Monday, August 18, 2008

Scam Artists' Job Opportunities: FBI Crackdown Reveals Them

--High-risk Opportunity for Big Income as Part of Worldwide Net

Don't listen to your mother; talk to strangers. Risk is the name of the game.

If this is a mindset you could embrace--and you don't mind getting entwined in a world that is a cross between Sodom and Gomorra, and Alice's Wonderland--an exciting, remunerative new career might await you.


Sure. The U.S. FBI has just recently exposed the inner workings of a gigantic, international "phishing" scam that shows the way. If you desperately cling to Utopian conclusions, this may be the "fit" you've been waiting for.

If you wanted to move to Romania, you might even be able to start near top management. This is where this colossal scam is headquartered, with tentacles reaching into the U..S., Canada, Portugal, and Pakistan. Virginity can be cured. So can honesty.

If your radar picked up on it, with a move to Romania you could become a "Supplier"--engage in online phishing on a massive scale. You'd gather personal data--PINs, social security numbers, credit information,, etc.--from all parts of the world. You'd get to learn all about "smishing" too--much the same as "phishing," but on text messaging. Shows what you can come up with, just by staying awake.

You could become uniquely maladjusted, and have fun doing it. In today's new, internet communications world you've got to wonder: How fast would lightening travel if it didn't zig zag? As Winston Churchill said: A lie gets half way around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.

A recent campaign by this outfit in Los Angeles, with a clever offline payoff, yielded millions of dollars from hundreds of financial institutions before being shut down by the FBI. This "double-dip" case was like the woman trying to decide between buying 2 dresses; finally deciding to take both. On a bigger scale, these people have proven that skill in manipulating numbers in a multitasking operation is a talent, not evidence of Divine Guidance.

In the U.S., working partners are known as "Cashiers." Here your job description would involve manufacturing your own cards of all types--credit, debit, social security, gift, from the encoded, stolen information fuelled you by the "Suppliers"
--to extract money from ATMs and point-of-sale terminals. Confucius say: Baby conceived on back seat of car with automatic transmission grow up to be shiftless bastard. But, if you swallowed your pride you could probably work your way in with these people.

But, 2 wrongs are only the beginning. Maybe 3 are better.

If you could not qualify for these 2 options above entry level employment, you could start at the bottom as a "Runner." Your job? To test the cards by checking balances or withdrawing small amounts of money from ATMs and point-of-sale terminals. Purpose? The cashable cards are then used to tap the most lucrative accounts.

Or, short-cut the whole thing. As an alternative, you could hire teenagers to serve as your "Runners" while they are still young enough to know all the answers. Actually, great brainpower is not required for such a lowly position. Your job candidates can be dumber than a box of hair.

This whole thing might sound like having to drive behind and an 18-wheeler in a snowstorm, but that's where risk comes in: big risk, big gain.

But, maybe, just maybe, a little too much risk? Sometimes it's best to practice random acts of intelligence, and achieve occasional feats of self-control. Even artificial intelligence beats human stupidity.

So, on the other hand, you might wish to reconsider this whole concept of "joining up." Why? On the grounds that it is always darkest before you open your eyes.
Once full realization of the possible consequences hits you--social condemnation, fines, imprisonment--you could well conclude that it would be preferable to be on a first-name basis with the people at your unemployment office.


Terry said...

My vote for best line this time is easy, Jack. It's two of them. Virginity can be cured. So can honesty.

Bern said...

The worldwide nature of this thing is a little scary. I guess emergence of these huge rings are getting to be more common.

Warren M. said...

I remember something about that big Southern Califoria scam of financial houses not long ago. Could this have been it? I seem to recall that it was run by some gang of international thieves.

Frank Selepi said...

I actually knew of a kid who was tempted to join one of these operations once. Sounds something like one of those runner jobs you talk about, testing out ATM machines and stuff like that. He was seventeen - and, I guess he thought better of it and it didn't happen. Good thing for him.

Jack Payne said...

Yes, Bern, these big international rings of scam artists are proliferating everywhere, thoughout the globe. Europe now has a bunch, same for Southeast Asia. Even South America is getting into the act, with one big one recently springing up in Brazil.

