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megpie71: Animated "tea" icon popular after London bombing. (Default)
megpie71

March 2017

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megpie71: Impossibility established early takes the sting out of the rest of the obstacles (Less obstacles)
Saturday, June 25th, 2016 11:00 am
Rupert Murdoch is not our friend.

Rupert Murdoch is an ageing billionaire sociopath, who appears to believe the world will end when he finally dies, and is going to a great deal of trouble to ensure this is the case for all the rest of us, too. Rupert Murdoch's motto at present appears to be "apres moi, le deluge".

The only apocalyptic "End Times" approaching are those of Rupert Murdoch - he's 85, his father died at age 67, while his mother lived to 103. Which means he's pretty much reached the age of splitting the difference between the two and any year he gets after now is a gift. He is in his personal "end times" and he doesn't like it.

Rupert Murdoch's media properties (all of the News Limited newspapers in multiple countries, all of the Fox television stations in multiple countries, Sky TV in the UK, and so on) are generally not institutions which display a one-to-one correspondence with consensus reality. This means if you see something being heavily reported on Fox News, or in the Murdoch press, you should check with other sources to ensure you're getting the correct picture. Or indeed, whether there is actually a picture there to be getting - the Murdoch media does have a long history of making things up out of whole cloth in order to sell advertising space, and also of bouncing the same made-up story around their various international properties in order to give it creedence.

Please, don't trust them. They don't have your best interests at heart. They don't have anyone's interests at heart except those of Rupert Murdoch, and his primary interests are in acquiring power over world leaders and getting All The Money for himself.

So think about it: do you really want your life overturned because one cranky old man with a lot of money doesn't want to die and resents the fact it's inevitable?

If you can do nothing else, please fact-check what you're hearing from Fox, what you're hearing from News Limited, and what you're hearing from Sky. Find some source which isn't inside the Murdoch Media fold, and see whether they're reporting on the particular "crisis" of the week. Spread the news about what's actually happening out here in consensus reality, rather than in Murdoch-land. Tell people where you found counter-stories, and where you find your facts. Spread the news that there's more out there than what the Murdoch media is telling us.
megpie71: AC Cloud Strife looking toward camera in Sleeping Forest (WTF)
Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 02:04 pm
The "toilet" argument is the one which says "of course trans* and gender-queer people shouldn't be allowed to use the lavatories appropriate to their preferred gender presentation" because somehow women will get their modesty affronted by having a person with a penis in the ladies room. I always get stunned by this argument, mostly because it shows a degree of wilful blindness to some necessary differences between masculine and feminine public hygiene set-ups which really needs to be addressed.

So, for the benefit of all those guys who haven't been in the ladies' lavs since they were tiny tackers escorted there by their mums, here is a description of the average set-up of every single women's public toilet block I've ever been in for as long as I can remember:

Long and involved description under the fold )

So, to be honest, I absolutely fail to see how anyone's modesty is going to be affronted by someone who is trans-female, or female-identifying-today gender-queer, getting into the queue to use the stalls in the ladies. No matter what their (or your) individual plumbing hook-up appears to be, nobody else is going to be able to see it in use, or be offended by its presence.

I mean, on the other hand, if the people who are worried about the prospect of trans* or gender-queer people using the appropriate lavatories for their identifying gender are men worrying a trans-man or a male-identifying-today gender-queer person is going to go into the gentlemen's lavs and snigger at the willies on display at the urinals... well, just say so, guys. (And maybe use the stalls to pee). But please, don't push the whole mess over onto the women and feminine modesty.

(Oh, and if anyone who is trans-negative and female-identifying wants to explain to me either: a) exactly why and how their modesty is/would be affronted by a trans* or gender-queer person using the ladies' lavs at the same time as them; or b) how they'd know if a person in one of the other stalls was a trans* or gender-queer person; or even c) why they can't just deal with their problem by waiting for the trans* or gender-queer person to finish their business and leave; then feel free to do so in the comments.)
megpie71: Simplified bishie Rufus Shinra glares and says "The Look says it all" (glare)
Saturday, January 9th, 2016 09:08 am
This one comes via a slightly unusual route, since I actually applied for the thing directly! Here's the basics: the scammer behind this particular mess decided to take out a total of six ads on the Australian Job Search site (jobsearch.gov.au) - six identical ads, each with the following text:

Ad copy below the fold )

That was the entire ad. They were "offering" a total of 24 21 positions as "Accounts Assistant" - 3 each in Helena Valley, East Perth, Rockingham, Bedfordale, Cottesloe, Madora Bay and Mosman Park (an unusual spread of suburbs - see the digression below). Now, the combination of six identical ads each offering three positions with a completely vague description of what the position entailed, and absolutely no description of what skills you'd actually need to be doing the job triggered my "scam" flags even then, but hey, I had to apply for two jobs that day due to government requirements (it was the week between Christmas and New Year - as you might imagine, the job ads were a little thin on the ground) so I decided to send my resume in.

Perth-specific digression )

Yesterday, an email arrived at my job search address, with the following text:

Email text below fold )

Now, the thing which stuck out for me about all of this is that so far, nowhere along the way have they actually mentioned anything about what the job would entail, or what kind of skills you'd require in order to be able to perform it - this is a regular trait of job scams. I decided to do two things - the first was actually look up Moton Group on google, and the second was to look at their job description.

