Explosion of Package Shipping Scams!
For three years we have exposed eighteen fake shipping businesses as fraudulent and very likely created by the same Russian-speaking criminal gang based on LOTS of similarities we have documented between their methods of operation and website designs. These criminals are thorough, professional, and highly skilled at tricking Americans to receive merchandise purchased with stolen credit cards, repackage it, and reship it elsewhere. Essentially, they turn Americans into “mules.” And while they promise a high salary, ranging from $2000 - $3000/month PLUS $40-$50 per box processed for reshipping, NO ONE gets paid! (This is what we’ve been told by about 2 dozen people who were tricked by these criminals.) After 4-6 weeks (or however long they can string someone along without paying him/her), the newly hired employee is ghosted. Eventually, the website is taken down and a new website appears under a different name on another Internet server.
We also have breadcrumbs showing that these criminals read our articles about their scams and make improvements to their websites as a result. However, they still make mistakes, as you’ll see. Back in mid-May we posted a new article about 2 new fake businesses created by this gang. They were fake business #17 and #18. The first was called Ship Site Post LLC, or “SSP LLC” with the website “SiteShipPost.com.” The second business was called Savers Post International , or “SPI LLC” and its website called SaversPostIntl.com. During the last week, we heard from 8 men and women who were “hired” by these scammers and now realize that they have been tricked! Many of these men and women are concerned because they now realize that they have been tricked into shipping stolen merchandise. Two of them have told us that police have come knocking on their doors to investigate the stolen merchandise.
We mention all this again because someone just recently notified us of yet another fake business created very recently by these same criminals. The scam business is called PackageChef.com. The website at PackageChef.com is IDENTICAL to several of the other websites used by these criminals, including SiteShipPost.com and WishDeliverys.com (which are still up and running on the Internet as of 6/13/21.)
One of the ways we know these bogus businesses are fraudulent is the fact that they were registered just a few weeks earlier but the website ALWAYS says they’ve been in business for months or years. In the screenshot below you can see that it says “since 2020.” If that’s the case, why is it that their website wasn’t registered until May 19, 2021? These scammers have lately been registering their fake businesses in the state where they claim to operate. They use a third party vendor to register for them and soon afterwards their legal entity name shows up on a website like OpenCorporates.com. If you visit this link you’ll see that OpenCorporates.com shows that this bogus business (Package Chef Logistics) didn’t even get incorporated until April 7, 2021!
Don’t assume that being legally “incorporated” makes these bastards legitimate! It doesn’t! They are still scammers who speak Russian, meaning they are likely from Russia, Ukraine or another eartern block country where Russia is spoken. Why do we keep saying this? The answer lies in the pdf files created by these criminals and sent to victims. These documents are meant to help train employees how to do their new job and use the “dashboard” tools to communicate with their supervisors (i.e. scammers.) Recent documents have included these 3 pdf files sent by the “supervisors” of PackageChef.com to new hires:
• Dashboard Manual
• How to Upload Documents to Your Dashboard
• Package Chef Logistics LLC Employment agreement
When you open a pdf file, most pdf readers will provide access to hidden information about the pdf file that is stored by the program used to create the file. When we open pdf files created by this group of cybercriminals, they typically include the word “User” written in Russian in the field for “Author.” This strongly suggests that the program used to make these files was a Russian language version.
The screenshot above was taken from the “Employment Contract” that PackageChef.com sent to a new hire. In addition to the Russian word hidden in the file information, Package Chef Logistics LLC provides their Federal Employer ID number as 86-3156355. We used a website called “Employer Identification Number Search” to see what we could learn about the EIN 86-3156355. Not only did NOTHING turn up for this EIN, but nothing turned up when we searched this database for the Legal name “Package Chef Logistics.”
This is now the 19th business we can trace to this gang of criminals. In addition, just two days ago a TDS reader told us she was invited to apply for a package shipping “work from home” job with another scam company called SlogisticsUSA.com. If you visit their “About Us” page, you’ll see that they claim to have been in business for 5 years. And yet, their domain, slogisticsusa.com, was JUST registered 8 days ago! Not only that, but it was registered through a Registrar located in Russia called Webnames.ru.
Also on their “About Us” page are 3 Team members, including their Founder and CEO named David Ferguson. Except that this man’s real name is Gavin Butler, as shown in his LinkedIn profile below. Mr. Butler worked as Director of Engineering for many years at a California company called Shippo. Each of the other people shown in this Team photo are also from stolen images using fake names!
Adding insult to injury is the fact that our exploration of these recent sites for today’s Top Story, took us to complaints on Scampulse.com by people who claimed that yet another company called Skyway Global Inspect is another scam package shipping company using Americans as mules to move stolen merchandise. If you visit their website, you’ll discover some familiar faces!
BOTTOM LINE: If you are looking for a job and someone has a “work from home” position for you, DON’T TAKE IT unless you can have an in-person interview or video chat AND can verify that a business has been IN BUSINESS for years!
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