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Job Scam Alert: The "Data Provider" Pyramid Schemeby@goodlark
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Job Scam Alert: The "Data Provider" Pyramid Scheme

by SvitlanaApril 15th, 2024
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Job offers for "Data Provider" roles without detailed job descriptions often hide pyramid schemes. Beware of scams promising easy money but requiring upfront payments or recruiting new members for returns. Learn to spot red flags in job offers to avoid falling victim to fraudulent job opportunities.
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For those who prefer a quick summary instead of the full story: exercise caution if you receive a job offer for a "Data Provider" role without a detailed job description. This is a scam, employing either the traditional pyramid scheme model or simply intending never to return your money. I chose not to waste my money to explore further, but my 20+ years of experience in IT, including over 15 years in tech journalism, enabled me to estimate the likely scenarios.


In the pyramid schemes, participants are required to invest money upfront and are promised returns based on recruiting new members who also make deposits. You would earn a commission from the deposits of those you recruit. For a deeper understanding, consider searching for terms like "pyramid scheme" or "money pyramid." In this particular instance, the scheme is sophisticatedly crafted, incorporating elements of automation and leveraging social engineering techniques. However, it's essential to remember that despite its polish, a pyramid scheme remains an illegal operation in the United States.


The Full Story Unfolds

Recently, my WhatsApp got hit not once, but four times, with messages from strangers pitching a "Data Provider" gig. It was the kind of job that screams "easy money" — no tech skills needed, part-time, remote, and a promise of making $300-500 per day without breaking a sweat. Right off the bat, it smelled fishy. No job details? No company name or clear idea of what I'd be doing? When I probed for more info, all I got was, "Join our training, and all will be revealed."


By the fourth identical message, my curiosity won over and I decided to investigate.


Check out my conversation with “Wendy Duncan” (who introduced herself as Julia Manuel) below. This is about the old chat on "optimizing data for hotels." I couldn't find the recent one on "optimizing data for apps," the main topic of this article. This chat proves that scammers might switch up their stories a bit, but the playbook stays pretty much the same.



Very fluffy "Data Provider" job description

Of course, they are using fake names.



The so-called recruiter wanted to know if I was game for more info. I played along and was told to keep an eye on WhatsApp for a message from their "manager." Soon enough, a message popped up from a British number (+44), from a guy named Darrick, sporting a young Asian dude in his profile pic.



Darrick: Scam Maestro or Just Another Con?

Over the next two days, our chat unfolded. My skepticism was on full display, yet Darrick didn't back down. It clicked: he must be cashing in for every new recruit he gets to sign up and even more if they make a deposit.


The gist of our chat? It screamed scam, clear as day, especially when "Darrick" ghosted after I finished their training but balked at the deposit part. My hunch? He's paid per trainee.


I wonder, is he truly unaware that he's caught up in a scam? Or am I being too naive?







He was hasty in convincing me to undergo training. Curiosity got the better of me, so I played along.

I created an account on their web application at cloverdevapps.cc. No personal information was needed—just a username and two passwords: one for logging in and another for withdrawing money. They didn’t even ask for an email.


He also mentioned that "the job" wouldn't require installing any software on my devices, apart from a crypto wallet. I informed him that I already had a crypto wallet and wasn't planning to install any additional apps. He was fine with that. Thus, I dismissed the possibility that it was merely a malware scam aiming to harvest my data through an illegitimate app.


A Job Simulator In Action

Take a look at the screenshots of the "job" I was roped into doing. They hit the nail on the head with one detail—no tech savvy required. Actually, they seemed to favor it. My role? Just hitting "Start" and "Submit," watching my balance inflate. And guess what? In just 2-3 minutes of mindless tapping, I "made" $141! But, of course, it was all fake money.


Tap "Start"

Tap "Submit"


At this point, I considered the possibility that they might be compensated by their clients (the app developers) for expanding their registered user base. However, it seemed unlikely that anyone would pay $2-5 for each fake user, even before an acquisition. There are simpler and more cost-effective methods to achieve that.

He also assured me that this was not the case.






After The Training

After completing the training, Darrick instructed me to log out of the practice account and log into my own account that I created earlier.

Unsurprisingly, I was unable to perform any "work" in my account. When I attempted to start by tapping "Start," I encountered a prompt — I needed to deposit $100 or more to begin the job.



