Fraud online is the same fraud that is in the everyday world. Fraud is any intent to hide or disguise the legitimate source of an offer to make it look as if it originated from a legitimate source. Spam employment opportunities are not different.
Whether or not you are compensated for your computer services, whether the company is legitimate or fraudulent, and whether or not all relevant tax forms are properly filed is irrelevant to this discussion. Basically, in a spam-employment opportunity, you are offered compensation (earned income) for downloading and installing a program that allows your computer to be remotely connected to and used to send email when you are not using it. You can be offered compensation for the time it takes your computer to process the emails. So, let’s assume for the moment this offer is legitimate. You do download and install the program, the emails are sent from your computer and email address, you do receive compensation for allowing your computer resources to be used, and all necessary tax forms are properly processed. Now, consider the following:
- You do not have a way of verifying that the receiver of each email sent from your email account has subscribed to the mailing list.
- You do not have a way of verifying that each email sent from your email account complies with all local, state and federal laws of the location of the receiver. Examples: some American states require the word “ADV” or “ADVERTISEMENT” to be in the subject line; or, child pornography is illegal to be sent or received by anyone in the United States.
- You are giving your permission to a person or company to access the contents of your computer and use your email identity without your supervision.
- Your computer and email address are being used to send bulk email. Keep in mind that:
- Your email address can be identified by law enforcement as a spam distributor.
- Your email address can be added to a blacklist of spammers.
- Your internet service provider may refuse future service.
So, before you accept employment for the use of your email account, be sure to consider exactly what you are giving your permission for. If you want to report spam employment advertisements to law enforcement, you can contact the RCMP in Canada or the Internet Crime Complaint Center in the USA.