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Old 3rd May 2022, 11:57 AM   #81
The Atheist
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Sure, that’s what is going on in these cases.
Clearly is. They didn't sell assets, they didn't take out mortgages - they had 1/2 a mio sitting around waiting to be scammed off them.

Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
How the hell do you know the victim could "afford" to lose half a million?
See above.

Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
It could well have have been the majority of her assets—what she was planning to retire on in a few years. Now it's all gone, and she may have to work for the rest of her life because she can no longer afford to retire.
Tragic, I tell ya.

I'll save my concern for the significant percentage of Kiwis who don't have the luxury of half a mio to waste and are already living in state accommodation.

Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
Please try to be more empathetic.
No, I save it for deserving cases, not women who pay half a million bucks thinking they might get laid for it.
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Old 3rd May 2022, 01:53 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
That is one of the tell-tale signs!
Love Bombing: A Narcissist's Secret Weapon (Psychology Today, April 13, 2018)
Spotting Narcissistic Love Bombing: What It Is - and Isn't (PsychCentral, March 10, 2022)
I saw the flag. He wanted to marry immediately. I said, wait a year. The thing about the tag, 'narcissist' is that it has only come into vogue in recent years. I tend to resist the term as every second person seems to get the label. However. I never thought my ex- was narcissistic because he was incredibly empathetic. But. Years later, I think again, as although it was me that ended the marriage, I was the one who was devastated, whilst he was in a new relationship within weeks. Looking back now, his empathy was likely an act as I saw flashes of coldness and callousness towards anyone who crossed him. He smashed the place up when I said I wanted to end the marriage. Now, looking back at it objectively I think he may well have been a narcissist as he often applied to appear on television, on various quiz shows, such as 'Countdown' and 'Mastermind', and he did well enough to keep returning. Another clue is I sensed that he was in cahoots with his sister, who was thoroughly status conscious and calculating. Ah well. Such is life!
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Old 3rd May 2022, 08:04 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
Nonsense. Plenty of humans have cons attempted on them and don't fall for them. And that's after the con artists filter their selection down to the best targets and don't even try on the others.
Brushwood goes into it in excruciating depth on his podcast World's Greatest Con (which I recommend), but the point of the statement is that con artists trade on perfectly normal and reasonable human responses in order to pull their cons. You don't have to be stupid to fall for a con, and not everybody who falls for cons is stupid.

Incidentally, Brian Brushwood is a name that should be familiar to anyone who's been part of the skeptical movement for a while. He was a good friend of James Randi and attended several TAMs. Here's something he said on Point of Inquiry that is relevant to the discussion:

Quote:
Part of the reason I love educating the masses as how to deceive is from my experience, because I got into magic before I took this pseudoscience and paranormal course, so I had these tools on how to fool people and I just had this vague understanding that people are really easy to fool, and it's not that we are broken, or dumb, or bad, or whatever. It's that the brain is built a certain way and magicians take advantage of that. And, it was only after taking the pseudoscience class that it crystallized everything and I realized that that's exactly what scam artists do as well. So, if I can get more people familiar with the tools and familiar with how easy it is to deceive other people, maybe more people will begin to question their own experiences.
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Old 3rd May 2022, 08:52 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
...but the point of the statement is that con artists trade on perfectly normal and reasonable human responses in order to pull their cons...
Not buying it, sorry.

There's nothing normal about being so besotted with someone - in the flesh or on the internet - that you'd give him five hundred grand without so much as having ever touched him.

Those women were screaming to be scammed and deserved every cent of their losses.
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It's free to start one - has none of you compassionate souls got enough sympathy to spend five minutes setting one up?
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Old 3rd May 2022, 09:06 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Not buying it, sorry.

There's nothing normal about being so besotted with someone - in the flesh or on the internet - that you'd give him five hundred grand without so much as having ever touched him.

Those women were screaming to be scammed and deserved every cent of their losses.
Uh, that’s the most normal human thing there is: being stupid because of an emotional state. I’d wager most of us have done something rather stupid because our emotions clouded our judgement.
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Old 3rd May 2022, 09:09 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Not buying it, sorry.

There's nothing normal about being so besotted with someone - in the flesh or on the internet - that you'd give him five hundred grand without so much as having ever touched him.
Without knowing more details about that individual case I would not leap to judgement.

