Who or What is BobBear?

In my infrequent callouts to other websites that  (like Scamdex) were  created out of the blind fury experinced by seeing bad people taking money from good people, I have another site for you to take notice of.

But first, a recap:

When Scamdex started in 2004, there were very few sites about scams and Internet fraud; we felt there was a need to educate people and, using the power of Search Engines, set out to make it easy to check on emails and websites.

Since then, the field has  grown – lots of Government-funded sites have sprung up, large Internet organizations  have (finally) acknowledged that fraud does happen and now devote precious pages to warning their customers  “it’s not our fault, please don’t bother trying to sue us” “there are unscrupulous people out there so please don’t use Western Union to but Laptops from Nigeria” etc…

But still Scamdex and the many other privately run websites continue in their (often one-manned) struggle against the odds and so to one of these: ‘BobBear’

Bob Bear Website Logo

Bob Bear Website Logo is a voluntary, non-profit site dedicated to providing information on fake companies offering part-time, work from home job scams, in particular money mule or money transfer fraud, aka ‘payment transfer agent’ scams and the related reshipping fraud or ‘parcels agent’ scams. They also provide victim advice and support. If you receive a suspect spam offering you a job or find a website offering fraud jobs then please send them (and us) a copy.

Please support them – you know it makes sense!

Gringotts Bank Business Opportunity – Harry Potter Spoof Email

In a lighter vein, here’s one I knocked up myself – guess what I’m reading at the moment!

Though seems unsolicited, this owlmail is a business proposal to you. I appreciate the fact that you have every reason to be suspension, please note this proposal is very real. I will employ you to read it with open mind and act in the best way as directed by your mind and instinct.

My name is Amelia Bundweazel, Chief Operating Goblin (Magical Transactions) of Gringotts Bank (Durmstrang). It is understandable that you might be a little bit apprehensive because you do not know me but I have a lucrative business proposal of mutual benefits to share with you.

In June, 2001, a late client of the bank, a Wealthy Wizard from the Ministry of Magic whom we presumed (rightly or wrongly) to be a relative of yours made a numbered fixed deposit of Twenty-one million Five Hundred Thousand Gold Galleons (GG 21,500,000.00) We later found out that he and his family had been killed in an unfortunate accident involving a mid-air collision between a Magical Defense Forces High Speed Dragon and their flying muggle car (A Reliant Robin).

(See for details).

After further investigation it was also discovered that he did not declare any next of kin and no one except me knows of his deposit in our bank and the secret password (‘Hamza Scamza’). So, the gold is still laying unclaimed deep in our vaults. What bothers me most is that according to the laws of my bank, at the expiration of seven {7} years the gold will turn to ashes and the vault will disappear if nobody applies to claim the funds.

Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that I will like you to stand as the next of kin so that you will be able to receive the funds.

I want you to know that I have had everything planned out so that we shall come out successful. I have a memory modification spell prepared that will show that you are his next of kin (AT NO COST OF YOURS), all that is required from you is to provide me with your Full Names and Address so that I can complete the spell. After you have been made the next of kin, I will help move the contents of the vault to your own, or made accessible to you with a Wizard Unionâ„¢ (Secure Floo Network) MTM spell.

There is no risk involved at all in this transaction, As a bank goblin, I am forbidden to reveal the banks secrets so I am taking a great risk in discussing this with you. I am the only one who knows of this situation, good fortune has blessed you with a name that has planted you into the center of relevance in my life. Please endeavor to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue. Once the funds have been transferred to your vault, we shall share in the ratio of 50% for me, 40% for you and 20% for bribes to Dragons (but this can be subjected to further negotiations). I send you this mail not without a measure of fear as to the consequences, but I know within me that nothing ventured is nothing gained and that success and riches never come easy or on a platter of gold. Please observe this instruction religiously.

Should you be interested please send me your,

1, Full Names,

2, Current Contact Address,

3, Bank Vault Personal Identification Spell (PIS)

And I will prefer you reach me on my private email address: Graham.crabbe@yahoo.wiz and finally after that I shall furnish you with more information’s about this operation. Your earliest response to this letter will be appreciated.

Kind Regards,

Amelia Bundweazel,



Yahoo.wiz – Get your own free owlmail account today!

Was this message Owlspam? Report it to owlspam@yahoo.wiz
Yahoo.wiz is not responsible for nips, droppings or other owl damage.  Please remember, Owls are only the messenger, treat all owls kindly!


On a related note, Warner Bros have the following warning at the top of their massively successful-but-oddly-named “Harry Potter Dialogue Centre“.

