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Weekly Alert  |  March 22, 2023

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Let’s Celebrate Taking Down the Scammers This week we want to celebrate the players who fake out the scammers, take down their operations, and mess with them in ways that make them squirm! Scammers need to know that they have targets on their back and they are not untouchable! Thankfully there are lots of players around the world willing and able to hit back, as well as websites to support these efforts. For example, checkout scambaiting on Reddit and (On 419Eater, click on the links at the top such as Hall of Shame and The Trophy Room.) But let’s start with a fantastic celebration by Mark Rober as a glitter bomb trap targets a scammer. The whole thing is captured on Mark’s YouTube channel. Trust us, it’s well worth your time to watch Mark’s 22 minute video!  Mark Rober:  “Glitterbomb Trap Catches Phone Scammer (who gets arrested)” on YouTube.

Sometimes we get to celebrate the complete stupidity of scammers and it warms our hearts. Such as this scammer who texted his “mum” to say that his phone stopped working and she needed to contact him using WhatsApp.  The mom wasn’t buying it!

Here are two wins for the good guys!  Watch how a team of Good Guys monitored a scam call center after hacking their security system!  The Good Guys can both see and hear what goes on in the Call Center. This team of heroes actually reached out to real people who were in the process of being tricked and told them that they are actually being scammed at that very moment!  Then this Team set a trap for the scammers and the scammers fell for it!  Enjoy this 20 minute video on YouTube!  Finally, watch what happens as this team of intrepid heroes manages to download GOBS and GOBS of scammer files and then deletes them from the scammer’s computer. The scammer then begs for his deleted files! This is fantastic as this team of heroes turn the tables on this scammer! Enjoy this 22 minute video on Youtube.

Our friend Rob has had lots of wins to celebrate against scammers.  Too bad he doesn’t keep a running record totalling the many hours of scammer’s precious time that he has wasted! This wasted time means less time spent hurting real people who are victimized by their scams.  In this sample below, Rob turned on his AI and had a woman answer the phone to speak to a scammer from India. The scammer called, pretending to represent AT&T, and offered a deal for Direct TV to the woman. But the woman he spoke with never gave him a chance to pitch his scam! Listen as she rambles and takes the scammer on a journey of topics. After about three and a half minutes, you can hear the scammer practically cry out in frustration! We’ve shortened this call to 7 minutes and 15 seconds. However this AI-created woman kept this scammer on the phone for more than ten minutes until finally, in frustration, the scammer told the woman to “go f*** yourself!” and then hung up! Enjoy!

Sometimes Rob baits the scammers himself. But often he turns on his AI Bots and enjoys listening to a computer-generated voice play with the scammers. Check out this exchange from Rob between a man’s voice created by his AI as it engages with another Indian scammer. The scammer desperately tries to get the name of the credit card from the man, but this “man” is too distracted to cooperate.  Finally, after several minutes, the scammer gives up in frustration!

Back on February 20, a scambaiter who uses the moniker Atari4600 posted the following text exchange in the Reddit Scambaiting community. (We’ve consolidated the screenshots below into 2 graphics so it is easier to read.) We LOVED how this scambaiter played with the scammer in this exchange and continued to reference one of our favorite films of all time….The Wizard of Oz!  Of course, the scammer disguised as “Janet” had no idea he was being taken for “a ride!”

Here’s one more six minute phone call between our friend Rob and a scammer pretending to be “Jonathan from Norton.”  Rob received a scam email telling him that his Norton Security software had renewed automatically at a cost of $240.  We shortened Rob’s 8 minute phone call down to a little more than six minutes.  We also removed Rob’s email address and other personal information requested by the scammers. You can hear how the scammer tried to trick Rob into installing an executable file (“exe”) on his computer that would allow these scammers to take over his PC!  This is extremely dangerous and Rob knows that very well. 

