Phishing Money Laundering Scam

An actual example of a money con artists money laundering scheme - posing as a work from home opportunity!

After receiving a spoof phishing email, I knew I wanted to warn others!

Upon investigation I discovered the following:
  • The spoof phishing email was using a legitimate well-known, career website name, but the links in the email belonged to a different site.
  • The email didn't reveal enough details, so it could have easily fooled many!
  • Their work from home opportunity scam, was nothing more than a front. The money con artists actual goal was to recruit unaware worker-bees as the resource to launder money!
  • One would have to dig deeper to reveal it was really a mask for money laundering.
How can one determine it was money laundering? For starters: The false front they were hiding behind had many red flags!⚑⚑⚑
  1. Let's take a look at their actual work from home recruiting email.
  2. Then break it down to understand why it was money laundering.
As mentioned above, the spoof phishing email was posing as a well known internet career site, complete with their logo!

Money Laundering Con Artist Work from Home Scam
It's important to understand that the email was a spoof - posing as the legit career site, but was not!

I reported the spoof email to the legit career site whose logo and trademark had fraudulently been used.

This is the actual money laundering con artist's email I received, but with their *business name changed - to stress my point: 🙃

"*The Money Laundering Group Inc., is a leading venture capital firm. With over 550 million in committed capital under management, the firm's partners have invested in 150 companies that are leaders in their industry categories.
We are seeking self-motivated, goal-oriented individuals that wish to earn as much as their spare time permits. No experience necessary. We offer financial aid to help you create and manage your own business and will provide motivating opportunities.
General qualifications including owning and ability to use an Internet-ready PC; ability to work in a high-energy speedy team environment, and the dedication to create your own success in a fast-paced challenging career.
Basic banking knowledge is a plus, though not required.
In return for your commitment you'll receive unlimited commission, excellent benefits and growth potential.
For consideration please email resume to: (email address omitted)
Or view our website at:" (website url omitted)
Investigating the spoof phishing email:

⚑ The email purported to be from a legitimate job seeker site, which I had never provided my email address to. Nor had I ever submitted my resume to the legitimate career job search site. That was one of the first clues!

Out of curiosity, I decided to take a look at the website. I'm referring to the actual site the email would have clicked through to - NOT the legitimate career website, which they used the logo from for trickery.

Please note, when you receive spoof or phishing emails, that you NEVER want to click on any links provided in their email, as clicking through those links can also possibly lead to a malicious file. 

Therefore, I typed the website URL into my web browser, but without the full url link their spoof email provided - only their home page url. Which by the way, was risky as it was due to potential malicious files on their site.

Proceeding with caution, I looked closely at their site:

I promptly sought and found the so called "work from home job opportunity". Once I found it, reading the full details revealed it was actually a money laundering scam!

⚑ Note: The email recruiting description was not as blatant as the full details were on their website. That way it provided the opportunity to raise less suspicion, in hopes to get more people to click through.


On the con artists website, this was the actual money laundering scheme - their detailed 'work from home job description':
"You will have the opportunity to increase your income substantially, working as an independent contractor. We will help you create and develop your own business, and you will receive a 9.5% commission from every processed payment.
To begin, you will be assigned to one of our agents that will guide you throughout the entire process. The agent will help you set up your own company to be able to deal with us, and our clients.
You will receive both technical and financial aid required in order to open a business. Next, opening a business bank account is the first step to begin your activity. There will be an initial small deposit fee required by the bank, which will be made available to you by us before preparing the application.
Once you have properly accomplished these steps, all you have to do is to receive the payments from our clients, and to redirect them to us, using your new business bank account, following the instructions given by our assigned agent.
For each transaction you will earn 9.5% from each processing! For example: you may receive a $5,000 wire transfer to your bank account. You withdraw the money and keep $475.00 (9.5% of $5,000) for yourself. As you see, the operations are very easy to understand and complete, and we are here to guide you."
In summary let's consider these BASIC ⚑ RED FLAG points, which wouldn't necessarily make one suspicious of money laundering!
  •  'No experience required'.
  • They claimed they would help you create 'your' business. 
  •  'Financial aid' to be an 'independent contractor' was used as a lure.
  • Claiming the need for an 'initial small deposit fee'. 💰
  • Claiming the fee would be 'required by the bank' - NOT!!!