There have recently been a number of emails circulating claiming to be casting for upcoming Harry Potter films. Many of these emails request personal information and some have the subject line of “WARNERBROS CASTSEARCH” or something to that effect. This is to advise that Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. does not engage in casting activity through email. These emails are fraudulent and you should not respond to any such email. Feel free to forward any such messages to and we will do our best to investigate the fraudulent activity.

It’s a nice place, the gorgeous design and graphics you’d expect from a movie studio, but the website nazis have been in and issue the usual anti-fan type warnings about posting links to your own websites. I hate this arrogant stance – they abuse and allienate their biggest fans (and customers!) with their intolerant and snarky ‘Intellectual Copyright Protection’ crud.  I once got the most miserable letter from a lawyer when I posted a photo of ‘Miffy’ on a website. I pointed out that this character was my daughter’s favourite, but that thenceforth and notwithstanding, I would be unwilling to buy any more of their ‘Miffy’ themed products.

We have been seeing a lot of members advertising their own websites on the boards. This is not allowed as per our Community Guidelines and the Terms of Usage of the Harry Potter Message Boards. The only place you are allowed to post links to other Harry Potter related sites is on the Web Masters board. If you have a link to your site in your profile you also need to remove the link.

…. if you call yourself any name of any character in the Harry Potter series or allude to any character in the Harry Potter franchise or even mention the name ‘Harry’ and/or ‘Potter’, you will be banned for life and a WB representative will turn up at your house and publicly burn all and any books, posters, videos, video games, Lego, action figures, bedside lamps, keyrings, cellphone covers, candy and/or sleepware (including sheets and all other bedding) that is under the ownership of Voldemort Warner Brothers.

Hang Seng Bank Shares the Wealth!

My new friend, Patrick – I Love this guy – he contacts me out of the blue – he’s a high-up in the Hang Seng Bank and yet he find me, despite my never (to my knowledge) having given anyone the slightest idea that I am interested in helping move large amounts of money about – well, what a lucky guess!

While I am ‘a bit apprehensive’, because, after all, I don’t know the guy – he says it will be ‘legally done’ so  what the heck, let’s ROCK$$$!

But on the other hand, he does seem to be taking a risk – ‘I am putting my career and the life of my family at stake’ – not sure quite what that means, if it’s all legal and totally fona bido as he says ….

Oh well, money is money – gimme mine Pat!

Hey, if anyone out there wants to get in on this, just send me $100 (to and I’ll be more than happy to send him your name too – perhaps he has more money to ‘transfer’
Mr.Patrick K. W. Chan []

From: Mr.Patrick K. W. Chan
(Executive Director  & Chief financial Officer) Hang Seng Bank Limited
83 Des Voeux Road, Central
Hong Kong SAR


It is understandable that you might be a little bit apprehensive because you do not know me but I have a lucrative business proposal of mutual interest to share with you. I got your reference in my search for someone who suits my proposed business relationship.

I am Mr. Patrick K. W. Chan Executive Director & Chief financial Officer of Hang Seng Bank Ltd. I have an obscured business suggestion for you. I will need you to assist me in executing a business project from Hong Kong to your country. It involves the transfer of a large sum of money. Everything concerning this transaction shall be legally done without hitch. Please endeavour to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue.

Once the funds have been successfully transferred into your account, we shall share in the ratio to be agreed by both of us.

I will prefer you reach me on my private email address below ( and finally after that I shall furnish you with more information’s about this operation.

Please if you are not interested delete this email and do not hunt me because I am putting my career and the life of my family at stake with this venture. Although nothing ventured is nothing gained.

Your earliest response to this letter will be appreciated.

Kind Regards,

Mr. Patrick Chan

Insurance Scam Job with tortured bizspeak free!

Here’s a cute one – of course it’s our old friend the ‘transaction processing clerk’ scam, gussied up a little to be an insurance invoicer/reimburser. What caught my eye was the amusing biz speak which looks like it’s been through the Dialectizer, a website that has been around for years, that will translate any text into your choice of ‘Swedish Chef’,  ‘Elmer Fudd’, ‘Hillbilly’ and many more.. [ad]

There used to be programs around that juggled a bunch of random ‘buzz words’ to generate idiotic phrases that just might have been used already in your last marketing tigerteam ‘feel the force’ bi-annual synergy meeting. I miss those, innocent days!

