The latest scam: messages about part-time data optimization jobs for hotels, Target, ahrefs, Indeed

Image of a text document about part-time jobs marred by a prominent red "scam alert" stamp overlaying the content, indicating a warning against potential fraud.
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The latest scam: messages about part-time data optimization jobs for hotels, Target, ahrefs, Indeed

Sometimes, it is really hard to keep track of all of the online scams out there!

Screenshot of a text message from a scammer offering part-time remote work in data optimization jobs with specific pay details and asking to contact via WhatsApp.This latest one almost got me. Here is how it works:

  1. You receive a text from a random stranger that looks similar to one of the examples below.
  2. They almost always will require that you communicate via WhatsApp after the initial text.
  3. They give you a vague but “easy” description of the job.
  4. They offer you a random range of initial commission when you do the job training.
  5. If you ask for more details about the business, they give you the generic website of the company, which has nothing to do with the scam – for example,,, etc.
  6. You will not be able to get any concrete contact information such as a mailing address or a business phone number.
  7. After you do the training, you are required to set up an account.
  8. All money exchanges are in Cryptocurrency (red flag!)
  9. You do your initial “work” and get a modest payout, but are required to maintain a minimum balance, which requires you – and here it comes – to PUT YOUR OWN MONEY IN.
  10. After this, you’re never really able to get that money back because you’re always playing “catchup” with your work.
  11. Your dashboard shows you are making money but you can’t transfer that money because of the minimum balance requirement.

This reminds me a lot of gambling: you must keep putting money in with the hopes that a big payout is coming. 🚩

Except that payout never comes.

People have been scammed out of thousands of dollars with this  “job” or “task” scam.

Of note, these scam messages are much better than they used to be. I believe the scammers use Chat GPT to help make up word salad responses that don’t make sense, but somehow sound good.

And the tell-tale grammatical errors, with the exception of terrible or nonexistent punctuation, are noticeably absent, reducing the red flag factor.

Job description example:

Screenshot of a scam message recruiting for a data optimization job, offering high pay for limited work, with a request to respond via WhatsApp.We work for ahrefsapp, an international app promotion company Application developers publish their applications on ahrefsapp work platform What we need to do is help enterprises optimize their application data During the optimization process, data is generated to increase its visibility, downloads, reviews, etc., thereby improving its ranking in the app store This helps generate data and traffic, thereby improving AppStore and Playstore rankings and attracting more users Download and use Optimization is to obtain optimization commissions This job requires no skills and is very simple to operate.

The company will provide a URL of the working platform, we register a working account and complete our tasks every day through this platform, there is an ASO system on the platform to help us work

We need to complete 2-3 sets of app ratings on the platform every day, and for each set of app optimization, we can get the corresponding commission, the working time is 10:00 am – 22:00 pm EST, and any time in between, and it only takes 1-2 hours a day to complete.

First I can walk you through the process through a training account You can then learn more about the company how we upload the data and how we make money from it is way you can understand it better Instead the company will give you some $70-$200 commission after your training is successful.

(Note: I love these nonsensical commission ranges. What exactly determines the commission you earn during the job training?)

When I asked about the job tasks, here’s the response I received:

We provide them with “clicks” in our network through Good Data’s algorithms, and their apps generate high lift to get them to expectations. That’s what the mission is all about, just like a thumbs up on YouTube.

Our commissions come from third-party application merchants that cooperate with the platform, and are paid to us by the platform, so it is normal for us to rate applications that we have not used.

I honestly could not figure out what this even means, but according to this reddit thread,

Initial scam text examples:

Screenshot of an scam on a mobile phone, displaying a phishing scam that offers $500 for a review of a company, with suspicious sender details related to part-time jobs.This text is from [email protected]:

“Hello, I apologize for bothering you via text message. Are you looking for a job?

We need 50 people over the age of 22 to work on hotel data optimization. You will only have to work about 1 hour a day, there is no time limit and you can organize your time as you wish. I will provide you with 30 minutes of free training before you start. At the end of the training you will be paid $50-$200 for the training and your paycheck will be at least $300-$1000 per day, easily over $10,000 per month!

If you are interested in learning more, please contact me using WhatsApp: +2107109820”

My friend received this one from [email protected]:

“Hi, I’m Emily. a recruiter at LinkedIn. It’s nice to meet you.

Are you interested in remote work? It can be done from home with no time or location restrictions. Work 30-60 minutes a day. Pay is per diem, no experience is required, and daily pay is $200 – $800.If you would like to participate, please contact our employer for more information!