The google search started the scam radar pinging good and hard, because all the listings for Moton Group are in the USA (Colorado and New Jersey being the two locations which showed up on the first page of results), with nothing showing up in Australia. So I took a look at the job description. And immediately started singing "scam, scam, scammity, scam", because here it is in all its glory:

Job description )

So, we have all the classic scam flags flying in this "job description":

1) They're paying too much for what they're asking for. $40 per hour is very good money. It's very good money for a fully-fledged accountant or business professional. For someone who's supposed to be an Accounts Assistant, dealing with the bookkeeping paperwork (as per the original job ad)? It's almost double the accepted hourly rate for an experienced, qualified bookkeeper - which, you'll note, they're not asking for. For someone whose only qualification for the job is completing high school? It's about double the maximum hourly rate you'd expect.
2) Gratuitous errors in grammar and sentence construction. The job description reads as though it were written by someone who has English as about their third language, and neither of the other two were from the same families. It's sloppy and poorly done - and to a large degree this is deliberate. It's intended to make the reader feel they're pulling one over the scammer, make them feel superior, and make them lower their guard.
3) It doesn't describe the duties or the job skills required. If you've read a job ad recently (and I've read a lot of them) you'll find most of them list fairly specific duties (preparing BAS, drawing up invoices and receipts, reception duties, operating switchboard, etc) and they will almost certainly be asking for specific abilities, qualities, skills and qualifications. By contrast, the job details in this "job description" are vaguer than a lot of political promises.

There's also the "Why do we need Accounts Assistants" and "Why do we not us[sic] a direct account?" sections, which are pretty much direct quotes of other versions of this particular scam I've seen elsewhere. If nothing else, those sections of the job description would have set my scam alarms blasting. If an employer is offering a genuine job, they won't feel the need to justify it, or explain why they're doing things in a particular way. I suspect if I decided to chase up on this job further, I'd find myself being asked to "process" payments via my bank account. Or in other words "open your wallet and repeat after me: 'help yourself'", in a less straightforward format. I think not.

Improper use of Australian Coat of Arms )

Further dodginess )

All in all, if you're looking at an "offer" of a "job" from Moton Group, I'd decline. The only job they're offering in all seriousness is "sucker". (It goes without saying that I'm not going to be filling in their application form myself).

EDITED 10 JAN - Correcting the number of positions offered. Seven times three is 21.
megpie71: Animated "tea" icon popular after London bombing. (Default)
Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 04:49 pm
What happened in the Clementine Ford case was this: a bloke said something abusive about her on the internet, in such a way that it could be linked back to his employer. Namely, he had his employer details on his Facebook profile[1], and Ms Ford brought his online behaviour to his employer's attention. He got sacked as a result of his actions, because his employers didn't want to deal with the negative publicity involved.

Or in other words, this bloke did the online equivalent of yelling abuse at her on public transport while wearing his workplace uniform, getting snapped while doing so, and reported to his employers.

Now, we'd all agree that if someone did something like the second example above, should they get sacked, it was their own silly fault, and they should have behaved civilly in a public setting. We'd agree if a guy yelled abuse at a woman in a public hotel, or a shopping mall while wearing anything with their employer's logo (such as a uniform shirt or similar), the woman they yelled at would be within her rights to report it to their employer, and the employer would be within their rights to sack the damn fool for being too daft to work there any more. We'd agree that if a guy launched into a tirade of abuse at a woman for talking to her friends in the pub, he'd be due at the very least to be barred from being served any more alcohol, and more likely, kicked out by the management.

We readily agree that unprovoked personal abuse in a public context is unacceptable when it's in a face-to-face context, and that if someone does it while being able to be clearly linked to an employer, a professional organisation, a particular religion, or family or so on, then they should bear the social consequences of their actions being reported to those groups. We agree that doing such things while being able to be linked to employers, professional organisations, religions, disapproving family members or similar is something which is likely to fall under the parameters of the Being Bloody Stupid Act[2] - not only do you wear the consequences, but it's expected you're going to wear them politely, suck it up and bloody well deal!

Yet somehow, the apparent expectation is that this bloke (and the many others who do similar things, such as sending abusive and/or harassing emails from their work email accounts), who has done something Bloody Stupid (and Bloody Rude, while we're at it) should be allowed to not only get away with his actions, but that it's positively unfair of Ms Ford to have pointed them out to his employer. That this was somehow an over-reaction, and a vindictive act. That he should not have been forced to deal with the consequences of his behaviour (a behaviour he chose to carry out of his own free will, and which he wasn't, to the best of anyone's knowledge, coerced into by any other person) in an adult fashion.

To be honest, I'm with Ms Ford on this. He brought his problems on himself, and my sympathy is strictly limited.

(PS: Guys, women across the world have already learned this: on the internet, you have precisely as much privacy and anonymity as you can be bothered to carve out. If you can't be arsed to keep your online life strictly segregated from your offline life, then the only damn solution is to ensure your online behaviour is either beyond reproach, or something you would feel positive about defending to your employers, your spouse, your mates, your girlfriend, your mother, your grandmother, your kids, your work colleagues, and anyone else in your offline life who asks about it. Because otherwise, sure as eggs are eggs, your online sins will find you out, eventually).


