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Fraudulent Carl Zeiss employment offer (mod.: Nigerian scam)
Thread poster: Tomasz Poplawski

Tomasz Poplawski  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:15
Member (2007)
English to Polish
+ ...
Jan 12

It looked a little suspicious from the beginning but the amount of effort and time devoted by these con artists make their attempt at getting my personal info a little less obvious.

First, the following offer came (I'm pasting only a small part), supposedly from Admin@zeiss.com but with the 'Reply To' Angelika Franzke
at carlzeiss291@gmail.com:


Dear Applicant,

Your portfolio published on AMERICAN TRANSLATORS ASSOCIATION(ATA) has been reviewed by our HR Department at (Carl Zeiss, Inc.) and we are pleased to invite you to an online interview/briefing exercise. You've been assigned to Roland Hamm (Hiring Manager) of Carl Zeiss, Inc., he would be conducting an online interview with you.

Company: Carl Zeiss, Inc.

Position: EDITING/PROOFREADING JOB.
Job type: Contract based, Full-time, Part-time.
Wage: $3,600 per month/$49,000 per annul.
Your salary package may include pension benefits, commissions and bonuses.
These numbers are a guide.
No Startup Costs.
1099-K structure.
Work Location: From home.

We dedicate ourselves to provide a superior customer experience by delivering original, adjustable and value driven solutions. Our values: People, Virtue, Profitability, Responsibility, Imagination.


Carl Zeiss, Inc. develops and manufactures optical and opto-electronic instruments. It offers ophthalmic, binoculars and riflescopes, camera and cine lenses, planetariums, medical solutions, microscopes, electron/ion microscopes, semiconductor/nanotechnology, industrial metrology, spectrometers, and other optical products. The company offers solutions for analyzing, healthcare, measuring, research, observing, law enforcement, outdoor and leisure, and vision markets. It has manufacturing facilities in Europe, North America, Central America, and Asia. The company was incorporated in 1925 and is headquartered in Thornwood, New York. Carl Zeiss, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Carl Zeiss AG.

EDITING/PROOFREADING JOB DUTIES: (...)

Then, there was a pretty extensive "job interview" conducted through Google IM, and the next day, after a few additional questions, boom, an "EMPLOYMENT OFFER LETTER" came, on Zeiss letterhead, with requests for my driver's license and social security info

This is Mrs. Angelika Franzke from Carl Zeiss, Inc... On behalf of the company and its staff I would like to welcome you to the company. We hope you will be a valuable addition to the company and want to urge you to give it your best.

Roland Hamm will continue to be your supervisor so therefore you will be reporting to him for the time being. Roland will proceed with briefing you on getting started so you can start training as soon as possible.

Lastly, we deal with sensitive materials so we would like you to keep your work as private as possible.

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or problems.

All we need from you is good work and trust,you will enjoy every moment working with us.

Attached to this email is an offer letter from your employer (Carl Zeiss, Inc.).

This shows your acceptance and commitment to serving us for a duration enclosed in the letter.

You are required to print and make a duplicate of it and as required by law, your employment with the Company is contingent upon your providing legal proof of any of your identity ID card e.g. driver licenses. (...)

As you see, their English is not impeccable but not awful either. However, the scheme quickly fell apart when I asked them for an internal zeiss email address. After an abrupt "What do you need that for?" and my explanation: "I am sorry but so far I have no way of checking that you or Angelika are employees of Zeiss. This would be absolutely necessary to verify your offer" I was blocked by them. I contacted Zeiss calling the number listed on the letter, and it turned out, I was not the first person the schemers tried to deceive.

I expect them to change the company and their own names but the method will probably remain the same, so I decided to share it with you.








[Edited at 2019-01-12 16:17 GMT]


Dan Lucas
Lisa Grayson
Alice Crisan
 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:15
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Multinationals don't use private email addresses Jan 12

Tomasz Poplawski wrote:
However, the scheme quickly fell apart when I asked them for an internal zeiss email address.

A nice example of the genre. The rule is this:

The employees of serious companies (such as Zeiss) do not use private email addresses for company business.

If a close look at the details does not reveal a genuine email address, just ignore and move on. If such an employee were to use such a private email address, they would be acting in violation of their own internal rules, which would mean they were chancers, or idiots, or (more likely) both. [EDIT] So, just to spell it out, if that were the case you should not be dealing with them anyway.

Not sure why/how freelancers allow themselves to be caught by such simple schemes. Well done Tomasz for avoiding the snare, and thank you for sharing.

Regards,
Dan

[Edited at 2019-01-12 16:52 GMT]


Yolanda Broad
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:15
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
They are getting "better" Jan 12

One fast way to find out whether these people are real is to just send an email to the "official" email address Admin@zeiss.com. Not only will this remove (or confirm) any doubts, the real company might even be grateful for you informing them about the abuse of their company name.

The mentioning of "...All we need from you is good work and trust..." would raise a red flag with me because if it is necessary to ask for trust, then these people are better not be trusted.

Thank you for sharing, Tomasz.

Best,
Thayenga


Yolanda Broad
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 19:15
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
They are really getting “better”... Jan 12

They are really getting “better” because these persons exist and are employee representatives at Carl Zeiss:

https://www.zeiss.com/corporate/int/about-zeiss/executive-board-and-supervisory-board.html


Colleen Roach, PhD
Carmen Schultz
Lisa Grayson
 

Tomasz Poplawski  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:15
Member (2007)
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Teresa Jan 12

I didn't dig that deep, and didn't see the names you discovered - I will certainly send all the communication I received to Zeiss so they can investigate, and/or inform authorities, impersonating real people makes it even more serious, I would think.

