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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: Joe
To: Felix
Sent: Monday, December 06, 2004 8:37 PM
Subject: Job For French 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 European market. Quite soon we will open representative offices and pharmacies or authorized sales centers in the France and therefore we are currently looking for people who will assist us in establishing a new distribution network there. The fact that despite the French 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: jobs@ppharm.com

Best regards,
Brian Kentler
P-Pharm
Let'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):
Request: ppharm.com
connected to whois.yesnic.com [211.50.14.131:43] ... 
-----------------------------------------------
Queried Domain Information as follows
-----------------------------------------------

Domain Name : ppharm.com

::Registrant::
	Name      : PP Pharm Inc.
	Email     : reg@ppharm.com 
	Address   : Wandersmann str., A66
	Zipcode   : 65205
	Nation    : DE
	Tel       : +0611-718300
	Fax       : +0611-718300

::Administrative Contact::
	Name      : PP Pharm Inc.
	Email     : adm@ppharm.com 
	Address   : Wandersmann str., A66
	Zipcode   : 65205
	Nation    : DE
	Tel       : +0611-718300
	Fax       : +0611-718300

::Technical Contact::
	Name      : PP Pharm Inc.
	Email     : tech@ppharm.com 
	Address   : Wandersmann str., A66
	Zipcode   : 65205
	Nation    : DE
	Tel       : +0611-718300
	Fax       : +0611-718300

::Name Servers::
	dns.ppharm.com	218.241.65.143
	secondary.ppharm.com	218.241.65.143

::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
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:
Asking "whois.apnic.net" about "218.241.65.143":

     % [whois.apnic.net node-1]
     % Whois data copyright terms    http://www.apnic.net/db/dbcopyright.html
     
     inetnum:      218.241.65.0 - 218.241.65.255
     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:      bobby.bai@citynetchina.net 20030408
     changed:      hm-changed@apnic.net 20040927
     source:       APNIC
     
     person:       Bai Qiang
     nic-hdl:      BQ11-AP
     e-mail:       bo_01@sina.com
     address:      No.16,chao wai street,chao yang District,Beijing
     phone:        10-85251176
     fax-no:       10-85252221
     country:      CN
     changed:      bo_01@sina.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: job@p-pharm.com

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:
The fake...
...versus the original
COMPANY PROFILE
P-Pharm is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative lipid-based drugs for the treatment of central nervous system disorders, cancer and autoimmune diseases.

P-Pharm generates a rich pipeline of safe and effective pre-clinical and clinical products from its three proprietary technology engines. P-Pharm's pipeline includes two products in Phase II for epilepsy and acute stroke, and four in pre-clinical development for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer's disease, psoriasis and neuropathic pain.

P-Pharm’s headquarters, research labs and GMP pilot plant for scale-up and process development are based in Israel, with a Business Development unit in the USA. The Company employs 30 people with expertise in medicinal and scale-up chemistry, lipid biochemistry, cell biology, pharmacology, product development and analytics for polar lipids and lipophilic compounds.

http://www.ppharm.com/profile.htm
COMPANY PROFILE
D-Pharm is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative lipid-based drugs for the treatment of central nervous system disorders, cancer and autoimmune diseases.

D-Pharm generates a rich pipeline of safe and effective pre-clinical and clinical products from its three proprietary technology engines. D-Pharm's pipeline includes two products in Phase II for epilepsy and acute stroke, and three in pre-clinical development for Parkinson’s and cancer.

D-Pharm’s headquarters, research labs and GMP pilot plant for scale-up and process development are based in Israel, with a business development unit in the USA. The Company employs 30 people with expertise in medicinal and scale-up chemistry, lipid biochemistry, cell biology, pharmacology and product development.

http://www.dpharm.com/invprofile.htm

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     : reg@a-pharm.net
	Address   : 1560 Woodrow Center
	Zipcode   : 78638
	Nation    : US
	Tel       : 8306394335
	Fax       : 

::Administrative Contact::
	Name      : A Pharm Inc.
	Email     : adm@a-pharm.net
	Address   : 1560 Woodrow Center
	Zipcode   : 78638
	Nation    : US
	Tel       : 8306394335
	Fax       : 

::Technical Contact::
	Name      : A Pharm Inc.
	Email     : tech@a-pharm.net
	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


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