Confessions of an Online Scammer
(update: I ended up finding this old article and I thought it was a good idea to update it and re-post it. It contains great information about scammers.)
The internet has become the ideal house for scam artists. Many of us have suffer from it, some of my friends and even myself. While I didn’t suffer any “real” loss, others like the Eve Corporation were destroyed by it. Granted, all this was allowed, even encouraged in the cruel world of Eve Online. Now, let’s delete that fine line of “internet security”, what happens now?
A fair warning, this interview is rather long (around 37 minutes) and should be watched with that in mind. Here’s an overview taken from playnoevil:
3:00 Started in Eve Online / GoonSwarm
5:30 Scammed his own Eve Online Corporation as a Director (non GoonSwarm) stole 9B ISK in 2006
6:30 WoW Scam/Griefing casual every month of so
7:30 Lost his job and decided to sell his Eve Online Account.. he took the money and realized he didn’t have to transfer the account – there was no protection for intangible items in PayPal Terms of Service – He made $750… used it for rent.
10:00 In order to “beat PayPal”, he mailed piece of paper with invalid information… got through Paypal security and send the Shipping Tracking information (PERSONAL NOTE: my company used physical shipments to validate shipments of license keys to avoid fraud problems in 2003).
11:45 Scammers “networking” to develop tactics… Paypal changes and protect buyers, not sellers. Reverse scam to a “Buyer Scam”: Buy Item, dispute sale, Resell the account quickly
13:30 Started identity theft … used stolen name and SSN, to set up fraudulent paypal account tied to his Real bank account + fake ID (there is no cross verification of account names – Marcus is currently checking to see if this weakness still exists)…Patrick worked in HR as recruiter… had info of anyone who applied for a job at the company (IT IS SCARY HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR NAME AND SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER) then close Paypal account quickly before they put in a dispute… age 21,22. Blames economy, desperation – rent & food problems.
16:30 – All you need to create a PayPal account is a name & SSN (and your own bank account)
16:50 – $10 to $20K in one year… was active for one year.
17:30 – Why he was not caught – only small transactions… keep it under $1000. Paypal “caught up with him” eventually – then he started using other peoples accounts.. that is why he stared ID theft (but they didn’t validate account, see above)
19:00 – Paypal is so easy, much easier than direct deposit or wire transfer… a lot of scammers only do this (scamming) once.
20:00 – Last Scam / Biggest Scam – started getting scared. Meet girls “get them to love him” and use their Paypal account (or get them to set up a Paypal account). “Most interesting” found he actually liked the girl. Got a real job and paid her back. Realized what he was doing.
22;15 – Other most exciting was the first one. When you make over $500,… a “means to get by”.
23:20 – Security advise… copy of drivers license & prove its actually the person… TrustWho works (NOTE: run by MarkeeDragon – 99.7%).. if they’ve never done any sales before on the site, don’t trust them… reputation at sites is a problem if you haven’t done a sale before… TrustWho really “ruined his (scam) business”. He was not able to get TrustWho verified.
29:30 CraigsList is great place to scam people. Get 18 year olds with fresh money (after graduation).
30:50 – Successful transactions in past, get drivers license (repeat)… scary how many people have your drivers license and SSN
33:00 – Wrapup by Marcus Eikenberry – scamming women, HR attacks, name & SSN is all it takes
Remember scams can take multiple faces and I have been fooled countless times for being too nice, generous or simply giving people another chance. However, there is this 1% chance that the other person will not take advantage of you and when that happens is one of the most amazing feelings in the world. Every time that happens I regain hope in this world, this society we live in. As humans; as brothers and sisters.