Anyway, for your reading pleasure, here’s another spam scam :

Vance Garland []
Julie Mathews. HR department. ID: 461562292291351385756 []

Dear Job Seeker,

Due to converge of our mutual interests within the boundaries of the employment process, we’d like to manifest provision of the newly opened entry, available for your immediate contemplation.

An expansion process, has inevitably triggered the underscored insurance company to form complementary positions within the market of operation. If you are ever in need of a nw insurance plan, then consider going to to pick out which plan is the best for your needs.

We’re providing a feasible opportunity to put your legal background to use in the insurance/accounting sphere. Undoubtedly, our ultimate aim is to bring the confort work environment, stimulating a reciprocal leap towards beneficial and justifying operating conditions.

Informational table is presented below, to briefly outline the opening.

* Benefits and privileges:

-Feasible career advancement opportunities.
-Extensive tutelage (probation period) for the first two months.
-Fixed payout, resulting in 2000 USD monthly.
-Outstanding reimbursement plan.

* Requirements:

– Accuracy and leadership in the assigned operations
– Interpersonal and communication skills.
– Swift decision-making.
– Honesty and law obedience.
– Proficient use of Microsoft Office.

* Primary responsibilities:

– Preparing invoices, compiling itemized charges and submitting bills concerning insurance reimbursement enquiries.
– Commencing insurance operations (reimbursement cases).
– Consolidating viable documentation, records and paperwork.
– This is not insurance sales position and you don’t need to sell insurance, this is Money Manager vacancy.

If you want to apply please send all your questions and contact information ONLY to e-mail: We’re looking forward to our further communication.

Julie Mathews. HR department.
ID:  461562292291351385756

Mystery Shopper Scam – How and Why it works

Here’s a little email I receive quite often – I assumed these were scams, but never got round to ionvestigating them until now.  from a Javier Hines [] email address, but wants replies to Michael Bernard [].

Irvine, CA 92604-3703

Thank you for your interest in the Mystery Shopper position.

Our company conducts surveys and evaluates other companies in order to help them achieve their performance goals.
We offer an integrated suite of business solutions that enables corporations to achieve tangible results in the marketplace.
We get hired by other companies and act like customers to find out how they are handling their services in relation to their customers.

Mystery Shopping is the most accurate and reliable tool a business can use to gather information regarding their actual customer service performance at the moment of truth. This moment of truth is not when the staff is on their best behavior because the boss is around – it is when they interact with customers during their normal daily routines.
This is where you, the Mystery Shopper, come in. You pose as an ordinary customer and provide feedback of both factual observations (ex…the floor was free of debris) and your own opinions (ex…I felt that the temperature in the establishment was too cold).

Mystery Shoppers must remain anonymous. You must act as a regular customer and be careful not to do anything that would reveal you as a shopper. An inexperienced shopper could tip off the staff to his/her identity by asking for the manager’s name for no clear or appropriate reason. If you are going to be bringing someone with you on the shop, make sure you educate them about the process as well. Beware that even whispers can be overheard by employees. If anyone notices you are a shopper, you can bet that word will quickly spread around the establishment and you will get some of the best customer service in town.
No company can afford to have a gap between the promise of quality and its actual delivery, that’s why leading corporations look to us, the nation’s premiere mystery shopping and customer experience measurement company.

In order for a business to effectively compete in today’s economy, they must be prepared to meet the challenge of increasing sales by:
* Retaining existing customers
* Acquiring new customers
* Creating word-of-mouth advocacy
* Improving customer loyalty

Once we have a contract to do so, you would be directed to the company or outlet, and you would be given the funds you need to do the job(either purchase merchandise or require services), after which you would write a detailed report of your experience.

Examples of details you would forward to us are:
1) How long does it take to get served.
2) Politeness of the attendant.
3) Customer service professionalism.
4) Sometimes you might be required to upset the attendant, to see how they deal with difficult clients.

Then we turn the information over to the company executives and they will carry out their own duties in improving their services.
Most companies employ our assistance when people complain about their services, or when they feel there is a need for them to improve upon their customer service.
Our company partners with you to implement proven mystery shop auditing and surveying strategies that provide critical information about customer experiences.
You will be paid a commission of $100 for every duty you carry out, and bonus on your transportation allowance.
Your task will be to evaluate and comment on customer service in a wide variety of restaurants, retail stores, casinos, casino online, shopping malls, banks and hotels in your area.