[1] Strangely enough, not many women feel it's appropriate to have such details publicly available online. The main reason why not starts with "bl" and rhymes with "folks".
[2] Ankh-Morpork legal code.
megpie71: AC Reno crouched over on the pavement, looking pained (bad day at work)
Friday, October 9th, 2015 07:30 am
Apparently-From: Alex Brook (stripe@alexandra-krumm-beratung.de)
Subject Line: [Bulk] Personal Assistant Needed (part time job)
Reply-to: alex.brook2@aol.com
Addressed to me: No

Scam body under fold )

This is a scam.

Firstly: "Brook Construction Company" doesn't appear to exist - there's quite a few entries in Google for "Brooks Construction Company" in the USA (all in Indiana, according to the map on Google), and one entry for Brook Construction (no "company") in Canada (Newfoundland and Labrador regions).

Secondly: The role of PA is not usually a "work from home" role - or at least, not "work from your own home". "Work from the boss's home", yeah, sure I can see that happening, but it's more likely to be an in-office role. Which means even if this were legit, and even if this were a genuine offer, you'd need to know where the company is based in order to take on the job. (At the very least, you'd need to know the time zone the company is based in - if this were genuinely a US company, as someone in zone GMT+8, I'd need to be working some very unusual hours indeed in order to hold down the job).

Thirdly: If this were a legitimate job offer, it would be on a legitimate job search website. It would not be sent out as a bulk email to random people on a spam mailing list. As always, in situations where economies have contracted and unemployment is high, the power is on the side of the employer - candidates go looking for them, they don't come looking for you unless you have some VERY specialised skill sets, or unless they know you personally and are aware you'd be a good fit.

Legitimate offers of employment generally come from people who have interviewed you - legitimate employers want to make sure you'd be a good fit in their corporate culture, and for a job such as Personal Assistant, there's the need to ensure you're not going to be a poor fit with that particular boss, too.

Fourthly: For a job opportunity, there's remarkably little information about what you're going to be required to do, and how many hours a week you're going to be required to do it. The weekly salary of $350 translates to $8.75 per hour for a standard 40 hour work week (which is, I think, slightly above US minimum wage, but well below the minimum wage here in Australia). So you'd need to know how many hours per week you're expected to work for that $350.

They also don't ask for any skills, and don't ask you to send in a resume. Why, it's almost as though they aren't interested in your skills at all. Which means there must be something else they're after.

Finally: The email addresses don't match up to the offer. The email address this is apparently from is the domain for a psychologist in Germany (and I suspect she's more than a little annoyed about having her email hijacked by spammers). The reply-to address is an AOL throw-away address. If you're dealing with a company large enough for the CEO to need a personal assistant (and let's be honest - the CEO's personal assistant would be a full-time role, not a part-time one) then you'd also expect to be dealing with a company large enough to handle having its own web presence, internal email, and domain.

Don't respond, don't apply, and don't expect to be seeing that $350 per week, either.

(I find with these sorts of things it helps to think of any monetary amounts as the scammer's minimum goal).
megpie71: Simplified bishie Rufus Shinra glares and says "The Look says it all" (glare)
Friday, October 2nd, 2015 04:15 pm
I'm not going to go into huge detail about this one (save to note that so far this year, there have been more mass shootings in the USA than there have been days in the year). Instead, I'm going to concentrate on some things which could be tried to stop these things from happening (or at least slow down the rate of them) without necessarily altering gun laws.

Detail under fold )

Now, none of these three things is going to drastically drop the number of mass shootings immediately. If you want an immediate impact on the number of mass shootings in the USA, then it's going to have to be done through gun control laws, just the same as everywhere else on the planet. But in the medium-to-long term, and particularly if you have the NRA and their paid-up politicians remaining as stubborn as ever on the issue, then these measures will help.

So start speaking to the media firms. Start speaking to your political candidates. Start demanding change.

Ignore the idiots who say "it's too soon" - as I pointed out above, you're currently averaging better than 1 mass shooting per day. How many do there need to be before things change? Ignore the fools who accuse you of "politicising the issue. Shootings like this are essentially about power - which means they're political from the get-go. The choice to do something about preventing them is a political choice, I'll grant you - but so is the choice not to.

It's up to the people of the USA to make it clear they don't want to see this happening. And the best way to start is by denying these little dickweasels who want to exhibit their sense of entitlement, their sense of personal power, the attention that they so desperately crave.
megpie71: 9th Doctor resting head against TARDIS with repeated *thunk* text (Head!Tardis)
Thursday, October 1st, 2015 04:30 pm
The bits of Twitter I follow have been exploding in about twenty-seven different directions regarding "Peeple for People".

This article pretty much sums up what it's all about:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2015/09/30/everyone-you-know-will-be-able-to-rate-you-on-the-terrifying-yelp-for-people-whether-you-want-them-to-or-not/

"Yelp for People" is pretty much the elevator pitch version of the idea. According to their FAQs, they largely envision it being used by folks to be all positive and caring and nice about people they know (in the same way Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are at present). Which, I think, says it all.

