image from Hoax Hotel YouTube channel
Scamming is as old as humanity itself. In any group of humans there will always be individuals who prefer to prey on their fellow man than do an honest day's work. Three-card monty, Nigerian bank transfer, inked bills, fairy gold, the village idiot with an envelope full of "money"… the list goes on and on.
But before we start laying well-deserved scorn on these fowl duckers, let's give credit to the most "honest" of the dishonest lifestyles… the pure con job, no violence, the mark must willingly hand over the goods. This is not street thug coercion. This is preying on folks who fall for dumb scams. While there is no justification for scamming we cannot just ignore the issue of the victim's complicity, even if unintended, in the successful culmination of any scam. It takes two to tango.
While the Nigerians continue to search for good souls hoping for crumbs of the fortune of a recently deceased minister, India has taken top spot as the new plague on the scamblock. Fake IRS scam calls, fake antivirus computer popups, fake grant awards and similar. A common fake IRS scam involves a cold call by an "IRS agent" with a heavy Hindu accent claiming monies owed and ordering it to be paid --get this-- with an iTunes gift card. Seriously.
In such a situation, what worries me is not the scammer but the person who actually goes and buys the card.
But the problem with cold calling from the telephone book is that sooner or later the person who picks up is an IT tech or a hacker or anyone who knows a thing or two about how things actually work. A dead white guy once said something about actions and reactions, and one would think that certain people would understand the dynamics of karma. But obviously the arrogant, fowl-mouthed piles of duck excrement that run these scams have to learn this lesson the hard way. Let the dance begin!
Next --> Scambusters (II): Justice, meet poetry