An overwhelming majority of our readers use social media, such as Facebook (Meta). On March 1 we reported on a 2022 study showing that the biggest losses suffered by victims happened through social media (and their phones.) With this in mind, check out Pleasant Green’s 14 minute YouTube video explaining what happened when he received a friend request from “Larry.” But the real Larry was already a friend with whom he was connected on Facebook!  Of course, he hit back at this Facebook Scammer!  Another common type of fraud is a job for hire scam. Check out how Pleasant Green responded to one of these scams and played the scammer for the fun of it. We’ve published an article describing more than 229 instances of this type of scam! Pleasant Green’s YouTube video gets under-the-hood and shows readers some of the tricks of scammers. Check out… A Scammer Hired Me to Work for Him and learn why this is an “advance-fee check” scam!

In case you’re wondering who scams the scammers, the answer is Scambaiters! Like our friend, Rob! Check out this 2021 article in The Guardian about this group of heroes:

Who Scams the Scammers? Meet the Scambaiters (The Guardian, October, 2021 by Amelia Tait)

Another win for the good guys, recently reported on the arrests of several members of a ransomware gang in Germany whose ransomware software evan caused the death of a man in a hospital.

And finally, Rob also shared this short text exchange that he had with someone claiming to be a friend of his named Kate. But it didn’t come from Kate’s phone number! Rob immediately recognized this as a scam and took “Kate” down!

If you’ve enjoyed seeing/hearing how intrepid heroes are hitting the scammers back, check out Kitboga’s 30 minute video called How I made an entire scam call center go crazy losing $100,000 Also, if you’re looking for more entertainment on this subject, check out Scambait Central on Facebook.  Enjoy and many, many thanks to our friend Rob and all the other scambaiters who spend their precious time and skills getting back at these low-life bastards. We know some of them read this newsletter and, to them we say…. We hope that YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS are victimized by the same scams that YOU perpetrate upon others!

Hot Phishing Scams of the Week UPS, Amazon, and Newtflix. Did you receive any of them? Check it out and protect yourself with this FREE, all-in-one tool.

Hello from Prince Herry, Weapon of Choice & “Boarder vs. Border” — We hope you enjoyed this week’s Top Story and wanted to keep you smiling a little longer…. A couple of weeks ago a Reddit user named MonkeyTrees2000 posted a wonderful message he saw on social media from “Prince Herry.” It was priceless! If you look carefully, you’ll see that the world renowned Prince Harry can’t spell his own name and has only 38 followers! Anyone can steal a photo and create a social media account using any name they want. That doesn’t mean it’s real!

For months, we’ve been warning readers against opening any attachments to emails that end in “.html,” “.htm,” or “.php.” We see these threats over and over landing in people’s inboxes. It seems that this type of attachment is the “weapon of choice” lately for the criminals who target us all!  But whenever we say “weapon of choice” we can’t help but think about Christopher Walken’s YouTube video, dancing to the Fatboy Slim song! We hope you enjoy it as much as we do, and avoid those malicious attachments!

Also a few weeks ago, our friend Rob sent us this hysterical email that landed in his inbox from the “UKBoarder Recovery Service.”  Last time we checked, a “boarder” is “a person who receives regular meals when staying somewhere, in return for payment or services”  We think they mean border.  Also, it’s endearing to think that an official UK Government Service addresses people as “Dear.” Also, notice the EXTREMELY personal details that this scammer is asking Rob to send him!

Our readers may be interested in this article about “your worst nightmare” going from horrible to worse and then the bad guy gets caught and losses in the end! This has to do with hacked and stolen data from a psychotherapy center that was then used to blackmail the people whose data was exposed!  But thankfully, this story has a happy ending! This was posted on the security service called Sophos:

    Wells Fargo, McAfee and Geek Squad! This first rotten phishing email came from a free email service in Germany, and NOT Wells Fargo bank.  The links in this smelly phish point to a website called wescononc[.]com. This domain was registered just a few weeks ago and is hosted on a server in the Netherlands.  Sounds like Wells Fargo, right?

      Freshbook is a legitimate service but it is being misused to send this phish that landed into one of our reader’s accounts. The goal is to trick the recipient into calling the scammers where the real damage can occur.  “Andy Wilson” is not the recipient’s name and there’s nothing on this email to identify the recipient, besides their email.  Also, if you read this email carefully, you’ll notice multiple English errors. Details matter!