Essentially, this is how it would work - someone wants to 'review' you, and so long as they fulfil the conditions, they can do so. What kinds of conditions? They have to be over twenty-one, and have a Facebook account. They need to know your name, the city you live in, and your phone number (or know a phone number they can say is yours). Then they can create a profile for you, if you don't already have one, and publish 'reviews' of you. If someone posts a negative review of you, that review will get texted to your phone number (or to the phone number Peeple has for you) and the onus is on you to respond to that reviewer within forty-eight hours and see whether you can "change a negative to a positive".

(Those of you who are busy attempting to beat yourselves unconscious by head!desk-ing, I sympathise.)

What possible problems could there be? Well, let's start with the idea that *there are more checks on, and privacy for, the person who is leaving the rating* than there are for *the person who is being rated*. From the way I understand things, if I had an iPhone, a Facebook account which said I was over twenty-one, and a plausible mobile phone number, I could conceivably create a Peeple profile for Santa Claus. (I'd love to see whether one of the "thousands" of beta testers they're bragging of actually does this, by the bye. Bonus points if the profile is created by the Easter Bunny). Let's continue with this: once you have had a profile created for you on Peeple, you can't get it deleted - they're thinking about adding this feature in future. They don't have a privacy policy up as yet (that's coming once they release the app). Once your profile is authenticated, app users are able to see both positive and negative reviews for you, and you have no way of removing that profile.

Even getting off the internet altogether won't protect you from these negative reviews.

(Meanwhile, the people behind the app started the day with a locked Twitter account - which they've since unlocked to a degree; have taken steps toward getting a parody account mocking them on Twitter deleted; and are said to be deleting non-positive comments on their Facebook accounts. Nice for some, clearly.)

The system as it is described at present is wide open to abuse by stalkers, abusers, online hate mobs or just people who are feeling malicious on a particular day. It's all the worst possible social aspects of high school, pulled onto the internet and made international.

You can read their version of the story here:

http://forthepeeple.com/#story
megpie71: Simplified bishie Rufus Shinra says "The stupid, it hurts". (stupid hurts)
Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 06:40 am
Apparently-From: M.H. (wepsprex@tin.it)
Subject: [Bulk] RE : Very Important Information
Reply-To: yminghua76@gmail.com
Addressed to Me: yes

Scam content under fold )

I'm listing this one as a potential scam because of the lack of details in there, and because it's appearing out of the blue. Essentially, this one is chumming the waters, fishing for email addresses where someone is "listening" and hopefully curious about the proposal being hinted at. If you reply, your email address is going to be sold on as a "valid" email address, or even better still, as an email address where this sort of thing is read, believed, and followed up on. (Congratulations! You will have just gained the reputation of being a good target for scammers.)

Me, I'm mostly curious why the Business Relationship Manager for the Bank of China in Hong Kong's investments unit would be contacting a suburban housewife in Australia via bulk email, and why the return address I'm supposed to reply to them at is a gmail throw-away address. But I can live without those particular curiosities being satisfied. I suspect the prospect involved would be one of those intriguing offers to have my bank account hoovered out, to do work laundering money for criminal interests, or have my identity stolen, and I'm not overly interested in any of those options. As always, the best tools for resisting scammers are a sense of perspective (an awareness of your place in the scheme of things - why would they be contacting me about this rather than someone else?) and a sceptical mindset.
megpie71: Impossibility established early takes the sting out of the rest of the obstacles (Impossibility)
Sunday, July 12th, 2015 08:33 am
Apparently-From: player@national-lottery.co.uk (een27@nuk6.onmicrosoft.com)
Subject Line: [Bulk] National Lottery Winner!
Reply-To: mwaet@e-mail.ua
Addressed to me: No.

Scam text under fold )

I've apparently won the UK National Lottery! This is something of a surprise to me, particularly since I've never purchased a ticket in same. Scam flag number one.

A quick google on the UK National Lottery reveals another interesting piece of information - their registered office is "Camelot UK Lotteries Limited, Registered office: Tolpits Lane, Watford, Herts WD18 9RN". Not Liverpool as listed above. Their contact addresses are listed (on their "contact us" page) as:


For general enquiries, write to us at:

The National Lottery
PO Box 251
Watford
WD18 9BR

For questions about lost, stolen or destroyed tickets or a prize payout, write to us at:

The National Lottery
PO Box 287
Watford
WD18 9TT


Scam flag two.

Another quick gander at the National Lottery site Service Guide reveals the following information:

Can I play from overseas?

No, you must be physically located in the UK or Isle of Man when buying a National Lottery game online or when setting up or amending a Direct Debit (including adding or deleting play slips and changing your payment details).


Scam flag three.

Oh, and I'm being told my email was specially selected for this prize, but the email I received about it wasn't addressed to me in the first place. Scam flag four.

So, looks like I haven't won the lottery after all. So, off that one goes into the bit bucket.

