#012 - Scamming the Scammers - How Scammers Innovate /w Jim Browning

Show Notes

Episode Contents

 

In this episode I talk to Jim Browning and cover some of the following topics:

  • What types of scams there are, how they work and how my guest fights back,
  • Why fighting scammers isn‘t as fruitless as you might think,
  • How my guest infiltrated a large-scale technical support scamming operation that was then aired on the infamous BBC documentary „Panorama“, leading to international press coverage and arrests,
  • What the underlying business model of these scamming organizations looks like and how lucrative this business really is (spoiler: it‘s staggering!),
  • Where most of these scams originate from and who their victims are,
  • What some of most creative and dumbest scams were that my guest has encountered,
  • How scamming organizations have evolved over the last decades and how they are innovating and embracing new technologies,
  • How to effectively combat scamming and better protect yourselves from being scammed,
  • What type of mindset one needs to have in order to have success in the scamming industry.

 

Summary

 

Fraud itself has been around for as long as humans existed. I believe the first recorded instance comes from 300 BC, in Greece, when shipping merchant Hegestratos changed the world by attempting to con the insurers of a shipload of valuable goods by sinking his boat but keeping the cargo, and claiming the loss anyway. Or in 1920s where we saw the first Ponzi scheme, a form of investment scam carried out by Charles Ponzi whose name it takes it‘s name or Identity Fraud and Cheque Fraud were also prevalent in the 1900’s. One very famous example being Frank Abagnale Jr, who had over 8 identities including an airline pilot, a physician and a lawyer. This story was made famous by the movie ‘Catch Me if You Can’.

One thing to always keep in mind is that scamming like any other business (except for the fact that it is illegal), in that these scamming organization innovate and change their business model according to new trends or changes in their environment like we see now with Corona scam emails. Scammers have a very strong incentive, as it’s financially very lucrative to scam people out of their money and have no qualms about targeting old, innocent and often helpless people. So always be on the lookout.

Here are some tips to better protect yourself and are generally considered best security practices. Most of these are tips are or should be well-know:

  • Use and enforce safe password practices least 16 characters, use at least one number, one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter and one special symbol. Do not use the names of your families, friends or pets in your passwords, just to name a few.
  • If you find that too cumbersome, use a respected Password Manager such as Lastpass, 1Password of Dashlane and refrain from using dodgy or suspicious looking ones. Keepass is also another good alternative, which happens to be open-source as well.
  • Enable 2FA on all accounts that have it (Authy can help you consolidate these into one app and sync them to all your devices as well as create a backup)
  • Ideally use a hardware 2FA key such as Yubikey
  • Challenge callers that are requesting any kind of personal information with security questions of your own. “What are the last 3 digits of my account number?”
  • And most importantly, be sceptical as Jim mention in the interview, along with using common sense. If something sounds too good to be true (like getting an unexpected refund), then it almost always is.

 

Now, most of these recommendations might not be new to you, but not your grandparents, who are not as tech-savvy as you are. So feel free to share this podcast episode with them or share Jim’s YouTube videos with them. Because awareness is key.

 

Links & Resources Mentioned

 

Links Mentioned

 

Articles Mentioned

 

Videos Mentioned

 

Companies Mentioned

 

People Mentioned

 

Follow/Add the Podcast Host/Guest on:

David C. Luna:  LinkedIn | XING |

Jim Browning: LinkedIn | YouTube | Twitter

Episode Transcript - Click to Expand

Note: This transcript of the episode was machine-generated and has not been edited for correctness. It’s provided for your convenience when searching. Please excuse any errors.

 

[00:00:00] Guest (Jim Browning): I have had a 15 minute conversation with a scammer using only Arnold Schwarzenegger's voice. Excuse me. I have a few more questions if you don't mind. Sure. So we are support buddy or USB diagnostic company. We provide support all Microsoft products. Don't bullshit me. I'm listening to me very carefully.

[00:00:22] I want to know what's going on and I want to know right now the computer was infected. I believe he went to some third party websites. That's the reason computer was infected. Yeah. Are you going to help me now or not?

