Tip of the month June 2016 – Don’t loose your money to employment scams

Have you been offered a job online or via email? Instead of making money it may well end up costing you. Read on to ensure you are not caught in a employment scam.

Recently we have been made aware of an phishing email scam targeting seafarers, offering employment of varying ranks in an attempt to dupe them out of money.

So this tip of the month will be focused purely on that existing threat, but will also give you some useful tips for what to look for in future revisions/versions of this type of scam.

What is a phishing?

Phishing is a popular method used by Cyber criminals to acquire sensitive information from individuals or companies. For financial gain.

Sending fake emails, SMS and phone calls pretending to be from a trusted source or company such as employment agencies, banks, shipping companies, the attacker gains the trust of the victim. They will then attempt to have the victim give them login credentials, credit card details or other information to allow them to carry out a further attack or as in this case remove money from your pocket.

How do they try to trick you?

Answer the following questions;

  1. Would you like to earn an amazing salary?
  2. Would you like great benefits package?
  3. Work for a large international shipping company?

We are sure the answer to all those questions is yes! And that is exactly what they are offering you to entice you into the scam. So lets look at this particular case in a little more detail.

The scam

Step 1. If you are currently looking for a new position or are unemployed, its likely you send you C.V and details to many adverts online via electronic forms, email and Linkedin. Somewhere there hiding among the genuine is the scammer, they gain your email address/contact details and the game is afoot.

Step 2. Now with your contact details alongside many others, they being to send out mass emails with offers of employment for whichever position you applied for.


Points to note

  1. Badly formatted email, calls you applicant not by name
  2. Badly formatted pdf, logo is bad quality and stretched
  3. Crewing department uses 203 number and a gmail.com address
  4. At the top of the second page header, the crewing number is suddenly a mobile number and completely different email address.

Step 3. You receive an email stating you have been successful in applying but further details are required and to contact the scammer


Points to note

  1. Not professionally formatted email, in bold, red other colors in use
  2. Bad grammar
  3. Spelling mistakes, imigraton vs immigration
  4. The telephone number listed for K-Line starts 203, their official numbers start 207
  5. Mentioned you are required to pay for documents, something banned by MLC and illegal for shipping companies to request

Step 4. Pushing emails to get you to commit and make payment for so called "Insurance & other documents"


Points to note

  1. Spelling mistakes
  2. Incorrect number 203 not 207
  3. Applying pressure to complete the process

Step 5. You pay your money and you are employed or maybe not?


How to avoid being hooked by such phishing scams

There is a famous expression "If its too good to be true, then it probably is". For years people have tried to scam others out of their money, with super potions, lotions & promises such as being able to turn lead into gold.

In the digital age, the perpetrator is not sat in front of you, but could be in a country 1000s of miles away. They run the same scam on a large scale, instead of targeting 5-10 people they can easily send an email to 1000s of people. It costs them nothing and 1 person falling for the scam can equal a pay day for them.

  1. Think with your head not your heart, remember the expression.
  2. If you receive such an offer, did you actually apply to that company?
  3. Do the details on the offer match those of the company? If unsure you can always check online/phone book and call the company to be sure.
  4. Is the formatting, grammar and spelling correct
  5. if you are still unsure you can contact an association or Cybersail to clarify

A note to shipping owners/managers

To assist seafarers be sure communication they receive is valid and from your company try to avoid using gmail, yahoo and other non professional email accounts. Only use company email and telephone numbers for all correspondence, this makes it much more difficult for scammers to trick seafarers into giving their details or loosing money via scams

Tip of the month is brought to you by


No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment

You must be Logged in to post a comment.