Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Web Builders International


The entire website has been copied and archived if anyone is interested in a copy.

As of July 13th 2011 a bank in Massachusetts has started contacting banks nation wide about unauthorized transactions being made. So far one attorney has stated that in most cases the unknowing employees can not be held legally responsible for the wire transfers some of them had made. Worse case scenario is some one may end up having to pay back the money.

Again is a SCAM!!!!!

The following post contains information gathered from the Internet and is not intended as a factual representation for all people involved.

Web Builders International has been popping up all over message boards and scam sites with people asking "Is this a legit job offer?". The answer is still not clear as no one has stepped forward in saying they have been paid, or even work for the company.

What is Web Builders International?
According to their website this company deal primarily with web site development and SEO (Search Engine Optimization), as well as flash, java, etc. According to whois information their website was created July of 2011. This is roughly around the time people started asking about the legality of the business.

Where are they located?
This is hard to tell, they list their address as 859 Hollywood Way, Suite 459, Burbank, CA 91505. However checking out google street view it is hard to believe this address even exists. In fact after making a phone call to one of the businesses located at the same address we where told no business by that name existed and there are no suites at 859 Hollywood way. Going back to whois information the server that hosts their websites seams to be located in the Netherlands (Another red flag in many cases).

What type of job are they offering?
The job itself seams to be the same by everyone's account. You work from home using your computer to contact clients. You are assigned specific clients that only deal with you and no one else that works for web builders. A few people who had stated they had begun working for Web Builders that the job consisted mostly of sitting in front of their computers waiting for something to pop up. One person stated they had received a new job for the day, however at the same time two others had received the exact same job. So it begs to question if these jobs are in fact real, or as one put it a "test" to see how efficiently you can work.
The job also requires you to open a new, separate checking account. This account can not be tied to any other account and Web Builders INTL states this account is for transferring funds to and from clients. This is also where they deposit your pay (on average this has been about $2,850 per month however no one has been paid as of the writing of this article)

Red flags and other non-standard concerns.
Most times when we hear about a work at home opportunity it is something that you have to pay into, such as selling candles, cosmetics, or opening some type of web store through another company. Web Builders however does not ask you for a single penny, instead you fill out a W-4 as you would for any employer along with answering, filling out, and faxing in the standard employment papers. This all sounds great, but some "employees" reported sitting for nearly a week before receiving any work. (Remember they pay you a base payment of $2,850 no matter what according to their paperwork) All the work seams to be the exact same throughout all the employees (Unless we have only heard from those who by some miracle are all working on the same project together) which makes us wonder about what is really going on.

One person said they watched their checking account which required $100 to open to make sure the money they used to open it stayed put, and it did. In fact within a week over $4,000 dollars was deposited into the account in which afterwards the "employee" was asked to wire transfer it to another party. We have not heard as of yet if the amounts of money transferred into these employees accounts is the same amount, if it is then we can assume that either something fishy is going on, or perhaps this is the flat rate fee for a certain service. Either way it seams a bit strange that the employee would need to setup an account instead of the business itself.

On one website where several people where talking about the legitimacy of Web Builders we where shocked to find out that several of the people using the site where fired, one of which who had been fired the exact day he or she was to be paid. No warning, no request to have the posts removed, just fired, sacked, canned, let go!!

The trail is cold and bare.
Everyone who has looked into Web Builders International has found next to nothing on them. has no record of them (especially since the site is less then 6 months old.) But their website says they have been in business since 2006. Google search only pulls up other concerned individuals questioning scam or no scam (Web builders own site barely pulls up on a google search) Even though the company boasts web development and search engine optimization their site has an incredibly low ranking. Their website itself is also broken (One broken link on the main page going to web development) you can't tell me a company that specializes in building web sites does not know how to use a link checker?