[00:00:36] Welcome to innovation? Oak correctness, a podcast, all about innovation and transformation hosted by David Luna, author keynote speaker and founder of gamma digital and beyond. David and his guests discuss real world practical advice on how to best harness the creativity of your employees and go from idea to product, giving you unique perspectives and insights into their [00:01:00] success all while separating, hype from reality and replacing bullshit.

[00:01:03] Bingo. With common sense, let's jump right into the show.

[00:01:09] Host (David C. Luna): Welcome back to another episode of the innovation correctness podcast. My guest today is Jim Browning. That's not his real name, but in alias, he goes by to protect and safeguard his identity for the reasons I'll explain. Now, Jim Browning is an it professional who in his spare time does scampi, which is a form of internet antitheism, primarily used to thought fraud, technical support, scam, pension, scams, and other forms of fraud.

[00:01:36] And Jim investigates and fights scammers and publishes his findings on his very popular YouTube channel currently has over 1 million YouTube subscribers and almost 70 million views. As of this month, he's also been featured in a highly acclaimed BBC documentary called Panorama, where he managed to infiltrate a large scale technical support scamming operation, leading to worldwide press [00:02:00] coverage, along with several arrests of the scammers involved.

[00:02:03] Help further ado. Let's go meet Jim.

[00:02:11] Welcome to the podcast, Jim, glad to

[00:02:13] Guest (Jim Browning): thank you very much for having me say it's a pleasure to talk to you.

[00:02:17] Host (David C. Luna): So do you mind to give the listeners before we start a quick introduction of who you are?

[00:02:23] Guest (Jim Browning): Yes. So my name is Jim Browning and I'm what most people describe as a YouTuber. So I stick a lot of videos onto YouTube and those videos are by scams.

[00:02:33] And in this particular, what I do is I go after scammers. they tend to be the people who make ruble Coles, or the ones who either phone near, or try to say that there are people like Microsoft. So they typically are tech support scams. So that's the people that I go after and I upload videos of my exploits with them.

[00:02:53] Host (David C. Luna): Very interesting. So the first question I would have is, are you bored or why do you do this? what [00:03:00] drives you? Is it. Your passion. And how did you even get started in this field and what made you go down this path? And was there like a catalyzing event that got this off?

[00:03:11] Guest (Jim Browning): Yeah, I've been asked this quite a lot and I've got to say the honest answer is by accident.

[00:03:17] I have an 80 jobs, so really this isn't my day job as such, but. When I sit at home, sometimes we'd work from home. I get bombarded by scam phone calls. I think a lot of people do as well. And the reason why I got into it is really, I think to myself, surely someone can do something about these scam Coles.

[00:03:39] And I thought to myself, maybe I come on with a little bit of it background. I thought it might be possible just to find out exactly who makes the coals and perhaps even. Find out a bit more about the scammers themselves. So I couldn't really understand why they weren't being blocked. I couldn't understand why someone wasn't doing [00:04:00] something about them.

[00:04:01] I'm gonna say delved a little bit further. It became a bit more obvious why people couldn't stop these scams. So I thought maybe I can do something about it.

[00:04:10] Host (David C. Luna): I think it's safe to assume that most people think that fighting scammers is fruitless unproductive, and essentially an never ending cat and mouse game.

[00:04:19] Would you generally agree with that sentiment?

[00:04:22] Guest (Jim Browning): Yes and no. Certainly there's a lot of these scam calls. it depends very much on whether your phone number has gotten to the phone book of scam call centers. Some people get them more than others, but in my experience, I was getting them some weeks every day.

[00:04:38] And yes, it does seem like a pointless exercise, but from my own experience, very recently, some of my activity, shall we say with scammers. Has actually led to changes. And in fact, some people at the very top have been arrested as a result of some of the work in some of the videos could own to YouTube. So it's definitely not a fruitless [00:05:00] exercise may be bang away at the top of a very large iceberg.

[00:05:03] But for me, it's worth doing, because it's not just trying to stop the scammers, the reason for the of child. Is really, to make people aware of how these scums work. And I think if you know how they work, you can also defend against them. You can recognize the scum and hopefully it will stop someone being scammed.

[00:05:23] So for, to my mind, it's more than just trying to stop individuals cameras. It's really just to spread the word about that.

