Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Ever gotten a strange pop-up claiming your computer has a virus? Gotten an email supposedly from Microsoft or Amazon that looks shady? Received a phone call where a person with an Indian accent claiming to have an American name tells you something is wrong with your computer, or that you have a refund from Amazon? Most likely, you are about to get scammed.
These scammers typically will request access to your computer via remote desktop software, and they will take advantage of people lacking detailed knowledge of their computers and the Internet. They particularly prey on the elderly and most of them lack any compassion whatsoever. They will take the last dollar from a disabled veteran and laugh at the “stupid rich American.” The Indian justice system is overwhelmed and has even more cases of buying their way out of jail than ours. Seemingly, there is no solution.
Enter a group of hackers and pranksters who fight back. This type of cyber-vigilante justice is known as scambaiting.
The most basic type of scambaiters are those that waste the scammer’s time. Kitboga is one of the best at this. Here he is taking apart a utility scammer – with the Cashapp team on chat with closing accounts as before they could be used.
Then you have the actual hackers. They will often steal and delete the scammer’s files, lock the scammer’s computer, or in some cases upload malware/viruses onto the scammer’s machine. It’s very satisfying to listen to scammers rage as their records go up in smoke, and their computer is rendered completely unable to boot up. These guys will often dox the scammer and use their records to warn people of the scam. Sometimes they are able to stop the scam in real-time – warning the victim just in time.
ScammerRevolts is a mix of hacker and prankster. He likes to destroy scammer computers then call them to mock the scammer. It’s juvenile, sure, but intensely satisfying. Most of his work is not CoC compliant in language – he learned enough Hindi to curse fluently. This is a compilation of some of his best work – definitely profane language there, so you have been warned.
Scambaiter is a Dutch hacker who has utterly wrecked scammer cell centers. He’s dedicated and relentless, and works hard to defeat scammers as thoroughly as possible. He’s saved several victims in the nick of time, and he’s one of the two people in the field I donate money toward. The following is one of his best videos. [Content Warning.]
The grandmaster of the field is Jim Browning. His name is feared in scammer circles, because he is scarily competent as a hacker. He was doing what the above hackers do today back in 2017. As for now, he gets detailed information on scammers, dissects the scam strategy, and reports it to the police. He always takes care to help the victims or to stop the scam however possible. [Content Warning.]
His crowning achievement involved managing to gain complete access to a scam call center, including surveillance cameras and all financial records. He got significant help from Indian colleagues, including drone footage and in-person visits. (Most of these videos have Indian people in the comments cheering on the scambaiters, because they hate the scammers.) He brought in the BBC Panorama news team, who went over to India to investigate. (Actual investigative journalism – will wonders never cease?) The resulting bad publicity got the people in charge of the call center arrested. [Content Warning.]
With all of the mayhem in the political world, I figure you might enjoy some stories of justice being done, and criminals getting payback. Also, if you can help share knowledge of the scams with friends and relatives, we can all help stop the scammers.Published in