Computer Crime Research Center


Online job fraud

Date: May 18, 2004
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Dmitri Kramarenko

Online job sites like, CareerBuilder and HotJobs have given employers a better way to find workers, but it turns out that crime rings are targeting the sites, too.

In a recent scam, for example, credit card thieves found unwitting money launderers through, then left their "employees" on the hook for thousands of dollars in debts and possible criminal liability when the fraud was discovered. The aftermath has left the victims angry at the job sites, which have been forced to defend their screening procedures while acknowledging their vulnerability to criminals.

Tina Haloulos, a 25-year-old marketing consultant in Marlton, N.J., was caught up in a swindle in February, after she quit her full-time job to study for law school entrance exams. Looking for part-time work, Ms. Haloulos found a listing on, which is owned by Monster Worldwide Inc., for a telecommuting job processing payments for a European software company.

After Ms. Haloulos looked at the company Web site and interviewed via e-mail with a man associated with the company, the two agreed to terms. Ms. Haloulos would accept payment for the software company's domestic sales, then take that cash out of her PayPal account and wire it, via Western Union, to the software company's contacts in Ukraine. Ms. Haloulos would keep 5 percent to 20 percent of the payment as commission.

After about a month transferring payments, Ms. Haloulos received a call from PayPal, which is a unit of eBay Inc., informing her that her account had been frozen for fraudulent activity. PayPal told her she had been receiving funds from stolen credit cards, and as a result she owed the company about $2,000 it had transferred to her from those credit cards. (Credit card companies and their customers do not reimburse PayPal for fraudulent purchases.)

That vulnerability, Ms. Deeks said, comes at a point when online employment sites are trying to broaden the range of services they offer employers who surf the sites' r?sum? databases. Such services, like custom database searches, are dwarfed by the $741 million employers are expected to spend on job postings this year alone, but they are an important new area of growth. "And all of these revenue streams are based on maintaining the trust of consumers who post the r?sum?s," Ms. Deeks said.

Monster vigorously denies accusations that it is lax in screening for fraud. "We have a team of employees dedicated to screening and monitoring the postings to ensure their legitimacy," said Kevin Mullins, a company spokesman. "If there's any concern whatsoever about a posting, we take it off the site."

Indeed, it can be difficult to identify new kinds of fraud as criminals become ever more creative. Federal authorities said the PayPal swindle, for example, was one they had not yet seen.

"It's a new one to me," said Molly S. McMinn, an inspector for the United States Postal Inspection Service. Ms. McMinn said this type of fraud was "a new twist on an old idea" of credit card thieves from foreign countries buying merchandise from online merchants with card numbers stolen from American citizens and having the merchandise shipped to associates in the United States.

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2010-11-20 09:58:46 - Genuine online data entry jobs available... myraf
2010-03-06 07:43:10 - It is really true that most online data... myraf
2010-03-06 07:41:58 - It is really true that most online data... myraf
2010-03-06 07:40:39 - It is really true that most online data... myraf
2010-03-06 07:39:14 - It is really true that most online data... myraf
2010-03-06 07:27:16 - It is really true that most online data... myraf
2009-07-27 23:54:22 - WARNING TO JOB SEEKERS! The following... Xo
2009-05-27 10:52:48 - i have received a message from a company... fahad ssemakadde
2008-04-01 21:40:34 - The end of my life started when a company... Edward
2006-10-21 00:20:15 - College kids like to party, watch them... Mitchell
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