Going beyond those basics revealing it was a bogus work from home opportunity, let's break down their recruiting ad details to identify the elements of money laundering.

Before reading further, first ask yourself:
Were clues from their ad details obvious to you that it was money laundering, or not so obvious?

If it wasn't obvious: No need to beat yourself up!

Understand you're like many others in our society, as money laundering isn't a topic generally talked about regarding work from home opportunities! And, when one is needing employment, scams can cloud our best judgment - so no fault of yours if you didn't recognize the elements of why it's money laundering.

Now we're getting to the meat and potatoes of it all!

How to Recognize this Was a Money Laundering Scam...

These are the major red flags - (going beyond the basic red flags we already covered):
  • Commission from every processed payment.
  • Receive payments 'from their clients'.
  • Instructed to 'redirect the payments' to them.
  • Using your bank account!
  • For each 'transaction' they would pay a % for each 'processing'.
  • Form of payment: A wire transfer to the recruits bank account.
  • Recruit withdraws the money and keeps their % for processing.
An important point of clarification not spelled out clearly by their description, which I'll refer to as - reading between the lines:

They did not reveal 'how' the recruit is supposed to 'redirect the payments' (from which the recruit has 'kept their % for processing).

They stated the person would 'withdraw the money, keep their %', but then what? How would the recruit have been instructed to return the remainder of the money to them?

My guess would be from money orders or other form of difficult to track payment methods. The money con artists need to stay under the radar!

All the while - the recruit is the one that is sticking their neck out for law enforcement to come knock on their door! Be aware that ignorance to participating in money laundering would not protect one from the huge legal problems, fines, and possible imprisonment by being involved!

Money laundering is a major crime, not taken lightly by the law!

The major indicator, which stands by itself as the BIGGEST CLUE:
  • 🏴🏴🏴"All you have to do is to receive the payments from our clients, and to redirect them to us, using your new business bank account..."
To dissect it all, these are three basic traits of money laundering:
  • Placement: The stage for criminally obtained funds to be deposited into the financial systems.
  • Layering: Ownership and process are washed to disguise the source.
  • Integration: Monies successfully deposited into the economy.
The comparison:
Reviewing the major red flags, here's the break-down for each of those traits, and how it pertained to their work from home scheme:

This is the process by which the criminal can begin to place illegally gained monies into the financial system.
  • As the recruiting ad stated, the receiving of the monies from their clients, were then to be directed to the recruit - for them to deposit within their bank account.
It's like an onion! The recruit becomes the outer layer - the most vulnerable for exposure, as they were the shield of the original ownership of the illegally obtained monies! The money laundering accomplice!
  • The recruit 'redirecting' the monies back to the con artists after they were 'washed' through their own bank account. The layer in which the criminal hid behind. The actual source became disguised by the unaware recruit as they were the ones to deposit funds into their own accounts! And finally, the recruit also 'redirected' the remaining monies back to the con artist!
Monies now successfully placed into the legitimate economy.
  • The recruit used their own bank account to complete integration.
In closing:
Chances are you ended up on Money Illusions as you may be seeking work from home opportunities, and you may have become concerned about a scam.

My suggestion to you from here, is to do some extra research on your own to understand how to recognize the money laundering schemes.

Become more familiar with at least the three steps of money laundering.

Why would you want to dive further into understanding at least the basics of money laundering?

With the advancements in technology, the age in which we live has resulted in money laundering becoming very prolific, and through vast channels such as fake jobs.

It's a challenge to sometimes recognize a scam on the surface as being a complicated illegal process such as money laundering.

And, finally - those who seek work at home opportunities can easily fall prey to becoming not only a victim of a crime, but also an accomplice!

To protect yourself, learn to recognize the basic characteristics of the money con artists laundering scheme - hiding behind the so-called work from home opportunities!