Stuff Michael Meeks is doing

This is my (in)activity log. You might like to visit Collabora Productivity a subsidiary of Collabora focusing on LibreOffice support and services for whom I work. Also if you have the time to read this sort of stuff you could enlighten yourself by going to Unraveling Wittgenstein's net or if you are feeling objectionable perhaps here. Failing that, there are all manner of interesting things to read on the LibreOffice Planet news feed.

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2017-03-31 Friday.

Zelda Coatings / Latona Travel - Scam

The offer

This morning I was saddened to get a mail from a friend in Brazil forwarded from a Zelda Coatings and Construction (not linked). The content of their offer (they were selected for approach from a jobs site rather quickly) was for a project management job - with some unusual hooks:

Now I don't work in the construction industry, but I see it as a low margin, high risk sort of place - offering a salary of three times the Market Price seems an extraordinary offer!

The catch

This offer is (I guess) designed to appeal to people from outside the UK; and therein comes the rub; you need to attend an interview here - but (not to worry) - they will refund the fare later. For a large & reputable company - I would expect a detailed telephone interview first before they ask you to travel anywhere.

"With respect to the expected timeline of work take-off, Zelda Coatings & Construction Company has mandated a reliable travel agency based on your choice of travel documentation to ensure the processing of all travelling Document/immigration particulars.
If the conditions stated above are acceptable to you, you are hereby directed to contact the designated travel consultant (with your contact information) so that they can start the processing of your relevant documents/immigration particulars to facilitate your travel."

This travel agency turns out to be "Latona Travel" - which has another web-site long on (presuambly stolen) stock images. I wonder if you insist on paying your own way - whether they will continue to humour you and let you knowingly burn that money, or not.

For the benefit of anyone that wants to fund a criminal underworld, their details are as follows

ID NUMBER: 9170433600513

Nice web-site content

Apart from being a 'coatings' company (ie. usually paint) - they appear to have lots of nice case studies (without deep links or supporting press releases), and have stolen lots of content. The (apparently authentic) Jones Bros appeared to get ripped off eg.

Side-by-side websites - good news about Lizards

The domain name registrant (who may be another victim) is one Kelly Dodder of 85 Dogwood LnApt/Suite, Fairfield, Connecticut, 06824 United States - which looks odd in itself.

Update 2017-04-05: now the company appear to have a google-maps annotation; but if you use street view to find any sign of their logo - you rapidly discover it is just a junk-yard (there is something apt about that).


Up to you - but I would recommend immediately cancelling any credit cards you may have given them details for. I'd also recommend a holiday in the UK - it's a lovely place - although I suspect the scammers of not being based here.

Update: - apparently the scammers ask for a money transfer; presumably to avoid delay to making off with your money.


I assume that every permutation of scams will eventually be tried; it is interesting that the initial ones preyed on people's avarice and dishonesty: "I will transfer millions to your bank account, then you share with me" - with subsequent scams appealing to another demographic: "I want to donate a large sum to your religious charity" - to perhaps capture a more virtuous but still credulous lot. Where will it end ?

It seems particularly sad to prey on vulnerable people who are between jobs, and extract potentially limited free capital from those who may not have much of a float to keep them going. Sadly our anti-fraud systems are insufficiently quick to deal with this stuff, but my hope is that eg. Google's Anti-Phishing team are faster.

2017-03-30 Thursday.

2017-03-29 Wednesday.

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2017-03-27 Monday.

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2017-03-01 Wednesday.

My content in this blog and associated images / data under images/ and data/ directories are (usually) created by me and (unless obviously labelled otherwise) are licensed under the public domain, and/or if that doesn't float your boat a CC0 license. I encourage linking back (of course) to help people decide for themselves, in context, in the battle for ideas, and I love fixes / improvements / corrections by private mail.

In case it's not painfully obvious: the reflections reflected here are my own; mine, all mine ! and don't reflect the views of Collabora, SUSE, Novell, The Document Foundation, Spaghetti Hurlers (International), or anyone else. It's also important to realise that I'm not in on the Swedish Conspiracy. Occasionally people ask for formal photos for conferences or fun.

Michael Meeks (

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