Yolanda Broad
Edmilson junior
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 19:15
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
You're welcome Jan 12

Tomasz Poplawski wrote:

I didn't dig that deep, and didn't see the names you discovered - I will certainly send all the communication I received to Zeiss so they can investigate, and/or inform authorities, impersonating real people makes it even more serious, I would think.


This one is rather elaborate, I wonder what they were trying to achieve…


 

Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 20:15
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Hi Tomasz Jan 12

Did you get this via ProZ.com? If yes, please provide the IP in the profile message.
If not, could you please provide me the email headers (through my profile, please).

Many thanks,
Natalia


Yolanda Broad
 

Tomasz Poplawski  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:15
Member (2007)
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Email sent Jan 12

Hi Natalie,
No, it didn't come from Proz. I sent you the Source View of the email to your Proz email address. Let us know if you find out something useful!
Tomasz


Yolanda Broad
 

Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 20:15
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Thank you, Tomasz! Jan 12

I have just replied you by email, and I am also publishing the result of the headers analysis here, so that people will know who is behind this "offer":
________________________
IP Address 197.242.100.153
City Oke Ira
State or Region Lagos
Postal Code 104102
Country Nigeria (NG)
ISP Spectranet Limited
Latitude & Longitude 6.4925 3.3708
Domain
Connection Speed broadband
Connection Type Mobile
________________________

Natalia


Yolanda Broad
Alice Crisan
Katarzyna Slowikova
 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 20:15
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Visitors may be the same Jan 13

Natalie wrote:

I have just replied you by email, and I am also publishing the result of the headers analysis here, so that people will know who is behind this "offer":
________________________
IP Address 197.242.100.153
City Oke Ira
State or Region Lagos
Postal Code 104102
Country Nigeria (NG)
ISP Spectranet Limited
Latitude & Longitude 6.4925 3.3708
Domain
Connection Speed broadband
Connection Type Mobile
________________________

Natalia


Hi Natalia,

Fortunately I didn't receive such emails.
But it is interesting to mention that recently I had similar visitors.

Jan 12 Not Logged In Edo, Nigeria

www.google.com

Jan 12 Not Logged In Lagos, Nigeria

Direct Link/Unknown Contact 1

Unfortunately due to not showing ip addresses in Visitors' tab any more, they cannot be identified as "100% match".

Bests,
Katalin

[Edited at 2019-01-13 09:14 GMT]


 

Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 20:15
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Hi Katalin Jan 13

The email received by Tomasz was sent not through ProZ.com.

What about Nigerian visitors here, at ProZ.com: there are many of them every day; in most cases they are blocked as soon as they start sending mass emails, but as you understand, it is impossible to completely block them as they just change IP and go on.

The best way to get rid of non-logged senders is blocking them in your profile. Good outsourcers usually do not send emails while not logged in (and in case they would like to contact specifically you they will created a profile and try again).

Natalia


 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 20:15
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Block or not to block Jan 13

Natalie wrote:

The email received by Tomasz was sent not through ProZ.com.

What about Nigerian visitors here, at ProZ.com: there are many of them every day; in most cases they are blocked as soon as they start sending mass emails, but as you understand, it is impossible to completely block them as they just change IP and go on.

The best way to get rid of non-logged senders is blocking them in your profile. Good outsourcers usually do not send emails while not logged in (and in case they would like to contact specifically you they will created a profile and try again).

Natalia


Thanks for your reply, Natalia.

If they visited someone's profile and the ip address is the same what you can see in their email's headers then it doesn't matter whether the email was sent via proz.com or not, since someone can have other availabilities shown on his/her profile. Since ip addresses are not shown any more, the comparison cannot be done.
I think anybody can be a scammer whether logged in or logged out.

About blocking: if someone has a business (with any profile - it doesn't have to be translation) and he/she creates a website, is it a good idea to block those who are not logged in? I don't think so.

Bests,
Katalin

[Edited at 2019-01-13 10:33 GMT]


 

memond  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:15
Member (2015)
English to French
+ ...
...Me too Jan 17

What I deplore the most, it's that this kind of fraud happens more and more, and more and more people have access to personal information from ProZ and ATA sites. Every week I receive false emails which make false job proposition, and they get my information from ProZ....

Tammy Sumontha
 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:15
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
In Dec. received nearly same email nearly word-for-word, different company Jan 17

Thanks for confirming this scam, Tomasz.
I got it too, thought it sounded odd (if nothing else 1099-Ks are usually for credit card and PayPal receipts, not for employment income), moreover also oddly familiar. In late December I received almost the exact same email almost word-for-word, same salary figures, etc., but ostensibly from from a different (though real) company Pharma Waldorf (admin@pharmawaldhof.co).


 

Carmen Schultz  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
Carl Zeiss Scam Jan 20

Unfortunately, I fell victim to this scam. When I called the main number that I googled ( the one in letter just rang and no one picked up), I asked the operator if he could verify the identities of the persons who contacted me and he said that although he could not locate them, the company hires external recruiters who are contractors and may not be listed. So I did the interview via Google Hangouts, which the interviewer explained was due to the information he was going to share.
The thing is the offer sounded so good that I sent the signed offer letter as requested and proof of identity ( license); not only do I feel taken for a fool but very worried about my license in the wrong hands. I tried to contact the FTC but because of government shutdown, I cannot file a report with them. I am going to contact the three main credit bureaus and other government authorities.


Liliya Bormotova
 
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Fraudulent Carl Zeiss employment offer (mod.: Nigerian scam)

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