Representative Scam

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Staff member
Scam Job Emails And How To Identify Them

Working from home is becoming very popular nowadays. There are stories about people making thousands of dollars a month by just sitting in front of the computer a few hours a day. Are these stories true? Few are but majority are fakes to lure you into a trap. Nothing in the world is for free. Many home-based jobs are just too good to be true.

Everyone wants to earn big money without going to work. Most students or stay-at-home moms want extra cash to pay their fees or bills. Because the number of home based jobs is increasing everyday, it is no surprise that work-at-home scams offering online work that reap big financial gains have also grown in popularity. With the advance of technology, we can now contact people easily by email without revealing who we are and that is what most scammers do today. Scammers love to lay their bait through emails because it is very easy, and hard to be caught.

Here are a few features of a scam job email so that you will not fall into the trap if you happen to see one next time.

1. Transfer Money
Some jobs will ask you to be the middle man to help transfer the money over to your bank account with you getting a huge percentage of it. However, when you proceed to ask more about the deal, you will be asked to provide your bank details and that is when the catch comes in. NEVER GIVE YOUR BANK DETAILS TO ANYONE!

2. Upfront Investment
Many home-based jobs actually ask you to pay first. Whether is it a signup fee or for whatever purpose, it works like a Multi Level Marketing and your job is to get as many people involved as possible. If you are paying for something, make sure you are getting something usable back. It is illegal to pay for something without getting anything usable.

3. Not Specific / Too Good To Be True
Jobs that offer great rewards with you putting in the minimal effort are usually scams. The email may state that you do not need to be skilled in any way to earn high wages. The description of the company is obscure. Also, the email may not say what you are required to do. A Google search is a good way to find out if the company is real (but beware of fake websites).

4. Unknown Source
This is the most important and critical check. If someone tells you that they found you through the internet, you better not believe them. The scammers probably send the same mail to millions of people hoping for someone to reply. Check the sender's email. If the email is a yahoo, gmail or some free mail servers, you can delete the mail immediately because a reputable company will never use a free email address. If the email is from a company, go the url and check out the website. You can do so easily by extracting the text after the @ symbol.

I hope this sheds some light on how to identify a home-based job fraud. With fraudulent emails growing everday, more people might be cheated. Many people deceived by job scams have lost a lot of their hard earned money, in addition to effort and time.

Central Scrutinizer

Staff member
You may receive unsolicited emails from companies, perhaps claiming to be from China, looking for representatives to establish a business presence in other countries and for transferring payments from customers. You have probably been promised 10% of these payements from customers. In reality, this is a Check (cheque) Fraud Scam that can work on a large scale, causing damage to YOU from hundreds to even thousands of dollars. In some cases, the names of legitimate companies are abused for the scam. In other cases, no real company by that name exists. A google search on the name of the company is always a good idea.

The scammers are not Chinese, or even Asian. They are not from the U.K., Australia, etc. They are quite likely to be Nigerian, or from some other African state. The scammers mail their "representatives" fake checks (cheques) from one of their so-called "customers" to deposit in the representative's bank account. These might be written on a blank check (cheque) form stolen from a real company. As long as the real company has sufficient funds in its account, the check (cheque) will intially clear the bank. It will only "bounce" when the real company receives back the check (cheque) which the company never wrote. When the check (cheque) clears the "representative's" account, the "representative" wires an amount (usually by Western Union or Moneygram) to an account in another country, such as Japan, Taiwan, China, the Netherlands or the U.K. By the time the check (cheque) "bounces" back to the "representative's" bank, which can take 4-6 weeks, but as long as 6 months, the money is already out of the "representative's" country and the "representative" is left to pick up the loss, which can sometimes be tens of thousands of dollars. In addition to problems with the bank, the "representative" will have problems with his/her credit report, and possibly some local police who will want to know why the "representative" is negotiating a fake check (cheque).

For more information in English, see Joe Wein's page;

Gentle Giant

Giant Admin for a Day
Staff member
Assuming that you actually get here to this part, here's some reasons that the representative scams are fake, aside from the fact that they are ALWAYS a scam.

What's the scam?
In this subforum you are going to run into the fake check fraud. In the fake check scam you are asked to be a claims agent, paying etc or some kind of representative for a company. The fake check scam is just that-- all you are ever going to get is a fake check or money order. You can read elsewhere (like here) about why you don't want to have a fake check for any reason.

