Current Status

This blog is not frequently updated because most case-by-case scam reports are now listed in subordinate blogs. At this point in time, most of my efforts are targeted at documenting employment scams in the Suckers Wanted blog.


Info: Barcelo Travel Inc. Job Scam

I've reported two previous instances (1, 2) of job scam spam claiming to be from a "Barcelo Travel Inc." Further evidence has come to light which supports the theory that this is a money laundering job scam: a copy of details sent to a correspondent who made enquiries into the job.

Dear sir\madam,
Thanks for your e-mail.
Let me introduce myself! I`m Dominico Barcelo, direcetor Barcelo Travel Inc.
Barcelo Travel Inc. is a Company with a prestigious heritage with a combination of Anglo-Saxon efficiency and old European style.
Founded in 2003 and based in Milan, Italy, Barcelo Travel Inc. is a Receptive Tour Operator and Destination Management Company specializing in Incentive, Custom, Professional and Leisure Travel Programs. We create tailor-made itineraries to suit your requirements and budget. Now we have more than 50+ branches in the world.
We maintain excellent contacts with our suppliers and educate them about our clients' tastes and needs, thereby enabling us to guarantee high quality service.
As well as providing individually programmed trips for families, groups of friends, incentive groups and major university study tours, our business consists also of all the necessary ground tour arrangements, such as hotel accommodation, conference facilities, restaurants, deluxe motorcoaches and first class limousine services.
About your work in our company.
In this moment we have not office in [country] and also we have not bank accounts in your country, and now we can not receive money from our clients. But now we have a lot of clients from [country] and we offer you help in our bussines and earn good money with us.
Essence of your work it acceptance and processing of the payments(bank transfer, Money Orders, Western Union, Checks and etc) and other from our clients. Work will borrow some hours per day, earnings some thousand per month.
You will be earn 8% of each tranfers after received this one, and after two test week your salary will be 500 USD per week plus commission(8% of each transfer).
In the beginning of your work(1-2 weeks) your earnings ~ 1000-2000 USD per week.
Please note, that I have sent you contract with this e-mail. Please download this attachment, read and sign it, if you want work with us.
After reception of the contract signed by you, you become the employee of our company.
You can send your contract to this e-mail or to our fax in Italy: +390295441457.
Please look plan of your work in our company:
1. Our client will make transfer money to your bank account(prefer method)
2. Our manager will send you all information about transfer by e-mail and will call you and inform about it.
2. You would go in bank with your passport and receive this payment(get cash).
3. After bank you should will go in Western Union(WU) branch and send money to our office or one of it branches in the world.
4. When you complete WU transfer, you would send all details about transfer by e-mail.
5. Your commission and charges WU you would deduct from total amount of transfer.
You would check your e-mail every day, some time per day. And Also you would always will be able by your phones.
If you will carry out all these rules you easily can earn more than 1000 USD per week.
Please ask any questions if you have.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon!
Best Regards,
Dominico Barcelo

The portion of the above text marked in italics is plagiarised directly from Italian Travel Team. When someone is setting up a fake company like this, it's common to base the fake operation on a real operation. Italian Travel Team has the dubious honour of being imitated in this case.

Speaking of plagiarism, Italian Travel Team isn't being entirely original in their description of their company. It so happens that a bunch of "Destination Management Companies" seem to have wound up using exactly the same phrases in key parts of their respective websites. Consider the following section of text.

Founded in [year] and based in [place], [company] is a Receptive Tour Operator and Destination Management Company specializing in Incentive, Ad-Hoc, Professional and Leisure Travel Programs.

The originator of this description appears to be AgenTours, but somewhere along the line the Italian Travel Team decided to appropriate it. It's not clear whether they copied AgenTours directly, or Taste of Belgium, who have plagiarised the AgenTours "about us" page pretty much in its entirety. Here's a hint, guys: if you plagiarise, you wind up looking like the job-scam fraudsters who do the same thing.

Back on the subject of the job scam, the sections of the letter that I've put in bold text are the key warning signs that the job is a money laundering scam. The transfer of money into the "employee" account can be traced, but the Western Union transfer can be done in such a way that the recipient can pick it up anywhere in the world without disclosing his identity.

I'd post the "employment contract" here as well, but it's really not all that interesting. It's a poor imitation of a real contract, included mostly to lend the arrangement an air of legitimacy. If you showed it to a lawyer, they'd tell you that it's a piece of rubbish pretending to be a contract.

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