My advice to everyone getting these sorts of things: remember, the cardinal rule with any sort of lottery is you have to have a ticket to be eligible to win. If you don't remember buying a ticket, and you don't have a ticket actually in your possession, you almost certainly haven't won a prize.
megpie71: 9th Doctor resting head against TARDIS with repeated *thunk* text (Head!Tardis)
Saturday, July 11th, 2015 09:20 am
Apparently-From: MR. Paresh Khiara (Khiara@telenor.dk)
Subject Line: [Bulk] Project Loans - Etihad Capital
Reply-To: etihadcapitalop@yahoo.de
Addressed to me: Yes

Scam body below the fold )

This is a sneaky one. A bit of googling shows the firm, Etihad Capital, actually exists - it's apparently a small investment banking firm based in Abu Dhabi. The person apparently writing to you, Paresh Khiara, actually exists.

Here's where it starts getting dodgy: unless Mr Khiara hasn't updated his LinkedIn profile recently, Paresh Khiara doesn't work for Etihad Capital. LinkedIn has him working at Al Mal Capital.

So while the person and the firm both exist, it doesn't seem likely they're both joined at present. This is not only a major scam flag, but also a major fraud flag as well - looks like there's a touch of identity theft happening here as well.

Other scam flags:

* The mail and the people involved say they're being sent from Abu Dhabi. The email addresses, meanwhile, are apparently in Denmark (telenor.dk), Germany (yahoo.de), and the USA (hotmail.com). The two reply email addresses are both throw-away free-mail addresses. If this is being sent from a company based in the UAE, why isn't it using their corporate domain, etihadcapital.com?

* This is clearly a "fishing" letter - it's asking "do you have any projects you want funded?" of just about anyone (after all, I'm not looking for finance for any projects myself, nor have I been in the past few months, or even the past few years). They're either looking for clients (if it actually was a legitimate business) or suckers (which is much more likely).

* They're also asking "do you fancy yourself as a broker for our business?" - which seems an even more dodgy question to be asking of people picked at random off the internet.

* A minor sign, but a significant one - they're purportedly working for a major investment bank, but they can't afford paragraph breaks? Yeah, right.

As always, the best place for all of these is the bit-bucket. Don't reply, even to tell them to take you off their list. If you think Etihad Capital, or Paresh Khiara might be the right people for you to work with, contact them via their LinkedIn pages or in the case of Etihad Capital, their main website. Don't use any of the details from the email to try and get into contact with them.


Footnote: there's some indicators in the text and the labelling of the apparently-from address that make me think there's a certain amount of "sovereign citizen" nonsense involved, too - the specification of and emphasis on the personal pronoun and the punctuation looks a lot like the sort of nonsense people caught up in the "sovereign citizen" scams in the USA use to try and render themselves less liable for their bills and actions. Here's a hint: it doesn't work in the USA, and it probably won't work in whichever country this scammer is sending from either.
megpie71: Simplified bishie Rufus Shinra glares and says "The Look says it all" (glare)
Thursday, July 9th, 2015 07:28 am
So I've decided to broaden my horizons a bit by dealing with the other popular type of scam landing in my email box - the "advance fee fraud". These are the ones which involve you being promised this huge sum of money (because Reasons), but if you reply to the email, you'll be asked to forward a bit of money yourself (maybe about $1000) to cover "administration costs" or "access fees" or whatever.

These frauds hope to hook you in using your greed, waving the large sum of money you could get tomorrow under your nose, and making you blind to the amount of money you'll wind up paying out today. The simplest way to deal with them is not to reply to them.

So, with that out of the way, let's look at the actual scam. I'll be putting these under a cut, because they tend to be long-winded. I've added in some comments - the original scam is in italics, while my stuff is in plain text.

Scam below )

As always, the safest thing to do with these sorts of things is delete them on sight.
megpie71: 9th Doctor resting head against TARDIS with repeated *thunk* text (Head!Tardis)
Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 06:48 am
New one from the email box, fresh this morning.

Apparently-From: Huamao (huamaocorpo@gmail.com)
Subject: [Bulk] Get Back To Me ASAP
Reply-To: huamaocorps@gmail.com

Sir/Madam,


I am Mr. Chung Botero, Chief Operating Officer and President of Sales & Marketing.
Huamao Corporation which was founded in 1981.

Huamao Corporation is one of China's largest enterprise groups of consumer
electronics on global scale, with major consumer products including Color TV, mobile
Phone, Air Conditioners, Refrigerators, Washing Machines, Small Appliances. Currently,

HUAMAO CORPORATION has five industry groups of Huamao Corporation
Multimedia, Communications, CSOT, Huamao Corporation Home Appliance and
Tonly Electronics, as well as System Technology Business Division, Techne Group,
Emerging Business Group, Investment Group, Highly Information Industry.

This Company is seeking for the services of an Experienced person for position of
a Payment Collectors/International company representative in U.S.A and CANADA.

If you are interested for this position please contact the company Chief Operating Officer.
We await your response.

Regards,
Mr. Chung Botero
Chief Operating Officer
Email: huamaocorps@gmail.com
Huamao Corporation
Address:22/F,TCL Technology Building,
17 Huifeng 3rd Road,
Zhongkai Hi-tech Development District,
Huizhou,Guangdong,516006P.R.China P.C.:516001
http://www.huamao.com.cn/


So, scam flags flying here:

1) Unsolicited offer of work - as I've stated repeatedly before, in declining economies (which label fits the majority of Western economies right now) an employer will not need to solicit random strangers on the internet to find employees. Posting an ad on a job board will get you candidates galore.

