Outline Email purporting to be from Timothy Crawford, a recruitment officer for the Pattaya Orphanage Trust, offers the recipient a job processing donations from Australian residents.
The email is not from the Pattaya Orphanage Trust. Nobody named Timothy Crawford works for the trust. The supposed job is an attempt to trick recipients into "laundering" stolen money via their own bank accounts and has no connection whatsoever to the Pattaya Orphanage Trust.
I am Mr Timothy Crawford, Recruitment officer for Pattaya orphanage Trust and also a missionary with the Global Ministries. We are located in the Benin Republic, Our Pattaya Orphanage The Orphanage currently loves and cares for 60 babies under the age of one. It is also home to almost 120 other children and young people between the ages of one and twenty plus, who have all come to us for many different reasons.
Many orphans have migrated to Canada or Australia , and others, we need to raise a lot of orphans yearly by the assistance of generous individuals who donate money, time or in other different ways.
These donations play a great role in helping us the lives of the local or private Orphans from all around the world.
Right now, We need a representative in Austrailia who'll represent us in Austrailia and receive donations(payments) on our behalf from donors in Australia. Someone Reliable, trustworthy and God-fearing.
1. Receive payments from donors in Austrailia, which will come in form of bank transfers into your bank account or credit card account.
2. You are to cash the payments immediately after you receive instructions.
3. Deduct 5% which will be your commission/percentage per payment processed.
4. You are to remit the balance to us upon request.
HOW MUCH WILL YOU EARN?
You'll earn 5% of each transaction processed by you for a start.
You don't have to go out of your present daily activity in order to engage in this Job (i.e. you can do this work easily without leaving or affecting your present Job).You will work as an independent contractor right from your home /office.
This job is absolutely legal. You do not need any capital to start (none of your personal funds is needed).
i) 20 years or older.
ii) Legally capable.
iii) Responsible, reliable and trustworthy.
iv) Able to check and respond to emails often.
v) Easy telephone access.
If you are interested, please endeavor to get back to us.
ADDRESS: (P.O. Box not accepted):
DATE OF BIRTH:
NAME AS YOU WANT IT ON PAYMENTS:
BEST MEANS OF COMMUNICATION? EMAIL/PHONE:
Please get back to us with the details requested as soon as possible so that your working with us may commence without delay.
According to this message, the Pattaya Orphanage Trust, an organization located in the Benin Republic, is seeking an Australian based representative to accept and process donations from Australian residents. The emailed job offer was supposedly sent by Mr Timothy Crawford, a recruitment officer for the orphanage trust. The potential candidate is advised that he or she will be required to receive donations that will be transferred directly into his or her own bank or credit card account. After receiving a donation, the candidate will then be required to deduct 5% as payment for the "work", and then send the remaining amount to the orphanage trust.
However, the claims in the message are untrue and the proposed job offer is a scam designed to fool participants into laundering the proceeds of crime. The Pattaya Orphanage Trust is a real organization, but it did not send out these "job offer" emails and has no connection whatsoever to the criminals responsible for this laundering scam. Nor does the Pattaya Orphanage Trust employ any person by the name of Timothy Crawford. Moreover, the Pattaya Orphanage is located in Thailand, not the Benin Republic as claimed in the message.
If a victim took the offered "job" he or she would actually be accepting and processing money stolen by criminals via other fraudulent activities. The purpose of this scheme is to convert the proceeds of other crimes into cash payments that cannot be easily traced back to the criminals responsible. For example, if a criminal uses a phishing scam to gain access to online bank accounts, he is not likely to risk detection by simply transferring funds from the compromised accounts to his own bank. This would leave an electronic trail that could be too easily followed by police. One way that he can overcome this problem is by roping in an unwitting accomplice who can "launder" his ill gotten gains. Job offer scams such as this one are designed to supply such accomplices.
After he or she has deducted his "commission", the "worker" will be instructed to withdraw the remaining funds and send them to a specified recipient via a money transfer service. In this way the criminal will receive most of the proceeds of his theft in the form of untraceable cash. Meanwhile, the electronic trail will lead police directly to the hapless patsy who has been tricked into using her or her own bank account. Once the fraudulent activities are discovered, the victim is likely to be left substantially out of pocket and facing the possibility of criminal charges.
"Timothy Crawford" has fraudulently played the part of a Pattaya Orphanage Trust recruitment officer in several earlier versions of the scam as well. A warning published on the Thai Children's Trust website in October 2008 notes:
A fraudster is attempting to use Pattaya Orphanage Trust as cover for his illegal activities.
A man using the name of Timothy Crawford is attempting to recruit fundraisers on a commission basis - usually in the USA or Canada - claiming that they will raise money to help orphaned children via Pattaya Orphanage Trust. This is a scam. If you accept such a position you will receive a cheque in the post which you will be asked to pay into your bank account before sending the funds, less commission, to Mr Crawford or an accomplice. Your cheque will clear, the cheque you received will bounce although it may take weeks. You will lose your money.
The warning also notes that the Pattaya Orphanage Trust does not employ any person named Timothy Crawford nor does it pay commission to fundraisers.
Money laundering scams take many forms. While some such emails may be fairly easily identified by poor spelling and grammar and far-fetched cover stories, others may be quite sophisticated and even include seemingly official logos and company information. And, as in this case, some may use the name of a legitimate organization without its knowledge or permission. Regardless of how believable a job offer may seem, recipients should keep the following points in mind:
Any company or organization that expects you to accept payments into a personal account and then forward it elsewhere should be treated with the utmost suspicion.
No legitimate company is ever likely to employ someone to handle money transfers, sight unseen, via an unsolicited email. Employees that handle large sums of the company's money are sure to be well vetted beforehand and well-qualified for the tasks involved.
Funds transfers might be part of a legitimate job, but such transfers would always use the company's own bank accounts, not the employee's personal account.
No legitimate company is going to "pay" an employee by allowing him or her to keep a percentage of funds to be transferred.
In a progressively global economy, there are many ways for a company to accept overseas payments. Any claim that a company needs an individual to handle such payments via a personal bank account is likely to be bogus.
All unsolicited job offers that arrive via email should be treated with extreme caution.