Job seekers beware: phishers recruiting mules for money laundering

MessageLabs, the leading provider of managed email security services to businesses worldwide, is warning job seekers to be wary of emails offering regional representative and general assistant positions with ICG Commerce.

The emails are secretly recruiting middlemen for phishers, luring unsuspecting victims into laundering money and exposing them to possible identity theft. Over 20,000 copies of this scam email have been intercepted to date, and copies were first seen over the weekend.

The email offers employment opportunities involving money transfer for high rates of pay and low hours of work. It directs victims to a website where they fill in personal details to apply for the job, which could also be used for identity theft.

ICG Commerce is a legitimate procurement company based near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, whose name is being used by the phishers to lend credibility to the scam. Researchers at MessageLabs have found that the link included in the emails points to a website that is not part of the main ICG website.

“The fastest way for phishers to transfer money is between accounts in the same bank, and the easiest way for them to do this is to recruit unsuspecting dupes to act for them by opening up bank accounts and transferring money on the phishers behalf,” said Alex Shipp, Senior Anti-Virus Technologist at MessageLabs. “These people are actually money laundering, but usually do not realise it. This scam is a sinister demonstration of how fraudsters attempt to manipulate computer users into doing their dirty work for them, and potentially lead them to break the law in the process.”

Email Characteristics

Subject: Apply for a position of REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE/GENERAL ASSISTANT at ICG Commerce Body text:

Recently I’ve reviewed your CV and I’d like to propose you a good
opportunity to join our great team. Our company - ICG Commerce was founded
ten years ago to serve the European business entrepreneurs and establish a
profitable base for corporations desirous to succeed in new ventures in the
United States and vice versa.

We are financially stable company with growing business worldwide. Due to
expanding our business, we are glad to announce a number of vacancies of
Regional Representative / General Assistant.

All operations are home based and will require just a couple of hours of
your time. Successful candidates must admit a high rank of responsibility,
as your duties will include money operations, transferring of valuable
business documents and so on. The individuals hired into these positions
will initially go through a brief training program that will give them
exposure to all operations functions including routing, inventory control
and special projects. Now we need regional representative in the most areas.

To apply for this position and for more information click on this link (not

Best regards,

Konrad Zemler, ICG Commerce.

Website text:

Thank you for the shown interest about our proposal. At the moment we have a number of vacancies of REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE and GENERAL ASSISTANT in many countries and territories. We’d like to give you some information about what exactly our company doing and how would you help us.

But just before that I’d like to tell you that for this job we are NOT going to ask you do ANY initial investments or send ANY kind of initial payments. And another thing to mention here that this is part-time home-based job that will require just about 5 or less hours weekly. So you can happily stay at your current position if you have any and just if you’ll see a good potential to grow with us you can start work harder.

ICG Commerce delivers innovative and secure payment solutions that leverage the network of regional representatives worldwide. ICG helps organizations reduce payment-processing costs and settle the majority of their payments through this network. Unlike other forms of payments, the ICG payment solution is flexible, easy to implement and applicable to a broad supply base. Together with our banking partners, we’ll provide a quick, customized deployment that allows to begin running transactions through the system with minimal time.

Basic methods of domestic payments we are receiving from our customers are: domestic wire transfers, cashier’s checks, money orders and some others. For most of those methods it will take a long time and often significant additional charges to receive them outside the country where the payment was initiated.

Your responsibilities will include receiving these payments into your bank account and transfer them to us with the way we’ll inform you. You will get 6-8% from total transferred amount as your wages.

This is fully home-based flexible hours part-time job with just minimal limits on your age (our candidates must be at least 18 year old) and there are no other restrictions applied.

Instructions are very simple and can be done by anyone. If you think that you are interested in this position please fill carefully the EMPLOYMENT FORM provided below. Once we receive your employment form we will review and file it and in about 1-2 weeks time you can start work with us.


MessageLabs detected all strains of this spam email proactively, using its unique and patented Skeptic™ predictive heuristics technology.

About MessageLabs

MessageLabs is the leading provider of managed email security services to businesses based on market share, according to a Yankee Group Security Solutions & Services Report, February 2004. The company offers industry-leading managed Anti-Virus, Anti-Spam, Image Control and Content Control services to more than 9,000 businesses around the world to combat email threats before they reach corporate networks and without the need for additional hardware or software. Powered by a global network of data centres spanning four continents, MessageLabs scans millions of emails each day on behalf of clients such as The British Government, The Bank of New York, Bertelsmann, CSC, Diageo, Orange, Random House, SC Johnson and StorageTek. The service is also available through more than 600 channel partners, including BT, Cable & Wireless, CSC, IBM, MCI and Unisys. For more information on MessageLabs, please visit

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