And consider this. I've said that you don't have to be stupid to fall for a con. But that in no way implies that there aren't stupid people who do.
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Old 3rd May 2022, 09:21 PM   #87
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Aside from intelligence, another factor making some people more scammable or less scammable than others would be personality traits: more trusting or more suspicious. The kind of error that the latter would be prone to would be the opposite of falling for scams easily: thinking somebody's trying a scam even when they aren't.
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Old 4th May 2022, 12:00 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Uh, that’s the most normal human thing there is: being stupid because of an emotional state. I’d wager most of us have done something rather stupid because our emotions clouded our judgement.

And there are numerous other human traits and tendencies that can be exploited:

Quote:
Noted psychologist Dr. Robert Cialdini has written extensively on the science of influence. In his seminal work, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Dr. Cialdini identified six “universal principles of influence,” which scammers use to subtly persuade people to do certain things. Cialdini’s six principles include:

1 Reciprocity: The natural tendency to repay others for providing us with something. Studies show that when someone receives something, they feel obliged to reciprocate. For example, social psychologists have found that giving a mint at the end of a meal can increase tipping by 20%.
2 Consistency: Most people value reliability in others and try to be reliable themselves. Therefore, people are motivated to be consistent with their prior statements or actions, and after someone makes a choice, he is apt to behave consistently to justify that decision. Scammers take advantage of this desire to be consistent by initially asking for something small and inconsequential but then asking for more later.
3 Social Proof: When someone is unsure, he is apt to look to others for cues as to how to behave. Even when someone is confident in their beliefs, consensus opinions can be very persuasive, and the more people are taking action, the more correct that action will seem.
4. Liking: People are more likely to say yes to someone they like than to a stranger, but even a stranger can be persuasive if he is perceived as nice. Therefore, scammers spoof or hack email accounts to send phishing emails to that person’s contacts hoping that the victim’s friends will be more likely to respond positively to a friend.
5. Authority: People are more likely to say “yes” to those seen as authorities or experts. In Stanley Milgram’s famous study, the experimenter convinced volunteers to deliver (what they thought) were electric shocks to other subjects who failed to answer questions correctly. The study demonstrated the powerful ability of those in authority to control others. Scammers may pose as an authority figure, such as a top executive, and demand quick action. When combined with urgency, people are often afraid to say no to an authority figure.
6. Scarcity: When something is perceived to be in short supply, we are more likely to want it. For example, in one experiment, subjects judged cookies to be more appealing when there were only a few left. Scammers will take advantage of our desire for things in short supply by putting a time limit on their offer or by telling people that their account will be deactivated in 24-hours if they do not immediately respond.
Social engineering can be difficult to resist because it is based on our natural tendencies, such as curiosity, respect for authority, and desire to help our friends. By being aware of these powerful psychological principles at play, people can better protect themselves and avoid falling prey to scammers.
Why So Many People Fall For Scams (Morris Psychological Group, Oct 12, 2021)

Of course, you are way too 'smart' to be scammed. Think again. (CNBC, April 30, 2018)
Here’s why smart people can fall for online romance scams (Melbourne Investigations)
Why smart people fall for investment scams (Forbes, Oct 20, 2014)
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Old 4th May 2022, 03:03 AM   #89
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Scottish philosopher David Hume said, “Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.”

