Help me to identify a scam...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
So I found this offer on vworker.com (formerly Rent-a-coder) where a guy wants me to set up a computer in my house, use it remotely for SEO/ad account setup, and pay $75 per month + $200 setup fee.



He's supposed to be sending me the computer hardware right now, and I just need to set it up and plug it in to get paid.



I didn't and don't plan on given him any personal info beyond my paypal email for him to pay me.





Is there something I'm missing here? This seems too good to be true, which means it probably is, right, but I can't figure out what angle I could be getting played from here... Why wouldn't he just pay for extra bandwidth himself and use a proxy to get a different IP, what does he get from having a computer in my house???





Any ideas?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by meelash View Post


    So I found this offer on vworker.com (formerly Rent-a-coder) where a guy wants me to set up a computer in my house, use it remotely for SEO/ad account setup, and pay $75 per month + $200 setup fee.



    He's supposed to be sending me the computer hardware right now, and I just need to set it up and plug it in to get paid.



    I didn't and don't plan on given him any personal info beyond my paypal email for him to pay me.





    Is there something I'm missing here? This seems too good to be true, which means it probably is, right, but I can't figure out what angle I could be getting played from here... Why wouldn't he just pay for extra bandwidth himself and use a proxy to get a different IP, what does he get from having a computer in my house???





    Any ideas?



    What will be on the machine? How much bandwidth will it be using?



    If the machine is physically in your residence and the data to/from it uses your bandwidth you could end up implicated in any trouble related to the content or activity it generates.
  • Reply 2 of 16
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,408moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by meelash View Post


    He's supposed to be sending me the computer hardware right now, and I just need to set it up and plug it in to get paid.



    I didn't and don't plan on given him any personal info beyond my paypal email for him to pay me.



    And your name and address, possibly phone number if it's in your Paypal account.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by meelash View Post


    what does he get from having a computer in my house???



    A dedicated server although it's in an unstable environment and unmanaged so the costs are higher than paying for a dedicated server, which can be as low as $10 a month for VPS and $30 for colocation.



    If he was doing something illegal, he'd use a proxy server with no logging. This way the cops knock down your door and there's no financial paper trail as it's just Paypal used to pay you. Not that you would necessarily be liable for anything if you proved it wasn't you doing something illegal.



    If he was going to use it as a proxy (for viewing illegal web content), I'd say it's quite an expensive way to go when there are other, cheaper services. My guess is that he will use it as an email spam server or spam bot to sign up to forums like this one. $75 per month isn't that expensive for that purpose if you mail viagra ads to hundreds of millions of people.



    Most email gets rejected/classed as spam without a verified reverse DNS lookup so you really need a dedicated host that isn't obscured. If he paid for a server from a hosting company and spammed people, he could be put in jail and/or fined a lot of money:



    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25840140/



    "Davidson, 35, was sentenced in April to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay $714,139 in restitution to the IRS after pleading guilty to falsifying header information to send spam e-mail, tax evasion and criminal forfeiture."



    Your connection will grind to a halt during an email send but it could be scheduled to run overnight. Eventually, your IP could be blacklisted and then he will move the server to someone else.



    $75 a month isn't really that much money for it to be an incentive to take something like this on.
  • Reply 3 of 16
    meelashmeelash Posts: 1,045member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bancho View Post


    What will be on the machine? How much bandwidth will it be using?



    If the machine is physically in your residence and the data to/from it uses your bandwidth you could end up implicated in any trouble related to the content or activity it generates.



    Yeah, so it arrived and it's just a box with no display so I'm going to get a display and see what it boots up. According to him it is just remote access via "gotomypc" or "remote desktop".



    I have the official public record on vworker.com where he explicitly stated that it is not doing anything illegal just some "basic seo/setting up of ad accts". I checked that the bandwidth won't be very much according to him, but I'm going to monitor that as well.



    I'm going to also make sure that he doesn't have any access at all to the other computer on my local network and monitor if he attempts to access.
  • Reply 4 of 16
    meelashmeelash Posts: 1,045member
    Thanks, Marvin. Yeah, if he uses it as an email spam server, I'll definitely kill it right there since he specifically said it won't be used for that.



    Anyway, I'll update in a few hours if anyone's interested with what I've been able to figure out...
  • Reply 5 of 16
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by meelash View Post


    Thanks, Marvin. Yeah, if he uses it as an email spam server, I'll definitely kill it right there since he specifically said it won't be used for that.



    Anyway, I'll update in a few hours if anyone's interested with what I've been able to figure out...



    email, spam, child porn, botnet whew must be careful, how do you defend yourself since it's "yours" and your connection



    why can't they send you a voucher for the hardware purchase then you set it up
  • Reply 6 of 16
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    What does "remotely for seo/ad account setup mean? Why would he need such a remote PC for?"



    Nevermind the possible illegal stuff, but I'm curious what he means by the above.



    Could he be running a clickbot or manually generating clickthroughs from the remote PC?
  • Reply 7 of 16
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by meelash View Post


    Thanks, Marvin. Yeah, if he uses it as an email spam server, I'll definitely kill it right there since he specifically said it won't be used for that.



