has processed all previous payments and has no new instructions."
The website for this company has the earmarks of a fraudulently created laundering internet site, they call themselves, The Hub Group, which is a legit company, at the site http://hubgroup.com/ which has been registered since 1996 at that site.
Hub Group, Inc.
3050 Highland Parkway
Downers Grove, IL 60515
Domain Name: HUBGROUP.COM
Record expires on 05-Jun-2010.
Record created on 06-Jun-1996.
Database last updated on 12-Jun-2009 15:24:39 EDT.
HTTP://hub-groupmain.cn is a look-alike
However, the web domain in all the emails has a slight twist that might not be picked up, but is a dead giveaway that it is likely a fraud web site.
http://hub-groupmain.cn is what was in all the emails sent to my son, the .cn being a Chinese domain, which has been made to look similar to the regular domain of the legit company, and upon brief perusal, looks like the same web page as the legit company.
A Whois check of that domain produces the following info.
Domain Name: hub-groupmain.cn
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
Registrant Organization: Private Person
Registrant Name: Gillermo Valdez
Sponsoring Registrar: 广东时代互联科技有限公司
Registration Date: 2009-05-06 00:38
Expiration Date: 2010-05-06 00:38
So this domain has only been registered since 06 May of this year, 2009, and all the pages on the web site are pictures of articles lifted from other websites, and none of the text is selectable to google it, as all the pages are basically snapshots, rather than text as in most other websites.
The list of pages that have the same fraudulent job listed is growing and includes the following, so please be watchful for the following also:
"BBM Group Inc. scam. This is just the latest of the numerous highly generic Russian scam websites that has been set up to form a front for a money laundering fraud job advertisement. (The identical job was posted by the Calisto Trading Inc., Reynolds Investment, & Simple Investments fraudsters and others)."
"It's a bit slicker than most but at the end of the day its function is to con you into believing that they are a legitimate company when the evidence clearly demonstrates that they are crooks. It's an identical scam to Epayment Solutions, Emarket Solutions Inc., Legal Operations Inc., Secure Operations Inc., Oranta Group Inc., Ketler Group Inc., Profit Financing Inc., Logic Group Inc., Maxi Group Inc., Fair Group, Fartex Group, MGPA Group Inc., Sky Group Inc., Idea Group Inc., Air Group Inc., Ideal Group Inc., Capital Group Inc., Fox Group Inc., Ebusiness Group Inc., Onicks Group Inc., Multi Group Inc., Single Group, DDK Group Inc., EFS Capital Group Inc., Eagle Group Inc. FCB Group Inc., TDK Group Inc., and the Ecos Group Inc. fraudsters among others."
"This fraud website has been produced in several languages. The website carries a clear money mule solicitation, their multiple domains were only registered very recently and all their contact and location details are bogus."
(This information was gleaned from http://www.bobbear.co.uk/bbm-group-inc.html)