So in other words, what drives the search for happiness? Plato said we each have 'another half', so part of being human is to find one's 'other half', as clichéd as that seems. So, if one has a passion for the theatre, for example, or opera, meeting someone who also has the same passion becomes a 'reason' for falling for them. So, a romance scammer will assess - rather like a salesman - what are mark's values, what they looking for in a partner. I had a temp summer job which entailed going door to door trying to persuade people to subscribe to Encyclopedia Britannica (this was when it was fashionable to have them as hard backs). The training included which key words to mention. How to counter resistance. (Too expensive? Say there are instalment plans; say it is 'just £1 a day', mention the neighbours down the road have just signed up, and so on. This wasn't a scam but it was heavy salesmanship. I recall one woman with small kids, barely any furniture, looking at us incredulously when it was obvious she was brassic. I only lasted two weeks as a sales person has I didn't like being pushy or having to sell anything.) So a romance scammer will try to work out what you can afford and will describe themselves as great value (house in France, divorced, grown up children, educated, refined, etc., etc) to gain attention and then they will sift through the best offers. From what I have read in articles is that they often work as organised crime gangs, so a person, usually female, falling for their online charms, could actually be corresponding initially with more than one individual, so one thing to look out for is a variation in writing style. Another thing to look out for is personalisations. People fell for the Nigerian banking scams because of the atrocious spelling and grammar, paradoxically enough. Perhaps it made them seem more like real people than faceless organisations with standard business speak. Personally, I can spot an email scam a mile off, being of a sceptical bent, but I can see how the scammers only need to succeed with one mark, say, in a thousand for it to be worth their while in monetary terms. So if they try out the same scam, say an online romance advert, they can try the same spiel of suddenly needing a 'loan' to help them out of a tricky spot and only need a few hundred every year out of literally thousands of such fake profiles to earn a steady income from a con. ISTM though, that it is the dating apps that earn the most income, as the business model seems to be sign up and add your profile for free. However, if you actually want to connect with someone, then you have to start paying. Problem is half the attractive profiles are possibly fake or impossibly gorgeous and no way will you be the lucky one. But think about it. You are chosen by someone impossibly handsome, rich, educated, refined, holiday house and yacht in an exotic resort, lovely head of hair, sparkling white teeth, dimples in each cheek and a chiselled chin, suntanned toned physique, laughing eyes, tumbling hair, demonstrates a GSOH. It is easy to see how someone naive is flattered and open to being scammed!
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Old 4th May 2022, 03:52 AM   #90
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It doesn't concern scammers what people can afford. They will ask their marks to beg, steal and borrow to get the money they don't have.
At this point in time, professional scammers must have templates to be used for almost every step of the way, appealing to every possible vulnerability. And they are still learning. Soon bots will be able to handle most of the process. Maybe they already do.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 4th May 2022, 04:02 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
It doesn't concern scammers what people can afford. They will ask their marks to beg, steal and borrow to get the money they don't have.
At this point in time, professional scammers must have templates to be used for almost every step of the way, appealing to every possible vulnerability. And they are still learning. Soon bots will be able to handle most of the process. Maybe they already do.
Indeed. It is not that different to any other kinds of manipulation from gambling to alcohol to religious cults, conspiracy theories to MLM and selling crypto/NFTs.
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Old 9th May 2022, 03:59 PM   #92
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scammers who target the young

"Internet blackmailers are increasingly duping young men and boys into sending them sexually explicit content online by posing as young girls on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram and then extorting them in a scheme known as "sextortion" — and dozens of these cases have ended with the victims taking their own lives, police and child advocates told NBC News." link

I realize that this is a little different from what has been discussed so far, but there are some similarities as well, in the sense that money is changing hands due to a con. Apologies to the OP if this is off-topic; I have no intent to derail.
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Old 10th May 2022, 02:31 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
"Internet blackmailers are increasingly duping young men and boys into sending them sexually explicit content online by posing as young girls on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram and then extorting them in a scheme known as "sextortion" — and dozens of these cases have ended with the victims taking their own lives, police and child advocates told NBC News." link

I realize that this is a little different from what has been discussed so far, but there are some similarities as well, in the sense that money is changing hands due to a con. Apologies to the OP if this is off-topic; I have no intent to derail.
Kinda related.

I always wonder how many moron males send Bitcoin to the scammers who claim to have hacked their PC and taken video of them wanking to porn, or worse.

I'm guessing there will be at least a few. We know people have been falling for the Nigerian scam since they were sending them by fax, so the pool of marks is pretty deep.
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Old 11th May 2022, 12:21 AM   #94
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Referring to this post http://www.internationalskeptics.com...2&postcount=32

Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
She's probably already guessed it was you.
"Dana" came in to the shop today when I was there - I'm semi-retired now and my daughter owns the business so I'm not there every day.

You were right on the money - she had guessed it was me. She wasn't at all cross with me, and actually wanted to thank me earlier for warning her, but had felt too ashamed and embarrassed to approach me about it.

Makes me feel better about doing the right thing and not letting her become a victim.
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Old 11th May 2022, 12:36 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Referring to this post http://www.internationalskeptics.com...2&postcount=32



"Dana" came in to the shop today when I was there - I'm semi-retired now and my daughter owns the business so I'm not there every day.