[00:05:30] Host (David C. Luna): And can you briefly describe how a scam or how some of these scams work?

[00:05:34] Guest (Jim Browning): Sure. Okay. there's a few different variants of these. But the most common one and probably the one that people will be most familiar you're with is if you get a call out of the blue, it will be from people who will claim to be Microsoft or your computer vendor or your broadband vendor.

[00:05:52] And it will be something along the lines of. We've hugged reports that your computer is sending viruses or your computer has a problem. [00:06:00] And it's a lead on to the scammer. One thing to take remote access of your computer on they'll persuade you that there really is some sort of problem. I'm convinced you the part with some money to fix up problem.

[00:06:12] Put the issues. There was never a problem. They're just ringing people, let random, and if you do fall for it, It's really, as a result of that scammer sounding convincing, they made it, you get lucky because perhaps you may even have some sort of problem on you associate that problem with this phone call, but the problem is Microsoft never really, he called you.

[00:06:34] In fact, what happens is they will take advantage of people who may be just. Ignorant or unaware of what computer messages actually mean. And they may just get lucky. So that's the men one, there's another few types of scams as well, but I can go into those. But the main one is these ruble calls, these calls out of the blue.

[00:06:53] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. I've often heard people say, I have a Mac, it doesn't get viruses and malware and I can't be scammed or [00:07:00] something along the lines of that is that one of the more. Common misconceptions you encounter.

[00:07:05] Guest (Jim Browning): That's definitely a myth of mine. User can fall for these scums just as easily as a windows user.

[00:07:11] There's nothing stopping the scammer, running an almost identical scum, whether you have windows or a Mac, but used to be that way, max were possibly less common. Yeah. The scammers would just ask you what sort of computer you have. And if you said Mike, then they would just hang up. But that's not the case anymore.

[00:07:28] And in fact, not only does it affect act windows and Mac computers, these scammers won't hesitate. Even if you've got an Apple iPod or any kind of Android device, they can still get in remote access to that. And in fact, it makes it life slightly easier if you've got one of these handheld devices, because in some cases it's actually easier to get access to those.

[00:07:49] So I don't think anyone's immune to this. And again, if you don't know what the scammers are saying to you, you could well, blindly just give them access without realize what's going.

[00:08:00] [00:08:00] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah, absolutely. I don't think any Mac user should feel safe or at least any Mac users just as susceptible to scams as any windows user has.

[00:08:10] So I assume that most of my listeners at least are very tech savvy and some of them might be saying, I wouldn't fall for the obvious scams. So the question is why do people even fight for these types of scams? Is it just people that are unaware? Is it elderly people? scams have been around for decades and it seems it's big business and it's very lucrative.

[00:08:32] Guest (Jim Browning): Oh for definite, big business wise, I recently intercepted I'm sorry, files from a scam call center. And this particular one was one of the larger ones, admittedly, but they had a sales target of $1.8 million per month. Holy shit. So maybe upwards of 70 or $80,000 profit per day from these sound call centers.

[00:08:56] So it is a huge business and. If you look at my [00:09:00] YouTube channel, you'll see the arrest of one scam call center owner. he was living in the lab fluctuates, literally. He was living in possibly the most expensive area and region of Delhi. He would live, he lived in an apartment building. Which had access to an 18 hole golf course on Olympic sized swimming pool on his rent was something ridiculous upwards of seven or $8,000 per month, just on rent for this place.

[00:09:29] And he drove a Porsche and he was making a huge amount of money and definitely the people at the top. We'll be making that huge amount of money. They have grit incentives to do that. They will live in the lap of luxury, but your question about why or how, or who falls for these scums? The answer is usually typically older people.

[00:09:49] People here are less tech savvy, perhaps more trusting. And I've seen from my let's just say my exploits with scammers, that the [00:10:00] people on the rolling, the scams, the people on the end of the phones will not care. Whether the person they're scamming is vulnerable in any way. I've seen them actually deliberately target people with dementia.

