– The war on puppy scammers seems never ending – and now they have come up with yet another disturbing tactic. This time they are targeting job seekers on online job boards; trying to trick them into taking a “job” involving placing puppy ads as an agent.
At the Daily Dog we’ve been alerted to this latest scam by a young job seeker in Brisbane, who was approached by a syndicate of scammers on Facebook. Using the Facebook Page known as Brisbane Jobs, “Andrew” (we will call him) expressed interest in what he thought was a legitimate job involving online advertising. Little did he know he was actually in contact with an overseas organised crime syndicate, who were going to try and lure him into committing criminal offences on their behalf.
With Andrew’s permission we have reproduced below the correspondence he had with the “employer”, and which he wisely saved. In the video accompanying this Post (reproduced on our Scam Stopper page), we will walk you through the scam and how it works too.
Have you ever used or heard of gumtree and kijiji before ?? All you do is copy and paste . I send all details each time you want to post.
Are you using a phone or computer to browse ?? How soon do you want to start ??
I will send you the contact details of my boss so that you can sign the contract and we get started. You shall also discusses payment method with her. Payment is Via Paypal Direct Bank deposit.
Me: I have used Gumtree a lot before, but never Kijiji, but they are usually similar.
I am currently on a laptop and can start immediately.
Mac Sarah: Okay, I’ll send you my bossy email address so that she can send you a contract form for you to sign and we get started. ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) Tell her you just sign in with Sarah
Me: Thanks. What is your bosses name?
Mac Sarah: Sandra
Me: Okay, I will send her an email now.
Mac Sarah: okay
Me: All done 🙂
Mac Sarah: okay
Me: But I am confused as to why an American not living in Australia is posting ads on the behalf of a Russian who has been accused of selling fake dogs.
Mac Sarah: who and whatare you talking about ??
Me: I could be wrong about the countries, but the rest seems true according to several sites. The email address you gave me is linked with scamming.
Mac Sarah: yeah, client post that due to delay delivery
Me: and the google search of your facebook photo leads to multiple sites using similar names. Another delivery delay?
*Mac Sarah deletes her account*
So, I reentered the Google image search of her fake profile picture and noticed the 7 or 8 Facebook profiles with the same picture and name “Mac” in it were all gone, except one…”
Of course there are lots of flags in the text from the scammer, including poor English and grammar. However for the unsuspecting – or for people who are desperate for a job – they may overlook or be fooled by such red flags and carry on. Once hooked, this is how the scam works:
1: The scammer sends the text and photos of a fake ad to the “employee”. The scammer asks the employee to post the ad for them for various reasons, including “I don’t have time”, “I am in the middle of moving:, etc.
2: The employee then posts the ad on Gumtree, Petlink or any other free site that have little or no oversight over the ads placed on their pages. The employee uses their own contact details when they register with the site in question (if they are required to register), thus appearing on the surface to be legitimate Australian puppy sellers to any admin who may be taking the time to look.
3: In the body of the ad the text asks enquirers to contact a specific email address for enquiries – such as the one mentioned above in the message exchange between Andrew and the scammer. This alternative email address is of course directly controlled by the scammers. They then try to reel in any enquirers in order to steal their money.
4: If and when the scammers receive funds from unsuspecting buyers (via Western Union of course), the employee never gets paid – just fobbed off with promises of payment whilst the bad guys move on to their next victim.
…and finally when the excrement hits the fan and the Police come knocking, it is the employee who is left high and dry, facing criminal charges for their unwitting involvement in the scam.
Luckily for Andrew, he was smart enough to do his homework regarding the apparent job offer, smelled a rat and wasn’t fooled. In fact as part of his research, Andrew came across Posts from the Daily Dog on the subject – further confirming his suspicions. (Editor’s note: It is nice to be regularly contacted by people like Andrew we have helped save from being scammed online!)
However our research indicates that people are regularly fooled by such scammers into placing fake ads on their behalf – and becoming the fall guy when the Police come knocking.
Have you been scammed (or almost scammed!) by such a trick on Facebook? Let us know in the comments section below.