The Dark Side of the Force parades as a Angel to help your cash flow.

Over the weekend we met a whole new group of people chasing their dreams, passions and who are all wanting to empower their lives and businesses upwards and the lives of others. And guess what, despite the economy, impending GST tax rise there was a real positive attitude in folk eager to grab hold of this thing called Social Media.

One person we met was Fiona Whyte who is a trustee of The Cambodia Charitable Trust. She is supporting a wonderful work in Cambodia. If you think you have problems visit their web site and you will understand how blessed you are even if you are unemployed.

Jenny and I were presenting on how to use Social Media to greater effect, to make money and sustainable incomes at the Auckland International Life Coach Federation Conference and the Millionaire Entrepreneur Summit.

There is real money to be made by using the internet and the many ways if can be used. Just like in Star Wars, there is the Good and Evil and sometimes it can be hard to know the difference. Is it possible to unwittingly become a victim even though you trusted the person, the link or even the web site?

The answer is a resounding YES.

Sometimes something quite genuine and worthwhile might just be that and honest and true situation, and then on the other hand it could just be the start of you becoming embroiled in a scam or financial disaster. You know people buy cars and you know that regularly people steal cars, does that mean you should not purchase a car, of course not you simply need to take precautions to lock it, register the vehicle each year, maintain it and enjoy it.
Sometimes you might even share it, race it, enjoy your first kiss in it and even deliver some products you are selling with your car. The internet is no different.

One of the aspects I emphasised over the weekend, is that though you might be able to recognise a scam, how do you know that other people do not view you as a roque, unimportant, irelevant, scammer, and to put into to the car illustration, how do you  ensure you are not seen as a boy racer but rather as Indy Champ Scott Dixon by others on the internet. I am sure you have been in and seen situations where every ones view is different and often the view is determined by your mindset or a need you have at the time.

I want to describe a real live actual scenario.

It is Monday morning here in NZ and our first email in seems to be a wonderful way to make some money without to much hard work and to operate from home.  If you need some extra cash, been made unemployed or simply want a way to help raise some funds so you can help others then the email we received this morning might be seen as “just what I need”.

The email is from a manufacturer that needs help with processing payments from their clients in NZ. That seems fair enough and something quite legitament. Now if you were not the wiser you might fall for the trap. And yes you will receive money, real money into your bank account. And you will also process the payments and pass on the funds to the manufacturer, less your commission….yes you will get to keep real money you can spend on what ever wish to spend. You have just been scammed and become a perpetrator of an international money laundering syndicate and also become a victim at the same time. You have just committed a crime and also been the victim of a crime.  Days or weeks later you will have a visit from the Police, Bank or Fraud Office. You have just become what is known in the trade as a  “Money Mule”.

Here is the letter we received. (it is a scam)

Mr.Zheng Choua <>
date 31 May 2010 05:34
subject Company Representatives Is Needed (Job Offer)
Dear Sir/Madam,
I’M Mr.Zheng Choua, the Sales Manager of (Thuong Hang Lu Woollen Textile Co.,Ltd.), the major producer of textile and fabric material in China. We are looking for a trustworthy representative in New Zealand that can help as a link between our company and our client over there.we would like to know if you are interested to work from home for us and earn up to $1500 Dollars. to $3,000. weekly for your services. (Thuong Hang Lu Woollen Textile Co.,Ltd.) needs a book-keeper or representative in New Zealand,so we want to know if you will like to work from home and get paid weekly without leaving or affecting your present job? Our company produces various clothing materials, batiks, assorted fabrics and traditional costumes.We have clients we supply goods weekly in New Zealand and our clients make payments for our supplies every week in form of money orders and Bank Transfar which are not cashable here in China,so we need someone in New Zealand to work as our representative to assist us in processing payments from our clients and we will pay him/her weekly wage. All you need to do is to receive this payment from our clients in New Zealand on behalf of our company and get it cashed at your bank then deduct your 10% and forward the balance to our company here in China.
BELOW IS A LETTER OF EMPLOYMENT FORM OF OUR COMPANY WHICH YOU HAVE TO REPLY AS SOON AS WE CONFIRM ANY PAYMENT COMING TO YOU, I WILL LET YOU KNOW AND I WILL GIVE YOU THE NECESSARY INFORMATION NEEDED FOR THE TRANSFER OF THE COMPANYS BALANCE.YOU COULD JUST FILL IT OUT THIS FORM BELOW. APPLICATION FORM 1.Full Names______________________________ 2.House Address___________________________ 3.State:__________________________________ 4.City:___________________________________ 5.Zipcode:________________________________ 6.Phone Number____________________________ 7.Country_________________________________ 8.Occupation______________________________ 9.Age_____________________________________ 10. Sex___________________________________ Thank you as we await your further response. In Trust And Good Faith Mr.Zheng Choua, Sales Manager, (Thuong Hang Lu Woollen Textile Co.,Ltd.) Contact Phone: +8613691160645 Address: 508 Bohaisan Rd., Binzhou city, Shandong province, China 8 East Guangdian Road, Hutang Town, Wujin, Ghangzhou City, Jiangsu Province.China Zip: 213161
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER participate in this type of activity.

Note we have not checked out Thuong Hang Lu Woollen Textile Co.,Ltd which may well be a genuine manufacturer whose name has been hijacked – even without their knowledge.

What is a money mule?
The vast majority of job scams seek to recruit money mules, usually under titles like “financial manager”, “payment processor”, “transaction specialist”, or just plain “representative” or even “partner”. The job of a money mule is to be a financial middle-man, accepting payment in one form, and forwarding it (minus a fee) to another party, usually via Western Union. Scammers employ money mules to launder money on their behalf: the mule is responsible for converting a fraudulent transaction of some kind into quick, anonymous cash, usually transferred via Western Union or some similar scheme.
Want to learn more on how to protect yourself, then visit here
Scammers send out a lot of job ads for money mule positions and never refuse an applicant because they are disposable: money mules either get ripped off directly (as when they are persuaded to bank a forged cheque or money order which is later dishonoured by the bank), or take the blame for defrauding someone else (as with most payments involving direct bank transfer, PayPal, or similar).
Don’t make an ass of yourself: don’t be a money mule.

Scammers often impersonate real companies. So be aware that genuine buyers of your products and services are not confusing you as a scammer as the scammers can scam under your company name making it seem totally legitament.
In my ICE AV Technology business where I conduct legitimate business around the world, I need to ensure that my brand and service is seen with utmost legitamacy and authority. Many times I will receive inquiries for product purchases and have even quoted on projects worth up to millions of dollars. Many are genuine but some are not and it is only with a heightened sense of knowledge and foresinc tools I use that I can pick out the genuine from the scammers. This is where Social Media can help you become an authority, thought leader and be seen as someone who can be trusted.

By the way if you do need help with foreign exchanges payments and receipts, I use the international company called (formerly called Thomas Cook). They have offices around the world including Auckland, and also Fiona Whyte is a specialist in foreign exchange. These guys are from the good side.


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