Website scammers are on the rise. I never thought that Id witness it firsthand.
My intern comes to my office and announces that he has got a job. I am happy for him. What job? Where? Even before He can answer, his broad smile convinces me that this is huge. And it is indeed huge, you know – at face value.
He hands me the offer or acceptance letter. Or whatever they call it these days. I look at the white paper. And then quickly scheme through it. They are offering him PR Officer position. The pay is handsome: 400,000 Kenya shillings monthly.
There is an unspecified house allowance. Might be another 100,000 Kenya shillings. Who knows.
From the face of it, it is an unbelievable offer from an international non-profit. Every new motherfucker from school would be excited. Like my intern.
But something was off with the letter. Not one thing. Not two. Three things. The station is Toronto, Canada. There is an email on the letter that should an official one for the Canadian Embassy.
This does not stop with the traditional top-level domain. Ca. It’s the Outlook Contact. The design is bent and totally distorted. The fact that there is no local number is even worrying.
They only have satellite offices. One each in the UK, USA, and Australia.
Next, there are a variety of visa papers attached that are changing that just indicate that they may be the ones who would submit a visa application to the Canadian Embassy. Some embassies agree that each request must not be made by a third party. But my intern is completely unaware of this.
So I’m going to the organization’s website. It is done on average, but not to the standard of an international organization paying 400k per month, with offices on four continents. The contact details is succinct. What they’re doing is neither here nor there. Traditional NGO crap-helping the suffering world-is littered all over the place.
I copy the url and head over to ICANN website. ICANN has all details of any website; it will bear the name of the registrar, email address, date of creation, and the website’s unique ID.
I need to verify the website’s ownership. Because everything points to Toronto, Canada, at least the website should have some roots there. But no.This website is listed in Kenya. There’s no email in there. It’s operated by Deep Africa. There’s an American number that’s not going through.
But the shocker is the date of creation: 15th Jan. 2020. The website is fresh like sukuma wiki.
I’ve now proved there’s some monkey business going on here.I ‘d like more information about how much this website has been visited since it was created.
I go to Alexa. Alexa provides some analytics of how the website is doing.
When The Deal Is Too….
For a rather new website, it’s been viewed more times than the website of my company which has been in operation for 7 years. I can only think of one strategy. They’re running ads.
There are lots of engineering to trap kids looking for jobs. If you google NGO jobs, NGO careers, you stumble on several websites listing jobs from the organization in question.
It is pretty scary. Because…because I wondered how many folks might have gotten sweetly scammed.
I speculate that they’re scamming people on two fronts. One, is on visa fees. Two, airfare to Toronto, Canada.
I dig up a little on how these rackets work. So they can ask you to pay your fare, which will be returned to you along with your first salary.The fare to Toronto can be about 100,000 Kenya shillings. Plus another visa fee for 20,000, they are looking at about 1,200 USD per victim.
If these guys can ensnare 500 people ove, say, in the course of three months, these conmen have 60,000,000 kshs. No sweat. Just sitting behind a computer and doing magic.
But I am not sure how this actually pans out. If you see a man driving a range in the city, don’t kick yourself in the teeth. Someone might be eating money blood money. Money from fundraisers. Sold family plots. And what not.