FBI warns about working from home scam that actually just drains your money

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Scammers are tricking victims into making cryptocurrency payments by offering them fake remote jobs, the FBI has warned.

As per the warning, scammers are making cold calls and emails, offering people fake jobs which usually sound too good to be true. These jobs are remote and can be done from home, usually involve simple tasks such as rating restaurants, or require employees to “optimize” a service by repeatedly clicking a button. 

The scammers will either impersonate a known recruiting agency, or will pose as a non-existent one. The actual scam comes when the victim is supposed to get paid. They are invited to join a platform where they can monitor and track their salary, but to “unlock” the service, they need to make a small cryptocurrency payment. Once they make the payment, the money is gone forever.

Fake platforms

To make matters worse, the platform seems to be “working” on the surface. Victims can “track” their payments and even see how they’re making money. However, they can never withdraw any of it, since it’s all just a ruse and the money is not real.

To protect themselves, FBI warns the citizens to be cautious of unsolicited job offer messages, and to avoid clicking on links, downloading files, or opening attachments in these messages.

“Never send money to an alleged employer,” the FBI warns, adding that users should not pay for services that claim to be able to recover any lost cryptocurrency funds.

And finally, people should never send financial or personally identifiable information to people making unsolicited job offers, and should instead report it to the FBI IC3. 

Fake jobs are nothing new in the cybercrime world. In fact, they were popularized over the years by Lazarus Group, an infamous North Korean state-sponsored threat actor.

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Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.