You were right on the money - she had guessed it was me. She wasn't at all cross with me, and actually wanted to thank me earlier for warning her, but had felt too ashamed and embarrassed to approach me about it.

Makes me feel better about doing the right thing and not letting her become a victim.
That is really sweet.
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Old 11th May 2022, 02:05 AM   #96
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Here is a video of how a few people are dealing with the scams. They induce the scammers at the call centres to PANIC. The panic caused more damage to the organisations than what these people did.

It is a Mark Rober's video with help from Trilogy Media. These people are the 1%.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
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Old 11th May 2022, 03:10 AM   #97
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This is an interesting example of a romance scam which was common in the UK in the 80's/90's. Undercover cops would pry on people they perceived as left wing activists. For example, a member of the 'McDonalds Two', Helen Steel, who with a friend had been handing out leaflets about the quality of McDonalds Food to passersby. She was targetted by an undercover cop who deceived her into a relationship.

Quote:
With hindsight, the environmental activist Helen Steel, a key figure in the 1990s McLibel case, can see that her life with John Dines was suspiciously idyllic.

<snip>

It was only decades after their relationship ended that she began to understand that they got on so well because Dines was using a battery of grooming techniques perfected by colleagues in an undercover police division. The undercover officers in Dines’s unit presented themselves as vulnerable and alone in the world; often they would say they were recently bereaved or estranged from their families, preying on the women’s good nature, inviting their sympathy and love.

The first time Steel went to the pub with Dines, he said his father had died very suddenly. A few months later, he told her his mother had also died unexpectedly; he said he was short of money, so she lent him the funds to fly to New Zealand for the funeral.
GUARDIAN

Now Steel was an active environmentalist and whether or not you agree with 'protesters', she obviously was not a stupid person.

It shows how effective romance scammers can be and how damaging the aftermath of their deceptive behaviour, as it betrays the most basic human trust.
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Old 11th May 2022, 06:32 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Makes me feel better about doing the right thing and not letting her become a victim.
But it should make you deeply ashamed of how inept you are at hiding your identity.

Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Steel was an active environmentalist and whether or not you agree with 'protesters', she obviously was not a stupid person.
What makes that last bit "obvious"?
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Old 11th May 2022, 07:18 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
...She wasn't at all cross with me, and actually wanted to thank me earlier for warning her, but had felt too ashamed and embarrassed to approach me about it.
I suspect this is a very common reaction, and probably works in the scammers' favor. Even if they are ultimately revealed to be frauds, I suspect many victims are too embarrassed to contact law enforcement. The scammers are probably counting on this. So in many cases, it's probably a crime with little risk of consequences.

EDIT: As for whether one needs to be stupid to fall for such scams, I'd say rather it probably depends more on where you are in life. I can certainly imagine times in my past where I'd have been way more susceptible than today. Once a long ago when I was between marriages I paid off a non-trivial debt for a young woman I had only been dating for a couple of weeks, and who broke up with me within a month or so afterward. Was I scammed? I didn't think so at the time, but in retrospect I suppose it's possible. A couple of years ago a friend of mine -- not stupid by any definition - almost fell for a catfishing scammer, developing an online relationship which (in her mind at least) was growing increasingly close and romantic, and only balking when the guy started asking for money for plane tickets so they could meet in person, medical bills for a "life-saving operation," etc. So it's probably very easy to get carried away and imagine a connection that doesn't exist -- and letting that cloud your judgement and make unwise choices with money.
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Old 11th May 2022, 08:55 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by Stellafane View Post
I suspect this is a very common reaction, and probably works in the scammers' favor. Even if they are ultimately revealed to be frauds, I suspect many victims are too embarrassed to contact law enforcement. The scammers are probably counting on this. So in many cases, it's probably a crime with little risk of consequences.

I think that is also the main reason why so few people admit to having been scammed by psychics, astrologers, homeopaths etc. It is unfortunate because their stories would be useful to other (potential) victims.
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Old 11th May 2022, 09:26 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Here is a video of how a few people are dealing with the scams. They induce the scammers at the call centres to PANIC. The panic caused more damage to the organisations than what these people did.

