Thursday, November 2, 2006

New wave of spam: money lenders luring victims with lucrative job offers

Avira warns against spam mails in German with which middle-men are sought for dubious money transactions

Tettnang, 2 November 2006 - The security experts of Avira report that recently more fake job offers are in circulation by email. In addition to English, the phony job adverts are now also appearing in very good German. The spam emails can be identified by subject lines such as “Bis zu 4000 Euro Nebenverdienst” (“Up to 4000 euro extra income”) and text references to home working, which require an email and Internet connection as well as a current account. Computer users should be extremely careful if they receive such emails and not react to them, as the lucrative sounding ways of earning money do not involve second jobs or a way out of Hartz 4 but are sent by organized criminals who are mainly looking for helpers for money laundering.

The method used by the fraudsters is simple: so that the route of the money cannot be traced by the police and the authorities, unsuspecting accomplices are sought by means of authentic looking job adverts by email. These offers promise attractive career opportunities and lure job-seekers with short hours and very good pay. Instead, the simple Internet activity often constitutes a punishable offence as a middle-man: after deduction of a “commission fee”, he unwittingly moves the money from phished bank accounts by cash transfer to foreign recipients. This requires the personal current account of the job-seeker, to which the money previously stolen by phishing was transferred.

“Those urgently needing money easily fall for such lucrative offers and thus unsuspectingly become victims of fraudulent tricks”, says Tjark Auerbach, CEO and founder of Avira, based on his many years of experience in the security market. “Unfortunately it is becoming increasingly more difficult to distinguish trustworthy offers from fraudulent ones. We therefore urgently recommend people to be suspicious of job adverts with utopian promises and to ignore mails that require a cash transfer or preferably to delete them immediately.”

“Even if the English and German spam mails appear to come from different sources, it is conspicuous that they are all structured in the same way, lead to similar websites and are looking for job-seekers aged 21 and over – qualifications of applicants are not asked for in the job adverts”, adds the security expert of the German software provider. “Whereas such advertisements used to be very amateurish, they now look deceptively similar to genuine job offers. Therefore, Internet users should only react to email job offers if they come from a jobsite to which they have already signed up and whose links lead to the associated website job market. However, even here users should be cautious, as even the sender address of such an email could be fake.”

Examples of such spam emails are available at:

About Avira

Avira is a worldwide leading supplier of self-developed security solutions for professional and private use. With more than twenty years of experience, the company is one of the pioneers in this field.

The security expert has several locations in Germany and partnerships in Europe, Asia and America. At its headquarters in Tettnang near Lake Constance, Avira is one of the region’s largest employers with more than 180 employees. Worldwide more than 250 persons are employed and their work regularly wins awards. Avira AntiVir Personal, used by millions of private users, represents a significant contribution to security.

Avira’s national and international customers include renowned corporations listed on the stock exchange but also educational institutions and public authorities. In addition to protection of the virtual environment, Avira also provides for more protection and security in the real world by supporting the Auerbach Foundation. Established by the founder of the company, the Auerbach Foundation promotes charitable and social projects as well as the arts, culture and science.

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About Avira

Avira protects people in the connected world – enabling everyone to manage, secure, and improve their digital lives. The Avira umbrella covers a portfolio of security and performance applications for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS. In addition, the reach of our protective technologies extends through OEM partnerships. Our security solutions consistently achieve best-in-class results in independent tests for detection, performance, and usability. Avira is a privately-owned company that employs 500 people. Its headquarters are near Lake Constance, in Tettnang, Germany, and the company has additional offices in Romania, India, Singapore, China, Japan & the United States. A portion of Avira's sales support the Auerbach Foundation, which assists education, children, and families in need. For more information about Avira visit