If you have read about how to identify a scam email (which is here) then in addition to things like bad grammar, poor spelling, even poorer punctuation, the use of free email servers, etc. these are some other things that make a representative scam format completely bogus.

1. "We can't get a tax ID in the U.S"
This indicates that the scammer is stupid and clueless about tax law in the U.S. Getting a tax ID in the US is about as easy as falling off a log. There's a form you fill out and send to the IRS. It takes about a week to do and it's free (or close to it). I even had one once for a small business I owned. A major company can't get a tax ID in the US? Just a scammer talking.

2. "The tax rate in our country (x) is 25% for companies but only 7% for individuals"
This may or may not be true for any particular country but it is not true in this situation. The tax authorities in country (x) are constantly on the alert for accounting tricks like this and would be all over something this transparent as a "tax dodge". Company officials who tried something like this would be subject to high fines ($$$) and could possibly face prison time. Additionally, if you get one of these from Latvia (how did a scammer even find it on a map?) remember that Latvia is a member of the EU and the EU is making effort to harmonize taxes across the whole EU so the story doesn't hold up.

3. "Our customers are always paying with money orders"
Umm, actually in the real world, no business would EVER pay for anything with a money order. Services are available in banks precisely to facilitate international commerce. This includes things like letters of credit etc. No real company ever uses money orders to pay for anything. It's just a scammer talking. The various instruments that banks have developed to assist businesses are to make the transfer of funds quick and fast. A company does not need you to do this for them. (The same thing holds true for checks. Most companies would not pay by check either for the same reasons as mentioned).

4. "We can't open a bank account in the U.S."
That would be because they haven't tried. Opening a bank account is almost as easy as getting a tax ID. Yes, someone would have to go to the US to do that but nowadays even that can probably be done by an affiliate bank. This is such a ridiculous statement that it almost isn't worth addressing.

5. "We don't have an office in the U.S."
So what? Almost as ridiculous as #4. So what if they don't have an office in the US? They can still do business there. Even a small business would considering opening a branch office in the US because it's such a large market. And opening an office or hiring an agent is easy to do and any real company would know that. Scammers don't know that, or they hope you don't.

6. "We do not have an account in your country that will clear this money"
Well, I suppose if you lived in Antarctica that might be true, but other than that, there are banks for this work. Even if they don't have an account in your country they would have an agent to handle this kind of work. Unless they are going to make you the agent then this is just another ridiculous scammer statement.

7. "The cost of coming to the states and getting payments is very expensive and time consuming"
Yes it would be if you actually had to do it. Fortunately for all those artists, textile companies, and other types of companies there's a solution to this problem. It's called a bank. That's what banks do.

8. "Clients make payments for our supplies every week"
Oh well, then the company already has financial procedures in place so they don't need you.

9. "Send the Remaining Funds back via Western Union"
If you have read elsewhere (as indicated in this little exposition) then you know that the use of Western Union or Moneygram always indicates you are dealing with scammers. Real companies do not EVER use Western Union or Moneygram for anything. They use banks. If you ever get an email like this, drop it. Delete it. It's just a scammer.

10. "You don't have to worry about the IRS...."
Another cute piece of invention by an idiot scammer. Actually you do have to worry about the IRS , the Inland Revenue Service or any other taxing body authority in your country and/or state/province. Taxes are one of the main sources of income for governments and they jealousy guard the power to tax. You aren't going to be able to hide from them just because you're doing business for some company that is sending you checks. Even if this were a real job you would still have to pay the taxes on what you make.

No, they have NOT checked it carefully with anyone to make sure that it falls under relevant taxing provisions or authority of any government. They are criminals. They aren't going to talk to anyone with authority to arrest them.

11. "a lot of Credit is being owe our company"
If they were actually concerned about losing money during the transfer of funds they could always buy some foreign currency hedges. If they were a real company someone would know that, probably an accountant or finance manager or two.

In addition most businesses do not ship product to a customer, especially overseas, without a guarantee of payment first. If they do they won't be in business very long.

12. " other incentives and benefits that accrue, which includes tax holidays..."
This is sent by a scammer/criminal who has absolutely no clue as to what the term "tax holiday" means, although it sounds good to him since all the money he steals is tax free. Delete the email. It's from an idiot.

Thanks to Dororo for pointing this one out.