It is a Mark Rober's video with help from Trilogy Media. These people are the 1%.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

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Edit. WARNING. The videos contain pictures of live rats and live cockroaches.

Those vids were hilarious!

But at the same time, they were ...concerning, at a number of levels. First off, of course, as far as how apparently openly they carry on their business, these lowlifes, almost literally like it's a regular everyday 9-to-5 cubicle job. Second, that apparently the police is so corrupt that they'll do nothing about it, despite these guys sending them (the police) all of the info. Third, these guys presenting these vids are doing good work, great work, but clearly they're endangering the lives of the locals that are working with them, even as they return home to safety after only a few days spent over there, that did not come across as very nice. And four, nor did it come across as very nice --- after one stopped laughing out aloud, that is, and stopped to think a bit about it all --- that, unable to do anything to the actual masterminds, the actual folks who run these things, what they do, these guys, is stoop to playing petty juvenile pranks on the probably-lowly-paid flunkeys, I mean those poor guys and girls look like they're regular folks, only poor, who're somehow doing what they can to scrape together a not-very-easy-to-come-by living in a poor country. I mean, I know why they're doing this, to get visibility for a laudable project (of shutting these scumbag operations down), but that they should do it by targeting those poor lowly flunkeys as opposed to the actual masterminds, the owners, of these enterprises, that comes across as ...somewhat troublesome.

But it's fascinating, and I've earmarked both vids, so that I can go back later and watch more of these.
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Old 11th May 2022, 09:42 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
But it should make you deeply ashamed of how inept you are at hiding your identity.
A little disappointed, perhaps. Ashamed, not at all. How else could I have hidden it? I used a burner email that was untraceable back to me without a fairly thorough investigation and good internet sleuthing skills... skills that, if had Dana possessed them, she would never have been caught in the scam in the first place.

And after all, she didn't find out, she guessed. The list of people who had seen those photos was very small.
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Old 12th May 2022, 01:10 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
But it should make you deeply ashamed of how inept you are at hiding your identity.

What makes that last bit "obvious"?
The fact she was aware of her surroundings and how the corporate bodies exploit people's expectations. For example by cynically mass advertising by targetting people's insecurities. Given how many people sleepwalk their way through life, you have to be pretty aware of what is propaganda and inculcation. Sure, Steel might actually be stupid but experience tells us she is likely middle class and well-educated.
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Old 12th May 2022, 09:54 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Those vids were hilarious!

But at the same time, they were ...concerning, at a number of levels. First off, of course, as far as how apparently openly they carry on their business, these lowlifes, almost literally like it's a regular everyday 9-to-5 cubicle job. Second, that apparently the police is so corrupt that they'll do nothing about it, despite these guys sending them (the police) all of the info. Third, these guys presenting these vids are doing good work, great work, but clearly they're endangering the lives of the locals that are working with them, even as they return home to safety after only a few days spent over there, that did not come across as very nice. And four, nor did it come across as very nice --- after one stopped laughing out aloud, that is, and stopped to think a bit about it all --- that, unable to do anything to the actual masterminds, the actual folks who run these things, what they do, these guys, is stoop to playing petty juvenile pranks on [/hilite]the probably-lowly-paid flunkeys, I mean those poor guys and girls look like they're regular folks, only poor, who're somehow doing what they can to scrape together a not-very-easy-to-come-by living in a poor country. I mean, I know why they're doing this, to get visibility for a laudable project (of shutting these scumbag operations down), but that they should do it by targeting those poor lowly flunkeys[/hilite] as opposed to the actual masterminds, the owners, of these enterprises, that comes across as ...somewhat troublesome.

But it's fascinating, and I've earmarked both vids, so that I can go back later and watch more of these.

You do know what these poor, poor, probably-lowly-paid flunkeys are doing for a living, don't you? It is not as if they are unaware that they are helping the actual masterminds, the owners of these enterprises, cheat people out of their life savings, is it?
And why do you think they primarily target people 65+?
People like the Atheist will say that the victims are dumb and thus deserve to be cheated, but they are probably just too old to be familiar with the way internet scams work. If you watch the videos, it becomes apparent that the victims are compassionate old people, whose compassion is used against them.
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Old 12th May 2022, 10:39 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
You do know what these poor, poor, probably-lowly-paid flunkeys are doing for a living, don't you? It is not as if they are unaware that they are helping the actual masterminds, the owners of these enterprises, cheat people out of their life savings, is it?
And why do you think they primarily target people 65+?
People like the Atheist will say that the victims are dumb and thus deserve to be cheated, but they are probably just too old to be familiar with the way internet scams work. If you watch the videos, it becomes apparent that the victims are compassionate old people, whose compassion is used against them.

