Job offer spam: ppharm.com
P-Pharm.com is a fake pharmaceutical company whose only purpose is to recruit job seekers to trick them into assisting in criminal fraud. It part of the same series of fraudulent job offers as alpenantique.com. The website is ripped off from a real pharmaceutical company in Israel.
With these fraudulent job offers, the "employee" may receive an illegal fund transfer from an account that was the target of a "phishing" attack. Or he may collect a payment from an unsuspecting eBay-buyer who will never receive the goods, while the "employee" already sends the money to virtually untraceable criminals in another country. The key to cracking this type of crime, other than warning the public, is to monitor these crimes while they are in progress, before the money has disappeared.
Here's the initial spam to lure in job seekers:
From: JoeLet's take a look at the company's website. As is common for bogus job offers, the domain for the company website is very recently registered (three weeks old):
At the time of the first spam the domain was only three weeks old and the postal address is bogus. Why is this a German address for a supposedly Belgian company? "0611" is the German telephone area code for Frankfurt/Main, but the city is missing in the address. The website is hosted in China:Request: ppharm.com connected to whois.yesnic.com [220.127.116.11:43] ... ----------------------------------------------- Queried Domain Information as follows ----------------------------------------------- Domain Name : ppharm.com ::Registrant:: Name : PP Pharm Inc. Email : email@example.com Address : Wandersmann str., A66 Zipcode : 65205 Nation : DE Tel : +0611-718300 Fax : +0611-718300 ::Administrative Contact:: Name : PP Pharm Inc. Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Address : Wandersmann str., A66 Zipcode : 65205 Nation : DE Tel : +0611-718300 Fax : +0611-718300 ::Technical Contact:: Name : PP Pharm Inc. Email : email@example.com Address : Wandersmann str., A66 Zipcode : 65205 Nation : DE Tel : +0611-718300 Fax : +0611-718300 ::Name Servers:: dns.ppharm.com 18.104.22.168 secondary.ppharm.com 22.214.171.124 ::Dates & Status:: Created Date 2004-11-12 17:15:31 EST Updated Date 2004-11-12 17:15:31 EST Valid Date 2005-11-12 17:15:31 EST Status ACTIVE
Asking "whois.apnic.net" about "126.96.36.199": % [whois.apnic.net node-1] % Whois data copyright terms http://www.apnic.net/db/dbcopyright.html inetnum: 188.8.131.52 - 184.108.40.206 netname: WIC country: CN descr: beijing wangju network co descr: network descr: haidian District, Beijing admin-c: bq11-AP tech-c: bq11-AP status: ASSIGNED NON-PORTABLE mnt-by: MAINT-CNNIC-AP changed: firstname.lastname@example.org 20030408 changed: email@example.com 20040927 source: APNIC person: Bai Qiang nic-hdl: BQ11-AP e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org address: No.16,chao wai street,chao yang District,Beijing phone: 10-85251176 fax-no: 10-85252221 country: CN changed: email@example.com 20030407 mnt-by: MAINT-CNNIC-AP source: APNIC
In late January the job offer was sent out in a version customized for Austrialia. We received a report by someone from Australia on 2005-01-29.
Then about four weeks later the gang targeted banks in Poland:
From: "Christy" To: "Connie" Sent: Saturday, 26 February, 2005 1:01 Subject: Job For Polish Citizens Dear Sir/Madam, P-Pharm is a Belgian company selling medical and consumer goods. We have reached big sales volume of pharmaceuticals in the US and now are trying to penetrate the Polish market. Quite soon we will open representative offices and pharmacies or authorized sales centers in the Poland and therefore we are currently looking for people who will assist us in establishing a new distribution network there. The fact that despite the Polish market is new for us we already have regular clients also speaks for itself. WHY YOU? The international money transfer tax for legal entities (companies) in Belgium is 25%, whereas for the individual it is only 7%. That.s why we need you! We need agents to receive payment for our products (by electronic money transfer) and to resend the money to us. This way we will save money because of tax decreasing. HOW MUCH WILL YOU EARN? 7%-9% from each sale/resale operation! For instance: you receive 1000 USD to your bank account. You will withdraw the money and keep $70 (7% from $1000) for yourself! At the beginning your commission will equal 7%, though later it will increase up to 9%! ADVANTAGES You do not have to go out as you will work as an independent contractor right from your home office. Your job is absolutely legal. You can earn up to $3000-4000 depending on time you will spend for this job. You do not need any capital to start. The employees who make efforts and work hard have a strong possibility to become managers. Anyway our employees never leave us. If you are interested in our offer, please feel free to ask for the general provisions of the Contract. Our e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org Best regards, Brian Kentler P-Pharm
Around the middle of March the website finally disappeared.
As in most of the other fraudulent job offers, the bogus website is based on a real website, of which it is a rip-off. Compare these passages:
If you have been recruited by "D-Pharm", contact us!
a-pharm.net (created: 2004-12-10)
Request: a-pharm.net from whois.yesnic.com:43 ----------------------------------------------- Queried Domain Information as follows ----------------------------------------------- Domain Name : a-pharm.net ::Registrant:: Name : A Pharm Inc. Email : email@example.com Address : 1560 Woodrow Center Zipcode : 78638 Nation : US Tel : 8306394335 Fax : ::Administrative Contact:: Name : A Pharm Inc. Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Address : 1560 Woodrow Center Zipcode : 78638 Nation : US Tel : 8306394335 Fax : ::Technical Contact:: Name : A Pharm Inc. Email : email@example.com Address : 1560 Woodrow Center Zipcode : 78638 Nation : US Tel : 8306394335 Fax : ::Name Servers:: ::Dates & Status:: Created Date 2004-12-10 08:19:54 EST Updated Date 2004-12-10 08:19:54 EST Valid Date 2005-12-10 08:19:54 EST Status ACTIVE
Clueless virus filters spam innocent third parties