Scambaiting - The Sport of Trolling Scambags
Internet and fone scammers are a scourge but thankfully education provides a simple solution. For the most part, these scams are fairly easy to spot and/or detect when one knows what to look out for. We can then pass this information along to any potentially vulnerable loved ones and the scam market, or this particular version of it, will soon dry up.
Three thumb rules that go a long way are:
- if it's too good to be true, it is, if it's something for nothing, it's not
- unexpected automated messages wanting a call back from unknown sources, yeah, 99% that it's spamscam
- asking to be paid in gift cards, dead give away
YouTube, and perhaps others, I haven't really looked, have a few channels dedicated to 'scam baiting' where creators are calling scammers back. Here are three examples which represent three different approaches. Watching a few of these videos safely demonstrates for the viewer how the scams operate, what to expect and so on. Great way to take the mystery out of scamming and scamming itself out of the game altogether.
This dude is really quite something and I strongly suggest starting here. According to this YouTuber, his grandmother was the victim of a few scams so he wanted bring attention to the problem as well as help Karma a wee bit. Kitboga's approach is unique starting with his twofold goal:
- tie up as much of the scammers time as possible so they can't scam others
- try to frustrate them as much as humanly possible to make their 'job' miserable
- educate his viewers
He does this via various characters he's created that interact with scammers in a very witty and often humourous manner enhanced by his ability to think fast on his chair. From time to time, KB will stop and explain what he's doing, what the scammers are doing and how they are doing it among other things. Finally, Kitboga is very personable and never gets mean while still managing to deliver an admonition to the scambags.
If you are feeling real ambitious, here is an epic and often hilarious 13 part video series where he wastes an accumulated 36 hrs of their time:
This last suggestion represents how professional sounding the scammer can be and how it's more challenging when the scammer can also think quickly.
I haven't watched too many of this gentleman's videos but what I did indicate a more aggressive approach to dealing with scammers. Here are a couple of his more recent:
Jim can best be described as an ethical hacker who goes after scammers, attempts to disable their means and method while reporting what he discovers to the appropriate law enforcement agency. As an aside here, Jim's activities also give us a glimpse of the massive surveillance possibilities of the govt group. Watch what Jim can do from his home, imagine what govt types can do with endless money at their finger tips…and don't be fooled, it won't be scammers the govt group is going after…
Keep your valuables, yourself, family and friends safe from the scambags!