Agreed, absolutely. Like I clearly spelt out myself, it's great what these guys are doing, and I realize these juvenile pranks were basically geared towards getting eyeballs, in hopes that that greater visibility would make it more and more difficult for the local, and corrupt, law enforcement agencies to turn a blind eye to what's happening.

As far as my comment about the "poor, lowly-paid flunkeys": Have you actually seen all of the videos? They were hilarious, sure; they were made in a good cause, sure; but if you think just a bit they do give you pause. If you actually see the linked videos, then you'll find --- well, at least that's how it occurred to me, at any rate --- that these (mostly young) men and women weren't hardened criminals, they were probably poor young people without jobs in a poor country, taking up whatever job they could find to make some kind of a living. Now absolutely, I'm not excusing what they are doing, let me make that very very clear: because obviously they are fully congizant of the nature of the calls they're making, and without a doubt they know that what they're doing is both illegal and morally reprehensible, targeting old folks and cheating them of their life's savings. Still, and I don't know how to express this better, there's an element of slapping down the lowest-down-the-totem-pole bad guys here, just because they're easy to reach, even though these particular bad guys, these flunkeys, while not actually good, are more like victims of circumstance themselves than actually evil, you know? I'd have liked it much more if they'd targeted the fatcat owners of those businesses instead, whose pics they clearly show in the videos, letting loose those rats and roaches and fart bombs inside their well-appointed offices and homes --- but who, of course, are well beyond their reach.

Again, and to make sure there's no misunderstanding: That bit about the "flunkeys" was an observation made in passing; and, while I stand by that incidental observation, but in the main I do support what these guys making the vids are doing, absolutely: and I hope their efforts will end up either getting the people who're behind these scamming organizations arrested, or at least that things will get so difficult for them that they're forced to shut shop for good.

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Old 12th May 2022, 08:51 PM   #106
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You think that "they were probably poor young people without jobs in a poor country, taking up whatever job they could find to make some kind of a living." And that "there's an element of slapping down the lowest-down-the-totem-pole bad guys here, just because they're easy to reach, even though these particular bad guys, these flunkeys, while not actually good, are more like victims of circumstance themselves than actually evil, you know?"
But 1) they don't seem to care about scamming the lowest-down-the-totempole people, which 2) makes them perpetrators rather than victims of circumstances. There are people much poorer than that in countries like India and Pakistan.

You say, "I'd have liked it much more if they'd targeted the fatcat owners of those businesses instead." And so would the makers of those videos. At least, that's what they say.

Consider what actually happened to those alleged "victims of circumstances" as well as "the fatcat owners". They were 'slapped down' with what amounts to a prank: glitter bombs, stink bombs, rats and cockroaches at their office, little more than a temporary diversion in their busy lives as scammers. At worst, a slight inconvenience. Does it look like a traumatic experience that will haunt them for the rest of their lives?

And consider that, at least according to the makers of the videos, the compatriots of those scammers find their activities despicable.
And they're not just in India and Pakistan.
Busting phone scammers: Police raids shine light on overseas call centres (CBC, Feb 15, 2020)
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

Fraud Fighters: Hackers expose illegal call centres and phone scams (CBC, April 9, 2022)
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

It certainly doesn't solve the problem of poverty in third-world countries.
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Old 13th May 2022, 07:59 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
You think that "they were probably poor young people without jobs in a poor country, taking up whatever job they could find to make some kind of a living." And that "there's an element of slapping down the lowest-down-the-totem-pole bad guys here, just because they're easy to reach, even though these particular bad guys, these flunkeys, while not actually good, are more like victims of circumstance themselves than actually evil, you know?"
But 1) they don't seem to care about scamming the lowest-down-the-totempole people, which 2) makes them perpetrators rather than victims of circumstances. There are people much poorer than that in countries like India and Pakistan.