Employer WhatsApp: +13306484045

This is the perfect opportunity to improve your life. Don’t miss it. (Requirements: 22+ years old)”

Here is the text of my most recent job solicitation, from [email protected]:

“Hello, we noticed that your background and resume have been recommended by several online recruitment agencies. That’s why we want to offer you a part-time job that you can do in your free time. Our job is simple: We just review your favorite merchants on the Target platform. There is no time limit and you can complete the assessment at home. Daily bonuses range from $50 to $500. Receive a base salary of $1,000 for every 4 work days worked. All payments are made on the same day. If you would like to participate, please contact our employer for more information! Employer’s phone number: 623-270-9872(Please contact via SMS)
(Note: You must be over 20 years old)”

Note, I have also seen these same scams in some unmonitored Facebook groups!

I found this example on a reddit thread:

“I’m Madelyn from Indeed International Recruitment Agency (USA) and we’re looking for Americans over 20 years old to help hotel booking platforms optimize bookings and reviews to increase visibility and bookings through free training. We offer part-time and full-time flexible jobs working 60 to 90 minutes a day, 5 days a week, with flexible hours and location (based on your own schedule) and a basic daily stipend of $300 to $800. 100 for 2 consecutive workdays, $800 for 5 consecutive workdays, and $1,500 for 15 consecutive workdays. If you earn $3,800 for 30 consecutive workdays, you will receive $6,200 in base salary allowances for one consecutive month. Paid annual leave: In addition to maternity, paternity and other statutory leave. Regular employees are entitled to 5-15 days of paid annual leave. If you are interested, you can contact our employers at WhatsApp+ for more information!”

What can you do?

First of all, be smart. Random strangers messaging you and offering you an “easy money job” are scammers. 🚩

Payment via Cryptocurrency? Red flag. 🚩

Requirement that you immediately train or take some other kind of action? Red flag. 🚩

You paying money in, in order to be paid? Sortof sounds like an MLM, but also, RED FLAG .🚩

If you are a WhatsApp user, you can also take some steps to secure your privacy:

Go to settings > privacy, and make sure you have your privacy settings as:

  • Last seen and online: my contacts
  • Profile photo: my contacts
  • About: my contacts
  • Status: my contacts
  • Groups: my contacts
  • Calls: silence unknown callers
  • Gingerprint unlock: if it’s available to you, you may wan to turn this on.

This will all prevent random scammers from seeing if you’re an active user, and see that you just saw their messages. Anyone reaching you legitimately can try to message you and at that point, you can decide if you want to engage.

Also, unrelated to this: go to settings > security and enable two step verification. Most people don’t know Whatsapp has 2FA and that you can attach an email address to your account, to help you recover it if you lose it.

You should also enable a pin to prevent unauthorized transfers of the account to another phone. It’s a pain but it is worth it.

Check your privacy risk:

Have you checked out all of the random listings where your personal info is available?

It’s frightening.

I downloaded the PrivacyHawk app, to see where my “exposed info” was located, and found that I had a pretty high privacy risk with 38 websites having my personal info, including my phone number (which explains the random texts).

It also listed all of the family members that I have, who also have exposed info online.

A mobile app screen from PrivacyHawk shows 38 private data exposures, 15 family members exposed, and one example of exposed information including email trace details. Removal options are available. Take control of your data as you would with an Indeed job search or a Target shopping spree.

I found my name, age, address, family members, and waaaaay too much personal info online at 38 random websites, like:


With a single tap, and about 10 seconds of waiting, PrivacyHawk removed my information from all of these “scammer heaven” websites.

Screenshot of a Privacy Hawk app display showing no exposed information, 14 items processing, and 0 items protected. The message says, "Congrats! All your exposures are either processing or protected." Stay vigilant for the latest scam: messages about part-time data optimization jobs for hotels on Indeed.

The app then monitors the “data brokers” to make sure my personal info stays out of their databases. There is a monthly fee of $6.99, but I updated for the annual subscription, because I just don’t want to deal with these scammers having my info.

It’s annoying at best and downright dangerous, at worst.

When a scammer has your info, bad things can happen, according to PrivacyHawk, including:

  • Identity thieves can impersonate you and ruin your credit
  • Spammers can scrape your email and add it to marketing lists
  • Hackers can use your info to phish their way into your accounts
  • You can be texted by random people and scammed into giving away your hard-earned cash!
  • Companies profit off of your personal data without your consent
  • Stalkers can locate, contact, and harass you and your family (Baby Reindeer, anyone…)

Want to know your privacy score?

Click here to download PrivacyHawk and check out your Privacy Score.

Note you’ll want to be on a mobile device, because this is an app.

I hope this helps you keep your money in your bank account, where it belongs!

Please share this article to prevent this from happening to others, especially older loved ones.

Have you received scam messages like this?

Let us know in the comments!


*This post contains affiliate links.


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