On tefl.com I applied for a teaching position with Quality Education Holding Company (QEHC). I received a suspicious looking response that required me to send a lot of my personal details in a short period of time. I declined as, the Zen of Python states, “Now is better than never. Although never is often better than *right* now.” Then I received another email stating that they had set up an account for me on their website, providing a password and using my email as login. After making a lot of other applications and therefore becoming desensitised to sending my information out, I decided to give them a go presuming that they must have back-end access to the website, which I checked out taking precautions such as accessing it through a different operating system and checking its quality, spelling etc. It looked legit, so I logged in. Cringe.
Then things started to smell of fish: I changed the password for the account and the email address, expecting an email to confirm – none came. I quickly became aware that, anyone who had an account with QEHR’s website could simply replace the email with a password of their choosing and send the email owner a professional looking email to log on and update their profile.
Another alarm bell rang when I scrolled down to check their vacancies, and, apart from the one I applied for, the one before was years ago! I deleted my details and changed my profile as much as I could; hoping the malicious assailants did not have administrative access to the site.
Then I started getting emails using my email address instead of my name stating that I have a rebate from HMRC. HMRC don’t do rebates by email.
Then yesterday I received two text messages to my teaching mobile from 62226 stating:
“PayPal: Your verification code is: ******. Your code expires in 5 minutes. Please don’t reply.”
I ignored it but then saw I had received a voice mail from Paypal asking for …drum roll… my verification code. I checked my Paypal and discovered that hackers must have used my email address and ‘Forgot Password’ to get an activation code which they sent to my mobile number.
And to add insult to injury QEHC, failing that, has sent me an email stating:
“Fwd: Face-to-Face interviews & On-spot hiring in London – (July 28 to August 1)” from an Obai Hamdan.