13. We will pay you 10% for every check collected.
Think about that one. Why would they pay you 10% just to collect a check? If you collect it, why don't they pay you 1%? Is your time worth that much to them? On a $10,000 check, that's $1,000 for you to get a check in the mail and wait a few days until it clears the bank. What makes you worth $1,000 for that? Why don't they pay you a monthly wage (which would be a lot cheaper for them) or pay you a smaller percentage? Simple, there is no job here. There is only a fake check.

Delete the email and don't even bother with them.

14. "Unfortunately we are unable to open Bank Accounts in the united states without first registering the company."
Guess what? This is more stupid nonsense from a scammer who knows nothing about international business except that he tries to steal money from everyone, everywhere. Companies would "register" in the U.S., that is, they will register trademarks, brand names etc, because companies are very protective of those things. They would also register any patents on any products they make. Real companies know that.

If you get this kind of garbage from a "company" you can rest assured they are not a real company and you can also delete the email because it's just another dumb scammer/criminal talking nonsense.

15. Anyway our employees never leave us because for us, our employees come first.
So why exactly do they need to hire you if no one ever quits?

16. We want to hire you as a certified payroll specialist.....
All right, great. Do you have have a background in payroll work? Are you an accountant? Do you have any bookkeeping skills? If not, why exactly would they hire you?

In addition, sometimes you get a "payroll specialist" offer from a company in country A and you live in country B. Why in the world would anyone hire you to be a payroll specialist when live in a completely different country? Aren't there in bookkeepers in country A? Of course there are so the whole idea is preposterous. What they probably want you to do is buy some check printing software and mail out fake checks for you. That makes you a party (an accessory) to felony fraud in most jurisdictions. Kind of makes that great payroll specialist not look like such a great job after all, especially if you end up in prison. :(

17. IS THIS LEGAL? YES, It is very legal (article 15.3) Employment Opportunity Act. My lawyer checked all legal provisions concerning any domestic or international law against businesses or deals of domestic monetary trade. Doing this business is 100% safe and legal.
No it is not legal. Stealing money is not legal anywhere, except Wall Street. The Employment Opportunity Act? Of what country? And no, the lawyer did not check anything.

18. "We need your assistance because these payments, which are usually in the form of cheques are not payable in Chinese Banks because of the differing Banking Systems."
This point actually came up recently. In fact, the difference in banking systems means absolutely nothing. 50 years ago, yeah, maybe, back when stuff was all done by paper but it's all electronic now. This is the 21st century. China is the 2nd largest economy in the world. They are high-tech, they are clued-in, they know how to do banking. They probably invented it thousands of years ago. The above quote is from an idiot scammer who knows nothing about much of anything and hopes that you don't know any more than he does. But of course, you do. You know to delete the email.

19. We're a company and we're going to hire you without a face-to-face interview or any paperwork.
Sure, because you have such an honest face although they've never actually seen it.

20. We're a company and we want to use your checking/bank account.
No. No real company would ever do that for a series of reasons involving national/local laws and taxes. Also, they aren't going to ask you to go and open a new account in your name. Real companies are not ever going to ask you to run company money through a personal account.

I have been sitting musing on this point after something I read the other day. When you produce a product you need financing because you probably need help getting raw materials to turn into product. Then there is financing while the raw materials are in the production phase. Then there is financing when the goods are in storage.

There is also financing when the goods are shipped to a customer, even one across town not to mention one on another continent. Otherwise a company's valuable cash is sitting around unused from the day of shipment until the day of payment which could be 30 days or more. No one, not even mega-gigantic companies wants any amount of cash sitting around unused for 30 days. Companies have finance departments whose main purpose is to manage the company's cash flow.

Finally, once the goods are sold, there is still financing on receivables, that is, the money from the sales. This stuff is done by wire transfer and no one, NO ONE sends product to an unknown buyer in another country and just "hopes" that they get paid. I'm sorry but anyone that stupid has either not been in Finance 101 or Business Administration 101 at college or university or they have no intention of remaining in business more than a few days.

No, these emails are scam formats and as mentioned before, the best thing you can do with the email is to delete it and do not ever answer these criminals.


Staff member
For Americans, scammers (reshipper scams) are now sending and requesting I9 and W2 forms to enhance their scams. Some do this in addition to telephone interviews. Obviously, this makes theft of your identity much easier. Please be careful which email you respond to and what kind of information you provide to people you don't know.
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