Job hunters seeking responding to an apparent Gumtree advert seeking recruits to join London’s Harrods department store have been fleeced out of more than £1m.
The elaborate scam was conceived by Nigerian conmen who instructed applicants to download an ‘application pack’ which was in fact a malicious application which emptied their bank accounts.
Individuals falling for the ruse were hit with bills running up to £4,700 each but the problem only came to light when Harrods launched their own security review of the ads.
They found that from August 2010 fake adverts had been run on Gumtree offering positions at the department store with those taking the bait sent a follow-up email purportedly from recruitment firm Blue Arrow.
Instead they received a Trojan horse virus which copied their online banking details and sent them to the thieves, who then sent in ‘mules’ to withdraw cash or embark on online shopping sprees.