I come to you a very sad person, who is completely unemployed. None of my money has been taken, but I would like to let you all know that Rambler Internet Holdings is a scam. I do not mean that the company as a whole is a scam, but I am saying that there are people who are masquerading as representatives of the company and are trying to phish for bank information/make you unwitting accomplices to fraud.
I will give you all this piece of advice:
If you get an email from anybody with an email address ending in @rambler.ru (email@example.com), or from a Yahoo! account (firstname.lastname@example.org) that advertises a job available at Rambler, copy-paste the contents into the "recognize a scam/report a scam" section of ConsumerFraudReporting.org, along with the email address it was sent from.
Also, if the email says they found your resume on any particular job search website, report it to the website they mentioned as being part of a scam. It’s a little bit of genius, really, because Rambler is a search engine in Russia that is a lot like Google, and like Google, you can get a free email address that ends in @rambler.ru, which I didn’t know about until I looked deeper into it.
Now that I have smacked myself in the head for being stupid and falling for this in the first place, here is what basically happens, and I will go over it for hindsight Red Flags (RF#), like I did in the Insurance Agency post:
For those of you who’d like to know, the scammers like to say that while Rambler is an Internet company (true), it also happens to branch out into helping people make travel arrangements to Russia for business or for extended vacations (RF1 & 2). They say they want to open up offices in the US, so they have a lot of English correspondence that needs to be read and edited so that it sounds better. Apparently they can translate the Russian to English, but they don’t have a native English speaker on staff. Their emails are always very professional sounding, even the ones that I was proofreading/editing, and if you have any questions they will answer them in the same professional manner.
The scammers say that in order to help the customers, accepting travel plans and processing payments through Chase Quick-Pay and email is how they work best (RF3 & 4). They also promise to pay you through Chase Quick-Pay (RF5). It sounds safe enough, since they won’t need your actual bank information, just an email address to send a payment/paycheck. If you do payment processing, you’ll be able to get 5% commission for every payment (and considering that most of the payments will be in the $2K to $5K range each, that can be a lot of money and enticing to people down on their luck), plus a base salary.
That's the set-up; here’s the scam:
When it comes time to pay you (or if you try to do the payment processing), they will send a payment to your Chase Quick-Pay. The only thing is, they get this money through fraud/hacking accounts, so the money they’re sending you is bad. If you do payment processing, the simple act of accepting this payment and then sending the money elsewhere makes you an accessory to fraud. If they pay you, they will overpay you, and ask you to send back the difference. It’s the same scam, but on a smaller scale since they won’t be asking for the lion’s share of the payment.
However, if Chase realizes the money is fraudulent, it will ban you from going online and cancel the payment to you. When this happens, the scammers will tell you they can quick deposit your pay into your bank account, and not to worry about the Chase Quick-Pay thing, because “it happens occasionally”. Check/call in to Chase first and see what is going on. If they ask you to walk into a branch of Chase Bank, do so and stay until you have everything sorted. Do not be surprised if you are permanently banned from Chase Online, even if you are the victim of this scam. They will consider you an online fraud risk regardless.
So that's the scam in a nutshell.
I am not in danger of losing any of my money, and because I never actually received any money from the scammers, I am not in trouble with the law, which is a plus. However, if you have been taken in by these scammers and find out after you’ve given your bank info, go to your bank immediately and tell a banker about it. They will be more than willing to assist you. Also, if somebody tries to clean out your account, call/go to your bank and dispute the withdrawal, and file a report with the police. They may not be able to do anything about it if the scammers are out of the country, but if it turns out they are in the USA, your report will help.