You say, "I'd have liked it much more if they'd targeted the fatcat owners of those businesses instead." And so would the makers of those videos. At least, that's what they say.

Consider what actually happened to those alleged "victims of circumstances" as well as "the fatcat owners". They were 'slapped down' with what amounts to a prank: glitter bombs, stink bombs, rats and cockroaches at their office, little more than a temporary diversion in their busy lives as scammers. At worst, a slight inconvenience. Does it look like a traumatic experience that will haunt them for the rest of their lives?

And consider that, at least according to the makers of the videos, the compatriots of those scammers find their activities despicable.
And they're not just in India and Pakistan.
Busting phone scammers: Police raids shine light on overseas call centres (CBC, Feb 15, 2020)
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

Fraud Fighters: Hackers expose illegal call centres and phone scams (CBC, April 9, 2022)
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

It certainly doesn't solve the problem of poverty in third-world countries.


ummm, I don't know that I want to go to town arguing this out with you, because it isn't even that we really disagree. Not for a moment am I condoning what those "flunkeys" are doing; and nor do I suggest that this is some kind of solution to their poverty; nor even that there aren't much poorer poorer languishing there than these guys (and girls). Like, as far as maybe 95% of what we're saying here we're in full agreement; it's just, like maybe 5% of this where we're in some ...not quite disagreement, because it is more a feeling thing, but of different minds, as far as this nuance.



I don't know, I can only try to restate where I'm coming from by using another (hypothetical) example. If you've got a gang, or maybe a mafia kind of organization, that's out doing really heinous stuff, much worse than what these guys are doing, like maybe peddling drugs, prostitution, extortion, the whole deal, really really bad stuff. And that organization employs some people to do the comparatively light stuff, like maybe some day-to-day accounting, or keeping tabs on who owes how much in terms of extortion, or maybe even making ransom calls. All horrible stuff, absolutely; but done by people who're maybe pushed to this by general poverty and general lack of opportunities, not really evil or really bad, but certainly lacking in the moral fiber that can clearly discern right from wrong, and the spine and strength of character to clearly reject the wrong.

Well, in such a situation, if being unable to actually collar the big bad guys, you limited yourself to playing pranks on these flunkey types; then while I'd applaud, while I'd appreciate the larger purpose (which is not really just to play cheap pranks, but to get to the wider visibility that will hopefully help to make it difficult for a corrupt law enforcement to keep turning a blind eye to what's happening), but, and like I said, I'd feel happier if it had been the fatcat big-boss types that were targeted, rather than the (relatively) harmless flunkey types. (To say which is not to downplay the real "harm" these guys are perpetrating, not for a minute.)

Anyway, I won't argue this beyond this post, because like I said, I'm not going to keep on arguing on behalf of these scumbags, that's not a role I fancy myself in. I'm not really defending them at all, and like I said maybe 95% of this business we're in full agreement about, you and I. It's like maybe this small nuance, where in spite of everything I have some amount sympathy for these lowly-flunkey types --- who seem to me to be morally compromised, sure, lacking in moral fiber, sure, lacking in spine to do what is right and eschew what is wrong, sure, but still kinda sorta victim of their poverty and general lack of opportunities rather than out-and-out bad guys --- a sympathy that you clearly don't feel (and I don't blame you in the least for that!).

So yeah, as far as that small nuance, it's a "YMMV" thing I guess.

And I fully realize these guys, these "flunkey" types, don't really paint a very pretty picture, so, yeah, beyond this post, and beyond having clearly spelt out my position, I'm not going to be defending them any more after this. (Not that I'm really defending them even now, per se, even now! Just, a bit of a small sneaking sympathy for their situation: So that I'd have laughed far more unreservedly if those fart bombs and rats and roaches had got those lowlife fatcats running around inside their plush offices and homes, rather than these lowly underlings).
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Old Yesterday, 07:51 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Referring to this post http://www.internationalskeptics.com...2&postcount=32



"Dana" came in to the shop today when I was there - I'm semi-retired now and my daughter owns the business so I'm not there every day.

You were right on the money - she had guessed it was me. She wasn't at all cross with me, and actually wanted to thank me earlier for warning her, but had felt too ashamed and embarrassed to approach me about it.

Makes me feel better about doing the right thing and not letting her become a victim.
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Old Yesterday, 08:05 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Those vids were hilarious!