Of course, I asked Derrick about the money I had supposedly earned from doing this "unbelievably hard work" during training, which I could use "to cover my payment for continuing to work." At that, he went silent. So, I suppose, many people who don't understand how the digital economy operates, or which business models are viable and which are not, might at this point think that Derrick was just using them to make money the easy way (by getting someone else to tap those buttons). It's a humorous notion, considering the guy spent at least a couple of hours chatting with me.


Forgive me, but I wasn't willing to provide my wallet number or invest $100 for deeper investigation. Nevertheless, I can theorize potential outcomes:


  • Scenario One: The money I deposited would simply disappear, never to be seen again—a clear-cut scam. That's the whole story.

  • Scenario Two: I would "earn" slightly less than my deposit every time after completing a set of 40 tasks. To withdraw the minimum amount permitted, I'd need to deposit more money for access to the next "set of assignments," ensuring that my withdrawals would always be less than my deposits. This results in a loss for me and a gain for "the company."

  • Scenario Three: I'd be informed that recruiting one or two friends to the platform is necessary to earn a commission and continue "working"—the signature move of a pyramid scheme.


I suspect that they blend scenarios two and three, as I've found complaints from individuals who worked for a similar company for some time but then ran out of money and couldn't afford the $800+ needed for the next set of tasks.


More Juicy Details From The Scammers’ App

I continued playing with the app. Check out my meaningful conversation with their “chatbot”.



There is no chatbot, obviously. It’s a simple script with only one answer to any message you send.

If you google “chat.ichatlink.net scam” you can find out that it is a part of the fraud scheme.


Fake Team

I searched for an image of "the team" that I had downloaded from the app and discovered an exact match here: https://www.linnify.com/about.


To the team at Linnify: please be aware that your photos are being exploited in a scam operation!


This is the picture from the scammers’ app:


This is the screenshot from the Linnify website:


The Domain Owners Are Hiding

I looked up the domain owner in Whois services on the registrant’s website Namesilo.com.


This is what I found — the scammers hid their names behind an Arizona-based firm that “protects privacy — PrivacyGuardian.org

I called their number but it was late Friday evening, hit the voice mail. I’ll try to call them on Monday though and let you know what they tell me.



Fake Registration Confirmation

This is their so-called proof of registration. Clover Limited does indeed exist; you can verify its registration record here: https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/NI614475.





However, accessing and duplicating the company number is something anyone can do. Is Clover Limited genuinely affiliated with the scammers? I'm skeptical. They don't require a legitimate company since their transactions involve untraceable cryptocurrency. It appears they've simply appropriated the name and number of this legal entity to appear more credible. Yet, there's a discrepancy: within the app, they refer to themselves as Clover Dynamics, a name you won't find on the UK's official registration website.


I found a real Clover Dynamics though — a company from Lviv, Ukraine. Guys from https://www.cloverdynamics.com, be aware that someone is using your company name in a scam scheme! They are using your logo as well!


This is the scammers’ logo (cloverdevapps.cc)




This is the logo of real Clover Dynamics (https://www.cloverdynamics.com)




Let’s Talk About How The Pyramid Scheme Works

The money pyramid is one of the oldest scam schemes, operating on a straightforward premise: each new member must deposit a certain amount of money and then recruit new members who also make deposits. Recruiters earn a commission from these new deposits, as well as from the deposits made by new members recruited by their signees. So, if someone joins early, they can make money on the commission. The problem is that many other people who would fall into this fraud lose money. That is why this scheme is illegal in many countries, including the US.


In this variation, the scammers have introduced automation by developing a dedicated platform to support their con—a mobile app.

Additionally, they have assembled a tiered recruitment structure. The first layer consists of “HR people” (like Wendy aka Julia), who generate leads to pass on to the more experienced “managers” (such as Derrick) in the second tier.


Furthermore, they employ social engineering techniques to convince less tech-savvy individuals that their participation is legitimate—they make them believe that simply tapping on screens is a form of productive effort. But is it, really?


I can imagine that a person with limited knowledge in tech might feel good, perhaps even proud, about "working for a tech company," thinking, "Oh, it's not that hard! Maybe I can work in tech after all, and not worry about robots and AI threatening my employment. What a relief! Regarding the need to deposit money, they explain that this is simply how the platform operates, and I just have to follow the instructions.”


This positive emotional charge could compel someone to keep depositing more and more money. It's almost like gambling.

The conclusion

I've reported their website to the IC3, but it's quite easy for them to set up a new domain with a stolen logo and team picture. Please inform your less tech-savvy relatives and friends that merely tapping on a screen isn't a legitimate job, especially if it requires an upfront payment for access to this "job."