2) They're looking for people in the USA and Canada - so why have they sent one to me in Australia? (It can't be because they don't know I'm in Australia - my email address is in a .com.au domain).

3) Googling "Huamao Corporation" brings up a lot of listings for "Huamao Group", but the only reference to "Huamao Corporation" on the first page is "JOB OFFER - 419 SCAM". So not only have they done this before, they've been spotted before. Looking at the linked page, it appears whoever is running this scam is using the same text as previously, but a different email address.

(A 419 scam is "advanced fee fraud" - the sort of scam where the scammer promises you a huge reward, but you have to send them some money first, to cover administrative costs, you understand... you'll get the money tomorrow, really. But tomorrow, there's more admin costs to be covered, and you'll need to send them more cash to cover those in order to get your big payout, and so on and so on.)

4) The email address the letter is apparently sent from is different to the email address you reply to - but the difference is very subtle (one letter difference). Both email addresses are free email accounts through gmail.com, which is NOT how major corporations do things - a corporation buys a domain, sets up a mail server and sends things from their own email domain.

5) No details of the job itself - it's all about the company. They don't let you know what skills they want, or how much they're going to be paying, or even which currency you're going to be paid in.

As always, the drill is: don't reply, don't give them any information, and don't, whatever you do, take the offer seriously.
megpie71: AC Reno holding bomb, looking away from camera (about that raise)
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 06:46 am
Apparently-From: Kieran Sanchez (ni@jytaijin.com)
Subject: [Bulk] Employment opportunity : (0985546390441)
Reply-To: Kieran Sanchez (Kuksenko.Evgeniya@gmail.com)

Our company is glad to propose you to taking the office of a customer care manager. Please keep in mind, this is a beginner level office.

Job functions:

Supplying cellular service providers with a new commercial platform by our corporation.
User support and consultation.
Processing requests attributed to our platform icommerce.
Primary aid to our consumers in terms of working within the system.

We provide practice and a trial period.
Applicants are not needed bear peculiar experience with the system iCommerce or analogical systems.

Qualification and proficiency:
- Amenity and the ability of communicating with people
- Carefulness to details
- Skills in writing and editing of corporate-type texts due skills is a pro
- Time-management ability
- Flexibility, sufferance, sobriety

Paying conditions:
A monthly salary of 4000AUD for general working day or up to 2500AUD for part-time employment.

Practice period is remunerated.

It takes three weeks. You will get 400AUD a week.

During the process of instructions, you will familiarize with all operating stage regarding Icommerce platform. In the future, that will provide you the opportunity to orientate yourself and respond to all client matters easily .

If you are interested, we are eager to deliver you some additional information.

If we deem you an appropriate job applicant, we will contact you in the short term.

---
Это сообщение проверено на вирусы антивирусом Avast.
http://www.avast.com


So, scam flags flying:

1) Job "opportunity" sent at random to someone who isn't actually looking for work (I haven't been actively looking for work for about eight to ten months now). In a contracting job market (which we have at the moment - there are more unemployed people than there are jobs to go to) a legitimate employer doesn't need to be sending out recruiting letters at random.

2) Paying too much for the (poorly-described) work they're asking you to do. The wage they're offering is approximately $25 per hour ($4000 per month, divided by four weeks, divided by forty hours per week), and the work they appear to be offering is mostly either low-level stuff you'd expect to be paying minimum wage for, or the kind of thing you'd be expecting to employ much more qualified support staff for.

3) No mention of the company name (the mention of "avast" at the bottom is purely saying the Avast anti-virus program was used to scan it for viruses) or indeed of any company information at all.

4) "From" and "Reply-To" addresses are different domains, and appear to be different people (the "From" address is for a machinery company in China; the Reply-to is a gmail throwaway with an Eastern-European sounding name; neither of these match the name given for the person sending the emails).

5) Marked "[Bulk]" by Yahoo's email systems as it went through, so even though the email is apparently addressed to me, I'm betting they're actually sending the email to a large list of people.

6) Whoever wrote the body text speaks English as probably about a second language at best, possibly third or fourth. The grammar isn't appropriate, the word usage is clumsy, and there are a number of rather obvious mistakes in both.

If you've received one of these, the normal drill applies. Don't reply, don't send them anything, and don't take the job. If I receive more of them, I'll put the Apparently-From, Subject Line, and Reply-To addresses in comments below. If anyone reading this has received one and wants to add to the list, feel free.
megpie71: "Well, when I was a little girl, I thought I'd like to become a scientist, so I became a scientist" (feminism)
Monday, June 8th, 2015 11:39 am
Found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/opinion/sunday/what-makes-a-woman.html

Okay, first thoughts about the first few paragraphs: this comes across as very TERF-y[1] at times.

Further thoughts on reading more of it: actually, come to think on it, this is not only a wonderful example of trans-exclusionary feminism, but also a wonderful example of the sort of feminism which makes me want to say "if this is feminism, I don't want to be identified as feminist!"