      Here we go again! A Geek Squad email that came from a personal Gmail account. The phone number is just another scammer’s number. Move on…..

      Scamming the Scammer! You Are a Murder Suspect! In our continued support for playing with, and taking down scammers, we wanted to share a recent hysterical conversation that took place earlier this month between a scammer and a clever member of the Reddit Scambaiting community, named MHax80. MHax80 received a text message from a phone number he didn’t recognize and immediately sprung into action! Enjoy the conversation! (We certainly did!)

      Scammer: Hello

      Scammer: Hello how are you doing today I’m your delivery agent I’m here to deliver your fund worth 27.5 million USD what you have to do is send me your full nae and your house address for your successful delivery thank you

      MHax80: Good morning. This is Det. Swansea with the Coral City Constabulary Office. The person’s phone you contacted was victim of a double murder early this morning at his residence. This phone has been taken into evidence. Please advise what delivery service you are scheduled to make/made as this is being investigated as a robbery/murder

      MHax80: Hello? Please respond or we will have to hand over this information to the federal jurisdiction.

      Scammer: I’m an a delivery agent I’m here to deliver your fund just get back to me with your information to Avoid wrong delivery.

      MHax80: I do not think you understand. You contacted this individual’s phone in regards to a delivery of $27.5 million within hours of him being murdered in a robbery. Please respond with your company information so I can pass it on to investigators. Please respond with your full name and company information.

      Scammer: I’m David Johnson from the UBA

      MHax80: David Johnson, again this is Det. Swansea. Do you have an alibi from 2AM to 7AM this morning?

      Scammer: But this is my first time of contacting you dear

      MHax80: Do not call me dear. This is an active murder investigation.

      Scammer: I don’t understand you please check my first message and get back to me 

      Scammer: so what are you trying to do

      MHax80: Where were you from 2AM to 7AM Atlantic Standard Time? At this point you are a suspect in this investigation

      Scammer: I don’t know what you’re talking about if you don’t want to receive your fund just let me know stop wasting my time

      MHax80: OK. I’m forwarding your information to the federal prosecutors. You are an uncooperative witness. I’ll let the feds pick you up for questioning.

      Scammer: Okay can I see the picture of the murdered one

      MHax80: Absolutely not. Are you a necrophiliac or a sick pervert?

      Scammer: Dear I don’t know what you’re talking about if you are not ready to receive your fund just let me know

      MHax80: At this point, I think your sick sexual attraction to seeing murder victims needs to be addressed by a psychiatrist.

      MHax80: Good news: You are no longer a suspect. I have the feds run a quick ping trace on your voip number. You are no longer a suspect

      MHax80 then sent the scammer this final picture taken from the 1975 film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” 

      Now THAT’s how you play with a scammer!

      Clean Up Your PC —One of our readers sent us this old email he received late last September that he found recently in his inbox. We have no idea what email address it came from but it appeared to be from an account called “Cleanup Your PC.”  It’s worth sharing because it is so unique and SO DANGEROUS!  There was no content in the body of this email and the subject line smelled putrid!  Sure enough, the email contained a “noname” attachment that was 2.4 MB in size!  This means that rather than invite you, the target, to visit a malware-laden website, these scammers sent the malware to YOU! 


      Paypal Users Get Hammered! — Wow! What’s up with Paypal?  Cybercriminals have been heavily targeting Paypal account holders with malicious texts!  Check out these 4 that have been shared with us by readers in just the last couple of weeks. Let’s start with this one that was sent from a crazy email account (mail-ppnoreply-834-152 @ heydroco[.]onmicrosoft[.]com)  to tell you that your Paypal account was locked..

      The link in this malicious clickbait points to a domain (managesppsupys[.]us) that was registered on the day the text was received. That domain is hosted on a server in Indonesia!

      Enjoy these other Paypal malicious clickbait. We think the odds are pretty high that they were all sent by the same group of cybercriminals. What do you think?

      Until next week, surf safely!

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