Another strange finding was this article on a E-zine site. The site itself looking like it was thrown up over night. Yellowpage look ups, show nothing for the company which after 5 years of business you would think by now should have a phone listing of some sort. The numbers listed on the site:
Phone: (818) 748-8380
Fax: (818) 671-5715
Seam to be mobile numbers or disposable numbers. Calling the main phone number will get you a woman named "Emily" with a foreign accent.


This website / business confirmed SCAM July 14th 2011 at roughly 3pm CST.


  1. I initially signed up for this job as well. It seemed legit in the since that there was a website, hiring docs, a W4, etc. But in retrospect, the website makes no mention of company history, founders, or customer comments or recommendations. And, such documents, as stated, provide all the personal information that ID theft scammers require. You are first asked to open an account for the transfer of client funds. Something about this troubled me from the beginning but I pushed the red flags aside and did it. The company rep, Emily, asks that you are logged in from 9-3 (your time). I received a proposal for a web portal project and was told they were waiting on client approval and payment. Emily's messages were always short and mostly about making sure I was logged in, and in fact seemed to completely disregard any questions or concerns I raised. They were not what I deemed appropriate responses from a new employer to a new employee, were not timely in their return, and were quite vague in nature. I was given a busy project of researching telecommunications providers in the meantime, but after doing so and providing links and follow-up questions, virtually nothing else was said regarding my research. Finally, after almost two weeks, I was told the client had approved the project and the advance payment would hit my account on the day before I was to be paid by them. Prior instructions required that I would forward these funds by Western Union or Moneygram to other project team members, whom I assumed were located worldwide, as IT projects are often outsourced. As I became more suspicious, I began to research this more in depth.

    I first located the site Jei talks of, where three other recently hired employees were questioning the validity of the job. Interestingly, they all had Emily as their point of contact...were all doing exactly as I...had all received the same project proposal, the same menial research task, and all had been hired in the same time frame. None had been paid yet. I thin located a site where two more people were questioning the company. One was able to track the IP address and learn the company's servers are in the Netherlands, not California. Another received a response to their inquiry to (through which I believed I had been contacted), which stated unequivocally that the company was not affiliated with careerbuilders and that they had identified the message as being related to what is known as a payment processing scam. Finally, I located a site which provided detailed information on this scam, which was so close to the modus operandi of Web Builders Intl that it was scary.

  2. This site explains the scam as follows:
    -Persuading a job seeker to respond to an employment ad hiring Payment Processors for a foreign company at 5% to 20% commission for each payment processed.
    -Stealing the personal information of the job seeker and gaining access to his or her computer through malware embedded in the email correspondence, or embedded in the HTML of a fake corporate web site.
    -Selling that information into Identity Theft Black Market Databases.
    -Making the job seeker believe he or she has been hired by a legitimate foreign company as a Payment Processor. The job seeker is now a job seeker victim.
    -Sending funds from account holder victims to the job seeker victim in the form of counterfeit paper instruments or wire transfer of funds stolen from an account holder's (Identity Theft victim) checking or credit card account. When funds are wired directly into the job seeker victim's bank account or credit card account, or when the job seeker victim is sent an electronic check, the account holder victims are also Identity Theft victims.
    -Instructing the job seeker victim to wire all but 5% to 20% to various so-called company officers or company authorized personnel, and to do this by Western Union, Moneygram, or bank-to-bank transfer.
    -Getting the victim to do this as often as possible before the scam is discovered either by the victim, the victim's bank, or law enforcement