Read more... )

I agree with this writer there's a lot of work men need to do on the way masculinity is defined and presented (and if she'd pointed out the complete lack of enthusiasm for the job demonstrated by the majority of persons identifying as male, I'd have agreed with her even more). But quite frankly, I don't see that attempting to lock transwomen out of the definition of "women as a whole" is a good move to get this work started. Trans identity is already gatekept by the medical community and the psychological and psychiatric community, not to mention the trans-erasing radical feminist community. I seriously doubt mainstream feminism needs to step up to the plate.


[1] Trans-Erasing Radical Feminism - the sort of feminism which basically states flat out that transwomen aren't "real" women because they weren't born with the correct genitalia.
[2] Can I just say, I have to wonder about when organised feminism became, by default, a movement intended solely for those women who were considered attractive by men?
[3] This can include things like requiring the permission of her husband, if she's married, or of her parents if she isn't - this for a fully functional adult with no mental illnesses or developmental impairments.
megpie71: AC Reno holding bomb, looking away from camera (about that raise)
Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 08:09 am
Have another employment offer scammer. Just arrived a few minutes ago (and apparently arrived at 9.27am today, which is intriguing, since it's only 8.07am on the clock... I love getting mail from the future).

From: yiyingyan62@163.com (apparent name: Brennan Dean)
Reply-To: hr_manager_1@mail.com (note the throwaway email address, very professional!)
Subject: [Bulk] Employment opportunity

Good day
Please read my proposal till the end.
I'm glad offer to you the Logistics Manager position.

Logistic manager is the first point of contact for external customers and suppliers for any queries regarding sales orders and deliveries whilst taking responsibility for the validation of invoices from distribution companies.
Company offers a trial employment agreement. The employee's wage shall be 100-300USD for each task. The training principle and schedule are free and organized for you without current job. According to the results of the trial period Company invites you to the interview and offers contract. The previous job experience at events industry is not required. This is a home based position during term.
Reply me via email to request more information.


Okay, so which scam flags is this flying?:

1) Contacted me out of nowhere to alert me of this "offer", even though I'm not actively looking for work at present. (I also don't have any recognisable skill in logistics - but see 3).
2) Throwaway email address in Reply-To field, which is different to the email address in the From field.
3) Not sent to my email address (and the "[Bulk]" marker is confirmation from yahoo that it's spam) - the email it is apparently to begins with the same first four letters as my own, so I'm suspecting alphabet attack on a number of domains.
4) Wage isn't in the currency I use (I'm in Australia; while being paid in US dollars would be nice, it would also entail fees from my bank).
5) Wage is entirely too high for the job description (and the job description is extremely vague - what am I supposed to be doing again?
6) What's the company name again? Doesn't appear to be mentioned. It appears to be within the "events industry", but that tells me less than nothing.
7) They're offering you a "trial employment agreement" and then a job interview and full employment based on the results of that trial... but you really do need to contact this person for more information so they can find out whether they have the right fish on the line.

As always, don't reply, don't send them anything with your personal details, and don't take the job.

Update 21 MAY 2015

New copy of the same email with one minor variation - new first line: I'm a HR manager of Food and Bakery Sales Company.

From: mil@productosmondino.com (Curran Grimes)
Reply-To: hrempl2@gmail.com (Curran Grimes) - still a throwaway email address, how professional!
Subject: [Bulk] Position available

Still an alphabet attack (not sent to my email address specifically) and still a scam.

If I get any more of these in the next few days, I'll update further.

Update 23 MAY 2015

Two of them in the mail today. These were both directly addressed to me, but still marked as [Bulk], so presumably they're still doing alphabet attacks.

Number One - Subject line: [Bulk] Fresh job
Apparently-from: Reuben Walters (david@throughalens.com)
Reply-To: Reuben Walters (hrempl2@gmail.com)

First few lines: Good day
I'm a HR manager of Food and Bakery Sales Company.
It's official career opportunity from Machinery sales company � Logistics Manager.


Number Two - Subject Line: [Bulk] Job offer
Apparently-From: Andrew Michael (syditup@hntele.com)
Reply-To: Andrew Michael (hrempl2@gmail.com) (Note same throwaway reply-to email as the previous one. Someone really wants a bite from this one).

First few lines: Good day
I'm a HR manager of Food and Bakery Sales Company.
it's official offer to Logistics Manager position.


Any further copies of this, I'll put new addresses and such into replies to this entry.
megpie71: 9th Doctor resting head against TARDIS with repeated *thunk* text (thunk)
Sunday, May 17th, 2015 06:21 am
This mob aren't even trying to fool people. They're after outright suckers.

"Good day. It is currency exchange company. We bought your email at Internet service. We are sorry for unexpected message but we urgently need the wage-earners. The duty of wage-earners is accept cash or noncash money from our company and deliver them to customers. If you want to try in this job, write us please - Your age
- City where you live
With these information we will decide, if you match for our company or not. If you are interested, write us please. We are sorry if we've disturbed you in vain
Sincerely,
Currency exchange company"


Yeah, that's the whole email.

