Scambusters (II): Justice, meet poetry

in #life3 years ago


Internet is trending with delightful videos put up by scambusters in action. Each one has a different method but they all share the same basic principle: keep the scammers busy so they can't scam anyone else. Oh, and make the scammer's work as miserable as possible while they're at it. Some such as Hoax Hotel do it the old-fashioned way, calling the scammers and taking them for long, twisted and infuriating rides. Others like Project Mayhem use automated flood calling to block incoming and outgoing calls from the call centers these scams are located in. Some kids just "rat" the scammer's computer directly for shits and giggles.

And then there are proper and correct IT techs like Jim Browning who let the scammers connect to his (virtual) machine while he takes control of theirs and rummages around. It is thanks to him we have a rough idea of how much money these scams bring in… the internal spreadsheet of one such operation showed profits of 700,000+ dollars in a seven-month period. Yes, that's seven hundred thousand DOLLARS for ONE single operation, see it here for yourself.

Aside from the pure entertainment value, these videos serve another important function which is to let the scammers portray themselves as they really are by letting folks hear the filth that emanates from their ratholes. The way their condescending arrogance turns so quickly to foul insults is very revealing of their true nature. They are a disgrace to their families, their communities, their people and to humanity as a whole.

Now as you watch these videos you'll see most of them are based in India. It's important to keep in mind that the reasons for this are mostly opportunistic, not because they're Hindus per se. If any other country had the same combination of factors --speak English, experience in providing call center services to English-speaking countries, high unemployment rate and laissez-faire enforcement-- then believe me other countries would do it too.

Said otherwise, scamming is a human social phenomenon made visible by the power of internet at this point in time in India, as before it was Nigeria and before that it was home-grown old-school con men and women. This is not and will never be an ethnic or gender issue so don't fall into easy generalizations. The scammer gene runs transversely through all human cultures and groups, as does the victim gene. Culture may play a part in subduing its manifestations but in this age of fakery anything goes… on an iTunes gift card.

Next --> Scambusters (III): All Stick, No Carrot