    It goes on to say this about the scammers:
    -Regardless of where the scammers state they are located in their emails, they are in fraud rings all over Western Europe, Central Europe (Former Soviet Union countries), and West Africa. They are in Canada and the US. The scammers are not always foreigners - persons native to the target country are involved in the scam rings, too!
    -These scams will soon be coming from fraud rings in South Korea, Malaysia, Beijing.
    -The scammers use cell phones for voice communication. Since cell phone services allow for roaming, although a scammer may state that he is in London or Florida or Texas, he can actually be calling from anywhere.
    -The scammers use misdirection, spoofing, and open proxy blinds to send their emails. Unless one is adept at reading and interpreting full email headers (the entire path an email follows from the scammer's computer to the victim's computer) such as a trained fraud examiner or enforcement investigator, it is impossible to determine that the email was sent from any location other than that stated by the scammer.
    -Funds wired into your account are stolen from innocent account holders through Identity Theft; electronic checks are ordered from an innocent account holder's checking or credit card account through ID Theft. Funds also arrive from victim buyers who are instructed to wire their funds into your account.
    -Domestic and International Money orders are counterfeited in large quantities on foreign fraudster printing presses. Checks are counterfeited in large quantities on foreign fraudster printing presses. Unauthorized QChex are ordered by unverified QChex account holders. US Treasury checks are forged. Counterfeit cashier's checks, personal checks, and corporate checks are used in this scam.
    -The money can come from someone who is buying a product through a Classifieds ad or auction site such as eBay. In that situation, the victim buyer is told to send his money to the victim payment processor (either by check, money order, MoneyGram, or bank to bank wire), who in turn is told to wire off all funds received except his or her 5% to 20% commission. The victim payment processor and the victim buyer are run either by the same scammer or by different members of the fraud ring.

  3. Romanian scam rings, made up of teenagers and young adults led by former KGB officers, latched on to the scam and made it their own. Currently, Romanian fraud rings and fraud rings located in other Former Soviet Union countries have joined forces with Nigerians scam rings and are working together from Romania, West Africa, South Africa, the UK (mostly England and Ireland), The Netherlands, the US, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, the Ukraine, and Australia.

    I wondered why, as the fraud site points out (among other red flags):

    The job does not require a knowledge of proper bookkeeping and accounting requirements. (I have a professional degree but no background per say in this type of work).

    There is no requirement that you be bonded and insured.

    There is no background check performed to ensure that you are a trustworthy individual.

    There is no requirement that you be properly licensed and registered to accept their funds, account for them, and file the proper tax forms to report the income.

    There is no requirement that you open a bank account in the company's name in a local bank to receive the funds, as is proper and usual.

    I came to a personal conclusion that this is a payment processing scam. I kept all communications between Emily and I, including my notice of resignation from employment. I closed the account I had opened. I ran scans for malware and took other precautions to secure my computer and personal information. le need to understand that while a victim of identity theft, or a company scammed out of funds, may not press charges since people like us are acting in good faith, that they can be help both criminally and civilly liable for these lost funds if they are laundered through a personal bank account in their name. And I fear, now and for the near future, that attempts may be made to steal the identity of those "employed" by this company and other scams like it. These scammers are difficult to track by law enforcement and nearly impossible to charge criminally or sue civilly due to the international nature of the crime. Emails can be originated in one country, funds wired to another, and picked up in yet another. Jurisdiction and venue is varied and often not investigated since other more pressing and solvable crimes take precedence for law enforcement agencies. We all simply have to keep from allowing ourselves to be victims in cases such as these.

  4. I will also post, as Jei did, my disclaimer that I was, in fact, not employed long enough to receive or transfer any funds. I was not, and have not, to date, been the victim of identity theft. I am not personally aware of any known criminal activity on the part of this company (Web Builders International). All information posted is simply observational, speculative, and not based in any known facts. I was able to find no person clearly stating they have been a victim. There is no information, good, bad or otherwise, available on this company through the Better Business Bureau or any other internet source I could find.

  5. To those who may have worked for this company or any other who has issued a W4 tax document I strongly urge you to look into protecting your identity. Lifelock offers a $99/year plan and is one of the highest rated identity theft prevention services around. However there are many others and you should check into those options very cafefully if you are concerned about identity theft. One person reported they where getting a new SSN (About $500 in most states) and a new Drivers License Number (not sure on price, varies by state). This is not a bad idea if you can afford it.