No details about the company, contacting me out of the blue to offer me an "opportunity" (the only opportunity they're offering is the first-class prime opportunity to get your bank account(s) cleaned out, and possibly your identity stolen) and the "From" address and the Reply-To address on the email both not only don't match, but they also don't have any real connection with the name of the person who's apparently sending this.

From: stimam11@htlkaindorf.at
Reply-To: dan.satan@yahoo.com
Name given: Theodore Goodwin

Oh, and they have clear spam-sign in that the email is not sent to my actual address in the first place - the "To" address on the email indicates they're doing an alphabet attack through Yahoo. Which may be why Yahoo were polite enough to mark this one with a "[Bulk]" warning in the subject header so it landed straight in my junk mail folder.

I suspect they're asking for age and city so they can decide whether it's worth following up on you. If you're in the wrong age demographic - not young enough to be inexperienced about the workplace, not old enough to be desperate for anything you can do, not in a rich enough area to be worth fleecing - I get the feeling you'll never hear back from them. Or at least, not until they've run through the best candidates on their list.

As always: don't reply, don't send them anything to them, and don't, whatever you do, attempt to take them up on their offer of "employment". As always, the core rule is this: a genuine employer isn't going to contact you first; you have to go looking for them.
megpie71: Kerr Avon quote: Don't philosophise at me you electronic moron; answer the question (don't philosophise)
Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 09:49 am
[Inspired by: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-11/abbott-defends-indigenous-communities-lifestyle-choice/6300218 - particularly the comment thread]

I was born in Western Australia, and I lived most of my life until I was about 27 in the south-eastern suburbs of Perth. I then moved to Canberra, in the ACT, and lived there until about mid-2006, when my partner and I moved back to Perth.

I hated it in Canberra. The land wasn't right. The way the sun rose wasn't right. The way the sun set wasn't right. The water wasn't the same. The seasons were all wrong. The city was put together strangely. I never felt settled, never felt "at home". I felt displaced.

I went to London for a month in August 2002, on holiday. I felt more "at home" in London during that one month than I had in three years living in the ACT, despite the different hemisphere, different latitudes, different everything.

I went back to the ACT, and lived for another four years in exile, before returning to Perth, Western Australia. Since then, I have come to wonder whether the profound feeling of "home" I feel living here is akin to the Indigenous notion of "country". Whether that horrible feeling of being displaced, of being exiled, is what they feel when they're forced by circumstance or government policy to move away from their country. I know that for me, songs like "My Island Home" now have a whole new meaning, because I hear them through the filter of my experience living in Canberra.

This is part of why I feel angry and upset about the WA state government's decision to close a number of remote communities. I would not want to push that feeling of displacement, of always being in the wrong place, on anyone else. It would be a wrongness, an evil, a wicked thing to do. I am angry the government of Western Australia is doing this in my name. I am upset the Premier, Colin Barnett, is implicitly claiming he has the support of white Western Australians to do this. His government does not have my support, or my consent.

These days I'm living in the south-western corridor of suburban Perth. The sun rises in the correct way, over the right hills. The sun sets properly, over the ocean. The ocean is there, within reach - I'm about twenty minutes drive from the beach, if that. The seasons flow correctly, from dry heat, to stormy heat, to gradually cooling dry, to cold and wet, to gradually warming and drying, to dry heat again. The city is the way it should be, the right mix of architectural styles and geographic features. I'm home. I would say I'm in my country, and I would challenge anyone to uproot me from it.
megpie71: AC Reno crouched over on the pavement, looking pained (bad day at work)
Friday, February 6th, 2015 10:20 am
So, since I posted my original scam post about RLB solution, I've been getting a lot of responses from people who have also been contacted by this company. Most are saying "thanks for the warning", which is nice, because I'm glad I've been able to help people avoid being hit by this scam. A few have been along the lines of "oh god, I said yes to the job, and now what do I do?"

Tackling this last first: what to do if you've said "yes" to the job offer by RLB Solution, and have just realised what a mistake that might have been.

1) If you're in Australia, get in touch with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). They're the ones who are responsible for penalising scammers, as well as the main regulatory body in this area.
2) Contact your bank and get them to "hold" any transactions coming in to or out of your account from RLB Solution.
3) If you have had money go missing from your account, you should go to the police. Take with you as much documentary evidence as you can about the company (print out emails, preferably with full headers; take screenshots of web pages you're asked to use; write out as much as you can about what the company expected you to do, and when things happened). The more information you can provide, the better.
4) Whatever you do, don't continue working for them!

Next up, I've had a couple of people forward me the text of the latest email they're sending around, so I'm going to be pulling that to pieces and pointing out what's fishy about it:

Letter and analysis under the fold )

One final note: I am not affiliated with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the trade union movement in Australia, the Australian Federal police, the police force in any state in Australia or any other body with the formal ability to do anything about this situation. I am also not an employment lawyer, and any statements I make regarding the applicability of various laws is purely hearsay. I am a person who primarily works as a housewife at present, is without paid employment, and who put the original warning up as a public service because I was annoyed at the scammers for targeting me. So while it's sort of nice that people want to ask me for help in this matter, I have to point out: I've already done everything I can in this case by putting up the information in the first place.