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The security experts of Avira report that recently more fake job offers are in circulation by email. In addition to English, the phony job adverts are now also appearing in very good German. The spam emails can be identified by subject lines such as “Bis zu 4000 Euro Nebenverdienst” (“Up to 4000 euro extra income”) and text references to home working, which require an email and Internet connection as well as a current account. Computer users should be extremely careful if they receive such emails and not react to them, as the lucrative sounding ways of earning money do not involve second jobs or a way out of Hartz 4 but are sent by organized criminals who are mainly looking for helpers for money laundering.
The method used by the fraudsters is simple: so that the route of the money cannot be traced by the police and the authorities, unsuspecting accomplices are sought by means of authentic looking job adverts by email. These offers promise attractive career opportunities and lure job-seekers with short hours and very good pay. Instead, the simple Internet activity often constitutes a punishable offence as a middle-man: after deduction of a “commission fee”, he unwittingly moves the money from phished bank accounts by cash transfer to foreign recipients. This requires the personal current account of the job-seeker, to which the money previously stolen by phishing was transferred.
“Those urgently needing money easily fall for such lucrative offers and thus unsuspectingly become victims of fraudulent tricks”, says Tjark Auerbach, CEO and founder of Avira, based on his many years of experience in the security market. “Unfortunately it is becoming increasingly more difficult to distinguish trustworthy offers from fraudulent ones. We therefore urgently recommend people to be suspicious of job adverts with utopian promises and to ignore mails that require a cash transfer or preferably to delete them immediately.”
“Even if the English and German spam mails appear to come from different sources, it is conspicuous that they are all structured in the same way, lead to similar websites and are looking for job-seekers aged 21 and over – qualifications of applicants are not asked for in the job adverts”, adds the security expert of the German software provider. “Whereas such advertisements used to be very amateurish, they now look deceptively similar to genuine job offers. Therefore, Internet users should only react to email job offers if they come from a jobsite to which they have already signed up and whose links lead to the associated website job market. However, even here users should be cautious, as even the sender address of such an email could be fake.”