Congratulations! Your application for employment has approved by

Johan Craven couldnt believe his luck. Hed just received an unsolicited email, supposedly from Carnival Cruise Lines, offering him an unspecified job with the cruise line in Australia.
Craven, a skills development facilitator in Cape Town, South Africa, was interested. Who wouldnt be, when offered a chance to sail the seven seas for a living?
But he shouldnt have believed his luck and fortunately, he didnt. The offer turned out to be a scam.
Lets have a look at the deal:

Congratulations; your application for employment has approved by the management of the Carnival Cruise Line International Australia.
Endorse document is your employment contract letter; youre required to sign your contract letter and scan the last page back to us for proper recording.
Note: we have already faxed your invitation letter together with other required documents to the Sydney Immigration office Australia, for the processing of your work permit visa.
The department will contact you with visa application form or you can as well contact them via this E-mail: [redacted] to find out if they did receive the invitation letter we sent to them on your behalf.
Your contract letter, youre to sign and scan a copy back to our office for documentation and to follow up with your visa processing at the immigration office.
Note: your travel document must be ready within a month from now so we can be able to send you other needful document before end of the month.
The management
Carnival Corporation Australia

Anything about that letter look suspicious to you? You mean, apart from the bad English and the vague instructions? Nah.
Craven says the email included a contract, which asked him for personal information that could have been used for nefarious purposes. He didnt bite.
This seemed too good to be true, he says. Do you know who I can notify of this situation, so that the authorities could try and apprehend the scammers

My first thought was: How about Carnival? So I checked with the cruise line. It forwarded my email to their head of Australian operations.

It is not legitimate, a company representative said. We have been dealing with this issue for years now; they have quite a sophisticated scam going.
He added,
When we become aware of this type of fraudulent activity involving companies posing as cruise ship employment agencies, we notify law enforcement authorities in Australia as part of our standard protocol.

Also, we have a notice on the employment section of our web site warning applicants of possible fraudulent employment agencies. We also send cease and desist notices to the senders of the fraudulent emails whenever possible.

With regard to these types of incidents, we also strongly encourage recipients of the emails to report the matter to their local police which are often a better resource to make the initial inquiry and take follow-up action. We also advise individuals not to provide any further personal information to the sender of the email and never to provide monetary funds.

The idea behind the scam is that at some point, the fraudsters collect personal information or charge you a fee for processing.
Job scams are fairly common the Federal Trade Commission warns against these fraudulent offers but you dont hear about them that often in the travel industry.

On the Elliott scam-o-meter, this one is in the red zone for lowlife scamminess because these criminals are preying on the desperate. Theyre taking money from people who are just trying to get a job. Disgusting.

Can Craven contact authorities? He could, but its not clear whose jurisdiction this would be. Cruise lines may be victims of their own cleverness. In their efforts to skirt land-based regulations, there may be no obvious agency to deal with a scam like this, leaving companies like Carnival to fend for themselves.

And thats a shame, because no one deserves to have this kind of thing pulled on them, even if you disagree with some of Carnivals business practices.
So the next time someone offers you a job out of the blue, and it looks too good to be true, do yourself a favor and do a little research. Youll probably find its a scam.