Hello all you fantastic researchers and suspiscious minds. Have I got a doozy for you (and I REALLY hope it is something you can help me with). A
relative has just nearly
been a victim of a scam
, and I’m not really satisfied with her decision to let it rest. I’ll start at the
beginning and hope that the wonderful community here has some good ideas to help me. Here goes:
My mother-in-law is currently out of work (that’s a long, unrelated story). She was living outside of the country and returned several months ago.
Concurrently, my new wife and I were moving to a different state. Being that her mother had just returned and had no job and no home, she was staying
with us. She is still staying with us now that we’ve moved. The three of are sharing a two bedroom apartment. It’s cozy, but she’s nice, so I
don’t really mind. Now to the good stuff.
Recently, while conducting her job hunt, my mother-in-law—let’s just call her Annie for now—came across a particularly promising job posting.
Now, let me give you some background on her field. She is a Ph.D. Biological Anthropologist by training (in fact, she is quite brilliant and
discovered that one can roughly tell the diet of a 10,000-year-old human skeleton by the amount of Strontium (90, I think) in the bone (that’s an
oversimplification). Much of her work, especially recently, has been in program evaluation, particularly in HIV/AIDS research.
The reason for telling you this is so you are aware that she didn’t just find the job posted on Monster or Career Builder. She frequents a job board
specifically for evaluators. My guess is that it is actually a service of a professional organization. Kind of like how the Society for Technical
Communicators has its own job posting service that only members can access. So, she found this job, applied for it, and shortly thereafter she
received a lengthy
To the best of my knowledge, the questions were not personal (bank account, SSN, that sort). Instead, they were essay-type questions on things like
honesty at work (I’ll ask her tonight to clarify this, in case any of you think it’s important). I don’t know if there was a phone interview,
although I do know that there was no in-person interview
So, that was the last of it, until…
Two days ago, Annie received a long e-mail from the organization, basically offering her the position. It detailed their offer for starting salary
($112,000/year), benefits, and their requirements for training. And that is where the scam comes in.
She happily accepted, and started reading up on the requirements for this month-long training. She would have to go to Seattle, stay in the designated
hotel, attend the requisite training sessions, and then start working after this 4-week training. The scam is, they try to get you to pay up front for
the hotel (which is like $2,500). You see, it’s not really a job
. It is a twist on the
to get suckers to send money. Here is the actual organization’s
on this whole situation (which has obviously happened before.
Various scam emails purporting or implying to be from or associated with UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, have been
circulating on the Internet. Some of these emails request detailed information and/or money from individuals, businesses or non-profit organizations
with the promise that they will receive funds or other benefits in return.
Other emails ask for registration fees for conferences allegedly sponsored by UNAIDS and for hotel reservations, again with the promise of certain
benefits. These emails sometimes carry the UNAIDS logo, and emanate from or refer to an email address which is made to look like a United Nations
www.unaids.org..." target="_blank" class="postlink">UNAIDS Alert
Luckily for Annie, she caught on before she sent them money. Others may not be so lucky. She is embarrassed, and therefore wants to just let it drop.
My concern is that this isn’t spam in the inbox, this was on a legitimate job board, making these some rather bold con artists. It pissed me off a
bit too, to be honest.
What I want to know is, is there any way to trace these e-mails? They came from email@example.com. I did a WHO IS on kettconsulting.com
and got this:
Domain Name: KETTCONSULTING.COM
Registrar: MELBOURNE IT, LTD. D/B/A INTERNET NAMES WORLDWIDE
Whois Server: whois.melbourneit.com
Referral URL: www.melbourneit.com...
Name Server: PDOMNS1.MSN.COM
Name Server: PDOMNS2.MSN.COM
Updated Date: 14-dec-2005
Creation Date: 05-sep-2005
Expiration Date: 05-sep-2006
Domain Name.......... kettconsulting.com
Creation Date........ 2005-09-06
Registration Date.... 2005-09-06
Expiry Date.......... 2006-09-06
Organisation Name.... KETT Barry
Organisation Address. 7000 Bryan Dairy Road
Organisation Address. Largo
Organisation Address. 33777
Organisation Address. FL
Organisation Address. UNITED STATES
Admin Name........... KETT Barry
Admin Address........ 7000 Bryan Dairy Road
Admin Address........ Largo
Admin Address........ 33777
Admin Address........ FL
Admin Address........ UNITED STATES
Admin Email.......... firstname.lastname@example.org
Admin Phone.......... +1.7275474110
Tech Name............ MSN NOC
Tech Address......... One Microsoft Way
Tech Address......... Redmond
Tech Address......... 98052
Tech Address......... WA
Tech Address......... UNITED STATES
Tech Email........... MSN-PA-TECH@msn.com
Tech Phone........... +1.4258828080
Name Server.......... pdomns1.msn.com
Name Server.......... pdomns2.msn.com
whois.com..." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">WHOIS
But, I’m not really sure what a bunch of this means. I tried the phone number, but, surprise!
. It’s disconnected.
Is there a way to trace the e-mail itself? I seem to remember Valhall discussing tracing IPs on one of the infamous SERPO threads. Is that possible?
If so, what do I need, and how do I do it?
I hope you guys can help. Perhaps if I can dig up some usable info on this con artist, I can convince Annie to go the cops or the feds, or at least go
holler at the evaluation organization who allowed a scam to show up on their job board to begin with.
Anxiously awaiting some creative answers from the many creative folks here,
Oh, and I don't really know what forum this fits in best, so Mods, please move as necessary. Thanks.