Jack Payne said...

I wrote that part, about teenagers, kinda tounge in cheek, Frank. But, you actually know of one, huh? Figures. Know-it-all teenagers would make up a good pool for such recruits.

Stanley said...

Interesting and scarry article. Makes me want to pay only in cash when dinning out!
Your writing style is sobering yet bittingly funny! I will return!

Jack Payne said...

Your job candidates can be dumber than a box of hair. That's my second favorite line, Jack. It really tickles my funny bone...though I can't figure out how dumb a box of hair might be.

Marvin Doleman said...

I can't believe the scope of these scams. Worldwide is hard to conceive. I'll bet most of this started in the U.S. The fact that all of this is spreading wordwide is mind-boggling.

Laura said...

I can remember when all this overseas intrigue began. It was in the early 1990's, I think. Well before anybody would have believed that this kind of thing could be hatched all over the world.

Now I see from all the FBI and FTC press releases that this is now a truly world phenomenon. All kinds of scams and con games going on everywhere. This means, for example, that stolen credit card charge in a restaurant could have easily been planned by somebody in Zimbabwe. It' frightening to think that we have no handle on this any more, that we can be scammed from 5,000 miles away, as well as right here in our own country.

When if ever is the U.S. government going to come to grips with this problem and protect its citizens from this kind of thievery?

I'm hopeful, but not holding my breath.

Jack Payne said...

You're right, Marvin. Most of this stuff did start in the U.S. The U.S., being the home of rugged individulasim and entrepreneurship, does't that figure?

I say, with pride, Jack, my boy, you did it. That's right, Laura. For years I have been trying to shine the spotlight of "wide-spreadness"--pound home the fact that most of these big time scam ideas originated in the U.S. and spread from here on into all corners of the world.

I think I am finally succeeding is sounding this alarm bell.

Terry said...

I've got to agree with you, Jack. That's one of my favorite lines too. Dumber than a box of hair. I don't know what it means any more than you do...and you wrote it. But it is somehow funny.

Warmer said...

My most favored line is driving behind an 18-wheeler in a snowstorm. Gad, I can't visualize anything more difficult than that.

Nancy said...

From what I put together about this whole scam scene it looks like teenagers make good recruits for a lot of low-level con jobs. I know two of my son's friends got recruited into a magazine sales crew that was a real definite con game. He also had a girlfriend who got recruited into a boiler room operstion selling cosmetics, because she has such a sweet phone voice. The scam people did not deliver...they just took the money and ran. Sad, because these young people are impressionable, easily flattered, and gullible. I sometimes wonder if there is any hope for them in this day and age.

Jack Payne said...

That's right, Nancy. Teenagers make up a good recruiting pool for scamsters. No doubt about it.

Ariel J said...

My sister who works for a bank, told me about a kid who was hanging out around an ATM. He had to be chased off...I wonder if he was one of these runner people.

Helen Huggins said...

My sister-in-law had much the same experience as Ariel's sister. She works in a bank and awhile ago some young boy about 16 years old was hanging around the ATM. The police picked him up and sure enough he was out to rob somebody. Do these con people really go after young kids to work for them?

Robin Easton said...

Oh my word, this is waaaaay bigger than I realized. So this means all those lovely emails I get where people in far away countries are telling me that they are leaving money to me and all I have to do give them all my account info and they will deposit the money.....THOSE ARE FOR REAL???? :) :)

I even had one that was from an old dying lady who found my email address on the internet by chance and she told me she really like me. She even address her letter, "Hello Sweetie". LOL

I needed tell YOU that I am dead serious about these letters. I get at least on if not two a week. And then throw in all the ebay phishing and I'm surrounded by hooks. :)

I did not know how HUGE this whole this was. Although they are popping up everywhere lately. But maybe that's a good thing because it makes them more visible. When people only got one email like that it had the potential to scam a bit easier. But when you get 12 or more a week you have an epiphany (SCAM!) unless you don't have a brain.

I laughed out loud over so many lines here but this one was a howler: "If you desperately cling to Utopian conclusions, this may be the "fit" you've been waiting for."

Oh Jack, you are just SUCH a delight. You really are!!