    Anyway, I'll update in a few hours if anyone's interested with what I've been able to figure out...



    Definitely do update us. Or in a week we'll just assume you're in jail.
  • Reply 8 of 16
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    Definitely do update us. Or in a week we'll just assume you're in jail.



    It looks very much like a unhonest job..



    Prepare yourself to spend some times in Jail if you accept those offer...



    I wouldn't
  • Reply 9 of 16
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Yep. There's strong probability this Santa is just building his botnet to attack institutions of his choice.

    If he's a brainless retard (which is often the case), he will one day take on some one, who he should never-ever touch, and then law enforcement people will indeed be looking into the case.



    Scientific organizations ask sometimes for the help in the form of computational resources. But they usually don't pay.



    BTW, Rent-a-Coder used to have quite efficient supervisory and moderating force in place. Notify them about any suspicious developments.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    Has he actually paid you anything yet?
  • Reply 11 of 16
    meelashmeelash Posts: 1,045member
    Oh wow, for some reason I didn't get any notifications from this thread... Sorry guys.



    And I guess the post by the RAC worker was deleted or something?





    Anyway, I received the box, it was a little Acer Aspire Revo micro-tower or whatever they're called (mac mini form factor). So, first red flag: all the ports, including video-out, usb, etc. were all sealed shut with hot glue. I was supposed to just plug it in and let it run. Yeah, that wasn't happening.



    I bought a 15-pin d-sub connector from Digi-Key, desoldered the old vga connector and soldered on the new one. Then I connected the computer via an old hub to my router so that I could use wireshark on another computer to monitor the traffic.



    I set everything up, the guy connected through logMeIn and made sure it was connected and then paid me both the setup bonus, and first 3 months prepaid, as per our agreement.



    Frankly, he hasn't been doing anything at all since then, that I can tell. It's been, I guess, two weeks now, and I've seen him logged on maybe the first 2 days and that's it. I don't monitor 24 hrs. a day, but I'm always keeping an eye on it to see if it's using any traffic and I have yet to see any usage. The only traffic is logMeIn and the other remote services he has installed talking to their home servers at regular intervals.





    I'm going to set wire shark recording whenever I'm gone and check the graph for usage and see if I ever see him doing anything. Maybe he hasn't gotten around to doing anything yet?



    Oh, and by the way, the guy on vworker.com has a good reputation and has given a lot of jobs in different things with good feedback. And even though this was "bulletin" board posting, I made sure all the communication was still done through vworker.com so it will be on record.





    And no, I'm not in jail yet....
  • Reply 12 of 16
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    Thanks for the update. Good to hear you haven't been incarcerated
  • Reply 13 of 16
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by meelash View Post


    So I found this offer on vworker.com (formerly Rent-a-coder) where a guy wants me to set up a computer in my house, use it remotely for SEO/ad account setup, and pay $75 per month + $200 setup fee.



    He's supposed to be sending me the computer hardware right now, and I just need to set it up and plug it in to get paid.



    I didn't and don't plan on given him any personal info beyond my paypal email for him to pay me.



    Is there something I'm missing here? This seems too good to be true, which means it probably is, right, but I can't figure out what angle I could be getting played from here... Why wouldn't he just pay for extra bandwidth himself and use a proxy to get a different IP, what does he get from having a computer in my house???



    Any ideas?



    Whatever happens on that machine happens from YOUR IP address, meelash! If you let that machine run from your place you shouldn't be surprised when the feds come banging at your door!
  • Reply 14 of 16
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rokcet Scientist View Post


    Whatever happens on that machine happens from YOUR IP address, meelash! If you let that machine run from your place you shouldn't be surprised when the feds come banging at your door!



    This. There is absolutely no reason on earth for this guy to set things up this way except for seeing to it that the action is happening on someone else's IP address, and there's no reason to want that unless what you're doing with that IP address is illegal.



    Really, it's as simple as that.
  • Reply 15 of 16
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    This. There is absolutely no reason on earth for this guy to set things up this way except for seeing to it that the action is happening on someone else's IP address, and there's no reason to want that unless what you're doing with that IP address is illegal.



    Really, it's as simple as that.



    Wikileaks aren't looking to store their servers in a nukeler bomb shelter deep in a mountain in neutral Sweden for nothing!
  • Reply 16 of 16
    meelashmeelash Posts: 1,045member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    This. There is absolutely no reason on earth for this guy to set things up this way except for seeing to it that the action is happening on someone else's IP address, and there's no reason to want that unless what you're doing with that IP address is illegal.



    Really, it's as simple as that.



    hmmm... but aren't there much easier ways to accomplish this? There are plenty of anonymous proxy servers available that could be used. And those are a lot more anonymous than this situation! In this case, I not only have his phone number, his vworker.com account information (which includes payment information), his paypal account, his logMeIn account (which must have a record of the IP address he uses to log into the computer). Seems like that's a lot less anonymity than what could be gained using any overseas proxy that could just be googled for.



    Personally, I think it's much more likely that it's being used for something not illegal but unethical like spam-botting forums and blog comments. I keep forgetting to leave on my packet sniffer all night .
Sign In or Register to comment.