Money transfer scammers misuse RAC name

31 October 2007

SCAMwatch has recently seen a spike in emails pretending to be from RAC Finance Limited, part of the Western Australian Royal Automobile Club (RAC). The emails are offering employment opportunities involving international money transfers.

On first impressions, the emails look genuine—they even include RAC Finance Limited's actual Australian business number (ABN). However, these emails are just the latest example of scammers using a genuine organisation's good name to try to entice people into a money transfer scam.

The email offers part-time well-paying work-from-home jobs involving money transfers on behalf of overseas clients. Some variations of the scam tell consumers that their resume was seen on a popular employment site. These are classic cover stories for money transfer scams. Consumers who take up these offers will be scammed.

In some cases, new 'employees' will have their savings stolen when they disclose their banking details to their new 'employer'. Other consumers lose out by transferring money before finding out that the cheque or money order they received is a fake. Even if this does not happen and money is actually received to be transferred on, consumers may still be helping criminals to launder money—'cleaning' the proceeds from other scams or crimes. When the authorities chase the money trail, it leads straight to the 'employee'.

The RAC has received a number of enquiries on this matter and has issued a warning on its website.

Consumers are encouraged to delete the email as soon as they recognise it. Any links in the email should not be followed, and consumers should not reply to it.

Find out more about money transfer scams and work-from-home scams and how you can protect yourself from scams.

To report a suspected scam, visit the report a scam page.

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