Qualities of a good Mystery Shopper:
* Is 21 years of age or older
* Loves to go shopping
* Is fair and objective
* Is very observant and able to focus on details
* Is fairly intelligent
* Has patience
* Is detail oriented
* Is practical
* Types well
* Is trustworthy
* Explains well in writing
* Is discreet
* Loves to learn
* Handles deadlines
* Has full internet access (at home or at work)

Mystery Shopping is fun and exciting but also must be approached very seriously and is definitely not for everyone.
If you are interested in applying for consideration as a Mystery Shopper do send in your information only at our e-mail:

Full Name:           Address:
City:                      State:
Zip Code:             Phone Number:
Age:                      Occupation:

As soon as we receive your information we will add you to our database and we will look for locations in your area that needs to be evaluated. If you have any questions please reply on our e-mail:

Thank you,
Michael Bernard
Best Surveys, 505 Barranca Parkway,

Now this sounds good – and fun too – we all want to reward good service and punish bad service – and who doesn’t want to go shopping?? 🙂

Well, this is just our old friend the counterfeit check scam in another guise. At some time you’ll probably end up having to cash a large check and ‘send the rest’ on to a wierd address by (guess who?) Western Union (‘The Scammers Best Friend’).

Also seen as postings on CraigsList or print classified ads or sent to people who are looking for employment on Dice/Monster etc. Job sites – The ‘job’ sounds very attractive and would obviously appeal to candidates such as home makers, Pensioners and other people with free time who want to make a little extra cash.

The Federal Trade Commission offers some advice about becoming a “mystery shopper”:

The truth is that it is unnecessary to pay money to anyone to get into the mystery shopper business. The shopping certification offered in advertising or unsolicited email is almost always worthless. A list of companies that hire mystery shoppers is available for free; and legitimate mystery shopper jobs are on the Internet for free. Consumers who try to get a refund from promoters of mystery shopping jobs usually are out of luck. Either the business doesn’t return the phone calls, or if it does, it’s to try another pitch.

Here’s What SNOPES has to say on the subject:

Remember always, if you are asked to pay for the privilege of working (eg by needing to purchase training materials or obtain certification or register with a database of available mystery shoppers), you are probably being conned, avoiding being victimized in this fashion would be a relatively simple matter: all one would need to remember is, “If they want me to pay them, it’s a scam.” And that would be that.

Someone who answers a mystery shopper ad is sent an employment packet typically containing a variety of items, including a training assignment and a cashier’s check made out for a largish amount, typically a few thousand dollars. The assignment explains that the “shopper” is to pose as an ordinary bank customer (either at a particular named bank or his own), cash the check there, then wire the funds he receives from the teller to an address that has been supplied in the information package. The “shopper” will also typically be told it is imperative he complete the task within two days, or else he will not be paid for his work or hired again.

How to Avoid Falling Victim to ‘Secret Shopper’ Scams:

  • Remember that anyone can place a newspaper or online ad. Do not confuse the appearance of such solicitations in reputable forums with proof of the offers having been vetted by those publications or job search services.
  • Do not be lulled into a false sense of security by official-sounding corporate names. Some scam artists operate under business names that can be confused with those of long-standing, reputable firms. Others choose impressive-sounding evocative names that roll satisfyingly off the tongue. In both instances, they count on their pigeons being mollified by the sound of the name rather than inspired to research the company on their own.
  • Don’t pay a company to hire you, not even if such payment is presented as your buying necessary training materials, obtaining required certification, or registering with databases of available mystery shoppers. Remember, if the process involves your sending your “employers” money, it’s probably a scam.
  • Be wary of companies that ask you to disburse money from your own pocket for the goods you buy as their secret shopper. While some legitimate mystery shopper companies do operate in this fashion (with their employees submitting receipts for what they bought along with their reports, then being reimbursed in full), the more prudent aspiring secret shoppers will tread carefully in this regard at least for the first few transactions, rather than plunge in wildly and make large purchases with their own cash.
  • Do not wire money to strangers or to firms that have supposedly hired you. Use entities such as Western Union and MoneyGram only when you know the person who will be receiving your cash very, very well. Remember, that while a charge made against a credit card can be disputed and a check can have a stop-payment order issued against it, once cash is out the door, it is gone forever. Since wiring money is sending cash, treat it that way.
  • If you have questions about the legitimacy of a job listing, contact your Better Business Bureau, your state or local consumer agency, or the Federal Trade Commission.

Wall Street Bail-out Scam Email Joke

As reported in the Washington Post’s “The Trail‘ section, here’s an email that’s making the rounds in Washington, and now, the rest of the world. No one is claiming authorship, but the ‘trail’ seems to start at the SEC. Enjoy!

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

Lawyers get Scammed Too!

