Issue 139 - September 2012 (2ndt Edition) - Page 14
'Catholic Charities Organization' Money Laundering Scam
Email purporting to be from Catholic Charities Organization Malaysia claims that a representative in Canada is needed to receive donation from the "American Region", deduct 10% of each donation as renumeration and send the remainder back to the parent organization in Malaysia.
The message is not from any legitimate Catholic organization. In fact, the message is an attempt by online scammers to trick people into participating in a money laundering scheme.
Detailed analysis and references below example.
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Last updated: September 7, 2012
First published: September 7, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer
Subject: The Catholic Charities Organization Malaysia
From: The Catholic Charities Organization Malaysia
Hello Dearest Beloved,
The Catholic Charities Organization Malaysia is seeking for a trusted representative from Canada who will assist
this organization by taking care of the donations that comes from American Region from caring individuals and organization
who are trying to support this good work of God. We need someone whom our Sponsors will send their donations to and he or
she will be in charge of sending this donations to us in Malaysia to enable this program and support of the less privilege
work effectively. If you are interested you will have 10% of every funds you send to us, all we need from you is to be faithful
as a Christian, non-christians who like to help the less privileged to be carrying out this assignment with a good heart so
that the less privilege who die of hunger everyday in Asia will be saved and live a normal life like others do.
Information Needed Below:
Get back to us if you are interested as God bless you mightily.
Rev. Greg Robert
You may email us via [email address removed]
The Catholic Charities Organization Malaysia.
This email, which purports to be from an entity named the
Catholic Charities Organization Malaysia, supposedly seeks a trusted representative based in Canada who can handle donations from the "American Region" on behalf of the organization. According to the message, the chosen representative would receive donations from various individuals and organizations, deduct 10% of each donation as payment and send the remaining 90% back to the parent organization in Malaysia.
At first glance, the offer might seem like a great way for a job-seeker to earn some extra money while helping a worthwhile organization. However, the message is not from a legitimate charitable organization and the supposed offer of work is bogus. In fact, the message is an attempt by criminals to trick innocent people into becoming involved in a money laundering scheme. Those who fall for the ruse and accept the offer, will soon start receiving cheques, money orders or direct bank transfers, ostensibly from people wishing to donate to the charity. The "representatives" will be instructed to deduct 10% from each donation and then send the remainder to a specified person via a money transfer service such as Western Union.
But, alas, the money that representatives receive will not be from kind-hearted donors at all. In fact, the money will arrive in the form of stolen or fake cheques or money orders or via hijacked bank accounts
. Thus, the scheme is a means of turning the proceeds of crime into untraceable cash, which is obviously a most desirable outcome for the criminals who conduct such nefarious activities. Police investigations will lead directly to the hapless representative, while the criminal can pick up his cash via the money transfer and disappear. Representatives may find themselves out of pocket and in all sorts of legal hot water for receiving stolen funds.
In this case, the scammers have used a free webmail account belonging to a well-known Catholic organization. The organization's website allows users to create an email account that features the organization's domain name. Thus, by misusing the webmail service, the scammers are able to send scam emails that look like they originate from a genuine Catholic organization.
Such money laundering scams
are very common and take many forms
. Be wary of any offer of work that seeks people willing to process funds for an overseas organization. It is very unlikely that any legitimate organization would employ someone in such a capacity via an unsolicited email. Moreover, any supposed job offer that suggests that "workers" pay themselves by deducting a percentage of received funds should be treated with great suspicion. It is highly unlikely that any legitimate organization would conduct its business in such a manner.
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