Some New Jersey residents have fallen for a phishing scam that exploits a well-known charity and cons victims into believing they are doing a good deed while hackers are siphoning thousands of dollars from unsuspecting individuals.
NorthJersey.com reports Habitat for Humanity is being used as bait to trick individuals into opening emails offering a job collecting money for the nonprofit organization
“The email is offering you a job soliciting donations for Habitat for Humanity,” FBI Special Agent Charles Pavelites said. “You keep 10 percent and forward the rest to their account. In reality, the money is going into the scammers’ account.”
In addition to sending money straight to the crooks’ bank accounts, the scammers could also ask the newly “hired” worker to forward a donor’s credit-card number.
Tracking down the scammers is not easy as they clear out bank accounts quickly or use wire transfers that are hard to trace. As soon as one email account has served its purpose in a fraudulent activity, a new one is opened up immediately. With the rapidly forward-moving technology, law enforcement officials have to work even harder to catch up, Pavelites said.
“In some African countries where we had cooperative local authorities, they used to raid the [Internet] cafes to catch these guys, but now they’re going wireless,” he said. “You just have a bunch of young people walking down the street using cellphones. Each technological advance poses another impediment to catching them.”