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Six Nigerian men have gone on trial today in London for an alleged phishing scam where job offers at London’s exclusive Harrods department store were used as “bait”.
In total, the scam, referrred to as the “Gumtree fraud” due to the local job listings site used to trawl for victims, netted $1.5 million, the prosecution alleges.
The men have gone on trial at London’s central Old Bailey court today – accused of posting hundreds of fake job adverts for the luxurious department store, then asking applicants to download an “application form” from a recruitment agency, according to a report in the Daily Mail.
The fraudsters then installed a Trojan on their victims’ machines and stole amounts ranging from £400 to £4,700. The store was alerted when applicants complained that their computers had become infected after applying for jobs. The six men accused of distributing the malware are all IT graduates.
Walton Hornsby, prosecuting, said, “’It specifically targeted people looking for jobs. A decision was made someone applying for a job is perhaps more keen to cooperate and comply with any instructions given by someone that seems to be positively responding to their application by inviting them to download an application pack.In August and early September 2010 a number of adverts appeared on Gumtree advertising various jobs at Harrods, a rather attractive post.”
ESET Senior Research Fellow David Harley says, in a post discussing how to spot fake job offers, “At a time when the global economy is in crisis, there are all too many people solving their own employment and financial problems by scamming the unemployed, and job scams are an obvious way of grabbing their attention.”
Harley offers detailed tips – including clues in the wording of job offers, which may betray the fact that there is no job on offer at all.
Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security