But at the same time, they were ...concerning, at a number of levels. First off, of course, as far as how apparently openly they carry on their business, these lowlifes, almost literally like it's a regular everyday 9-to-5 cubicle job. Second, that apparently the police is so corrupt that they'll do nothing about it, despite these guys sending them (the police) all of the info. Third, these guys presenting these vids are doing good work, great work, but clearly they're endangering the lives of the locals that are working with them, even as they return home to safety after only a few days spent over there, that did not come across as very nice. And four, nor did it come across as very nice --- after one stopped laughing out aloud, that is, and stopped to think a bit about it all --- that, unable to do anything to the actual masterminds, the actual folks who run these things, what they do, these guys, is stoop to playing petty juvenile pranks on the probably-lowly-paid flunkeys, I mean those poor guys and girls look like they're regular folks, only poor, who're somehow doing what they can to scrape together a not-very-easy-to-come-by living in a poor country. I mean, I know why they're doing this, to get visibility for a laudable project (of shutting these scumbag operations down), but that they should do it by targeting those poor lowly flunkeys as opposed to the actual masterminds, the owners, of these enterprises, that comes across as ...somewhat troublesome.

But it's fascinating, and I've earmarked both vids, so that I can go back later and watch more of these.
I haven't even clicked on the ones linked to above in this thread. But I have viewed a number of videos probably very much like these. After a while I began to get the impression that they could well be manufactured. Especially in cases where the 'scammer' was only heard on the phone, and a really similar voice came through time after time. With high view counts on YT resulting in a decent income, there's certainly an incentive to make fakes.
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Old Yesterday, 08:20 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by Lurch View Post
I haven't even clicked on the ones linked to above in this thread. But I have viewed a number of videos probably very much like these. After a while I began to get the impression that they could well be manufactured. Especially in cases where the 'scammer' was only heard on the phone, and a really similar voice came through time after time. With high view counts on YT resulting in a decent income, there's certainly an incentive to make fakes.

And I suppose the phone calls I receive daily from "Microsoft tech support" and "The internal revenue department" and "Your vehicle service" and "Discover card" (most of them in voices sounding very much like in those scam call videos) who never seem to actually have any idea of who I am or what computer, tax status, vehicle, or credit card I actually have, are just local teenagers up to their youthful high-spirited zany hijinks.
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Old Yesterday, 09:02 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by Lurch View Post
I haven't even clicked on the ones linked to above in this thread. But I have viewed a number of videos probably very much like these. After a while I began to get the impression that they could well be manufactured. Especially in cases where the 'scammer' was only heard on the phone, and a really similar voice came through time after time. With high view counts on YT resulting in a decent income, there's certainly an incentive to make fakes.

Hm, I hadn't actually considered that possibility. It would be ironic indeed, if someone who says they're out hacking and exposing scammers, turned out themselves to be scamming us for the "eyeballs" and the resultant revenue.

Personally, though, I really don't think that's the case. I mean, sure, I don't actually have real evidence either way, either that those expose vids are authentic, or that they're fakes; but still, I've watched quite a few of them myself since, and I guess my gut feel is that they're above board. Again, it could well be that I'm wrong, and that you're right: just, my instincts are that they're the real deal.

What really really gets me is how utterly, completely corrupt must the concerned law enforcement agencies be. All of this evidence already presented to them, to begin with, as they claim; and all of these further presented to law enforcement in the US after that (and presumably again passed on from there to the relevant local agencies); and finally all of this stuff now floating around openly like this online. How the hell do they not lock these guys up, and the actual fatcats, and shut these scumbag operations for good? This level of corruption boggles the mind. (Of course, always provided that the vids aren't, like you suggest, fakes.)

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Old Yesterday, 12:32 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Lurch View Post
I haven't even clicked on the ones linked to above in this thread. But I have viewed a number of videos probably very much like these. After a while I began to get the impression that they could well be manufactured. Especially in cases where the 'scammer' was only heard on the phone, and a really similar voice came through time after time. With high view counts on YT resulting in a decent income, there's certainly an incentive to make fakes.

Even these? I don't think CBC would get away with making fakes, and I think that fakes would be called out on YouTube.
Why don't you link to the videos that you think might be fakes?
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