It seems that even ‘those who should know better’ are fair game when it comes to the ubiquitous email scam – lawyers are being targeted for particularly high stakes, on-off counterfeit check scams, solicited via email. The California Bar Journal has provided a nice graphic to show how the scam works.

Progress of a Scam (California Bar Journal)

In a recent example, an unnamed and presumably embarrassed lawyer in California came within a gnats whisker of losing $200,000 when he wired $183,000 to a Hong Kong bank account after receiving a check that his bank

“I feel stupid now that I wire transferred the money before confirming that the check was good,” says the San Francisco attorney, who quickly transferred the client trust account funds because the client said he needed them urgently to pay off a supplier. “I’ve learned to be very careful when I’m contacted by e-mail by potential clients”.

What sets this apart from the simple check scams commonly seen is that the scammers used knowledge of the banking clearing system to their advantage, changing the routing numbers on the check to cause enough confusion for the scam to complete before it was found out. Banks will commonly ‘help out’ trusted lawyers, even advancing large sums of money before checks have had time to clear.  It seems to me some innovation needs to occur in the clearing process worldwide before this type of scam is combated.

Read more here

Monthly round up of scams. July 2008

The scam that inspired a poem
WalesOnline – United Kingdom

I JOINED our local OAP group last year and was asked to bring along my favourite poem. Not having an interest in poetry or having a book of poems meant I was in quite a quandary. However, the day before the meeting I received a scam letter, so I wrote this poem:

It’s a Scam

Today I received a letter that contained some very good news,

I’d like to impart its message and ask you for your views.

The letter said that I had won nearly 50,000 pounds.

So why am I suspicious, I surely had no grounds?

The letter came from Holland and it said it was not a joke.

So I’d like to share this fortune with all of you good folks.

They asked me to send them a very little cheque.

I’m writing to thank them, and thought what the heck.

Deduct the £20 I owe – deduct it from the prize.
And send the balance back post haste. I await a big surprise.

DILYS MORGAN, Church Terrace

6 Bay Area Women Arrested In Gift Card Scam
CBS 5 – San Francisco,CA,USA
Sacramento police announced Tuesday the details of a gift card scam that has netted the arrests of six women, some from Richmond in the Bay Area of Northern California, that are allegedly part of an international crime ring.

A group of women, who investigators are calling the “Richmond Girls,” allegedly went on shopping sprees around Northern California, using gift cards with stolen credit card information on them, police said.

Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Detective Sean Smith said that the women, who targeted stores from Hayward to Roseville in eastern Sacramento County, earned the nickname because all of them are either from or have close ties to Richmond. Smith also said that there’s a “significant number of other suspects we’re attempting to identify” in the investigation. With a private investigator Columbia SC you can find out if your husband is cheating on you, with adultery, child custody, insurance fraud, civil litigation and criminal defense investigations.

The women allegedly wired more than $120,000 to various countries in Eastern Europe, where investigators believe individuals paid for the stolen account numbers. Sanna Louise “Shilo” Cross, 23, and Dawn Edward, 31, were arrested on Dec. 30, 2007. Cherice Dempsey, 37, and Melissa Anderson, 29, were both arrested on Jan. 19.

Davina Hollier, 27, was arrested Feb. 19, while Ebony McDowell, 21, the last woman of the group to be arrested, was taken into custody on April 10.

The suspects are being held at the Sacramento County Main Jail, and face more than 180 charges of identity theft and fraud between them. Investigators recovered more than 65 re-encoded gift cards and more than $1 million in fraudulent credit card transactions, along with $45,000 in cash and an estimated $80,000 in merchandise.

The investigation, spearheaded by the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force, is still ongoing, and has involved various police organizations in Northern California, including Richmond police. The U.S. Secret Service also joined the investigation to look into the international aspect of the case.

Scamdex advises all US-based victims of Internet Crime to contact their local Police Unit for  ‘High-Tech’ Crimes.

Scam uses text messages to lure victims – Lexington,KY,USA

Last month, hundreds of people in Lexington, KY, received an automated telephone message that states it is from Commonwealth Credit Union and claims the person’s account has been suspended because of suspicious activity. The message told the people to call a phone number, which asked people for bank account numbers. The text message read, “Dear Commonwealth CU Member, Your online account is limited for security purpose.”

The text message asked the person to call a number with a Vermont area code for more information.

Callers told the BBB that an automated message then asks callers to enter their debit or credit card numbers.

Gloria Thomas, the fraud and loss-prevention manager at the credit union, said the credit union isn’t the only place being targeted. But she said last month that the CCU might be targeted because it’s a large