< Back to all publications

Victims of E-Job Offers identified in Malaysia

The immense erudition found on the Internet has greatly affected the evolution of today’s way of life since everything can be found on the Internet from songs to movies, facts of news to items on sale and even Job Offers! There is no longer a need to flip through the carbon staining newspaper pages to hunt for jobs anymore as work employment is offered in just a mouse-click away. The paperless era as beneficial to most has its downside as well as it creates ample room for cyber crimes such as the occurrence of faking job offers. The obvious victims are, besides those who are under the impression they are being employed, the “real’ companies who were oblivious to the fact that they are recruiting online.

In the year 2005, a re-known International Cruise company ( known as “Company X” for the purposes of this article as the true name of the company is to be kept as anonymous) received a query via email from an Indian national whether the online recruitment he was offered by Company X was legitimate. It turned out that it wasn’t and this created awareness for the real Company X whom eventually sought justice on their side.

The scam was basically inducing the offeree into believing that he/she is being employed, followed by paying immigration fees in order to overcome the relevant immigration procedures. Fees of the Company X case, was payable to a bank account of an individual whose details were false. This falsely identified individual posed to be the lawyer handling all immigration legal documents. To further uphold this plan, a fake law firm address was created. Then this false identity absconds with the money transfers. The downside of this is two fold; first, the victim makes a transaction for services unattended for and second, the reputation of the real Company X is tarnished.

The manner in which this unpalatable misdemeanor was handled was one that involved the collaboration of many parties. A Private Investigator was hired to track down the details of the bank account holder and a Cyber Intellectual was hired to trace the job scammer through his email account, which he used to receive emails from potential job seekers. Eventually both details led to the same individual who was the main partner of the fake law firm. This points only to the fact that this plan was made to deceive the public at large riding on the goodwill of a reputable company.

Advise of options that can be taken by the real Company X was provided based on successful Investigation Reports. The advised options provided to Company X include, Initiating Criminal Action against the fraudster, initiating a civil action against the perpetrators of which the cause of action would be in passing off the goodwill and reputation of Company X. Company X was also advised to obtain an urgent application to register their trademark in order to protect their future interest.

There are many cases alike this Company X scenario. In fact, shipping companies are fraudsters’ main target because most of them travel the oceans and dock but their marks and company names are not protected within the many countries they harbor. Take Company X for instance, it had been docking at Malaysia for 12-14 years and because it hadn’t any physical office in Malaysia, they never thought it necessary to register their mark.

Due to the fact that one can go missing in Cyber-space, many of these fraudulent acts go unheard of. That echoes the necessity for Intellectual Property protection. The amount of similar scams proposed over the Internet is to the extent beyond one’s comprehension. Websites have been created to warn the public of similar scams naming other cruise or shipment companies that are being passed off. A list of these other shipment companies that are apparently offering online recruitment is currently provided at www.cruiselinesjobs.com/eng/cruise-ship-employment-scam/.

There are a lot of difficulties in curbing crime that occurs over the Internet but its rather unclear as to which jurisdiction’s laws shall apply. Taking the Company X example again, the domain name in which the fraudsters email account was registered in the United States, but after tracing the culprit, the jurisdiction fell unto the country he inhibits. It is therefore advised that a trace be made to ensnare these fraudsters and place deterrence on future perpetrators alike. Therefore, it is better advisory for these likely corporate victims to seek protection by registering their trademarks in order to obtain statutory protection.