[00:10:12]I've also seen them, even though a victim has said, I've got diabetes, I'm legally blind. They still continue the scam. Even though they know that person is particularly vulnerable. but that said, I live without a probably for the majority of people who get scammed, it can still happen to anyone. I've spoken to people in their late teens, early twenties, thirties, all age groups.

[00:10:36] So anyone can fall for it on, yes. Tom has been around for over 10 years. I would say some variants of these scams, it, the message still doesn't really get across people. Particularly, if they see the pop up type of scam, they might even believe the message that they're seeing is genuine. And really, if you have no experience of that, it is possible to fall for these [00:11:00] scams.

[00:11:00] If you're just caught on, I'm not so discouraged to rely on.

[00:11:03] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah, it's pretty despicable in my eyes to pray on the weak and the innocent. And some of these scams that I've seen on your channel and YouTube as well are pretty creative and clever actually. And I always thought to myself, I wouldn't have thought of that.

[00:11:17] And that's, pretty clever and why don't they apply their brains to something more productive in legal, but you've answered the question is just so limited.

[00:11:27] Guest (Jim Browning): Yeah. even the call center workers. They will make money more quickly than they would in a legitimate job. So it's not really even just so much the people at the top, the people who man, the phones, they will get maybe three or four times the money that they would on sale, legitimate call center job on not only not, they get incentives, they described them as incentives.

[00:11:50] If they can glean more money out of their vehicle. DMS, they will get a direct, normally it's a percentage of the amount in dollars [00:12:00] that they scum. They will get back usually three or 4%. So it's worth their while trying to extract as much money out of each victim as they can possibly get. you can imagine if these skull, these phone calls.

[00:12:12] They will happen. They will load their dialing software with thousands and thousands of numbers. And anyone who answers the phone, they will try to convince them. They will use the same lines every single time. And inevitably they will get people who fall for it. So it's just a numbers game for them. They will keep.

[00:12:31] Dialing until they get someone who's prepared to believe them.

[00:12:35] Host (David C. Luna): Correct. To assume that this is mainly a problem of developing countries where you don't have as many good paying jobs.

[00:12:41] Guest (Jim Browning): Yes. it's, I've analyzed because I've been able to get access to scammers computers. I can tell exactly where they are and I've plotted these on a little map and in my experience at least, and don't forget, I go after the technical scammers are the ones who want access to your computer.

[00:13:00] [00:13:00] No, there's lots of other types of scams, including romance, gums, and, four, one nine, that's the advanced fi so they, the emails that purport to be some sort of African Prince who wants to share his fortune with a random stranger, those sorts of ones. Yeah. I tend not to look at a more look at them ones there, robocalls or popups on your computer.

[00:13:22] I don't know if those types of scams, 95% of them will come from India. The other few percent in my experience fall in places like U Korean or Chinese Asia. but the vast majority will be from India. And there's lots of reasons for that. One, as you say, is in general low pay, it tends to be high unemployment, but actually one of the biggest reasons is.

[00:13:47] Technical new hire ticks a little bit of that technical knowhow to set up those scams call centers on of course, because of a lot of external legitimate companies set up [00:14:00] their call centers in India, that expertise is there. And not only that, the data is there as well. So those companies will have real customer lists and although they try to protect them as much as they can.

[00:14:13] I know that theater leaks out to scam calls, center jurors, your data will be bought and sold in the black market in India. And unfortunately, if you're managed to get onto a scammer's list, that list, this will be resold rebuilt amongst potentially hundreds of other scam call centers. So soon as you start getting one phone call, chances are you're going to get hundreds of those.

[00:14:36]Host (David C. Luna): how do we fight back without you revealing any trade secrets? Because maybe there's some scammers listening to my podcast, which I hope is not the case, but just to be safe, maybe you can tell us how you fight back against these scammers. And I would assume that just having a tech background is not enough.

[00:14:54] So how do you actually it,

[00:14:57]Guest (Jim Browning): yes, the it background definitely helps. So what I [00:15:00] do is. I do think that we advise most people never to do, which is to give the scammer access to my computer. And I do this deliberately because I knew what I'm doing. what I do is I set up not a real computer, but a virtual PC.

[00:15:17] So a virtual PC is just a bit of software running on a real PC, which looks like it's a real computer. It just emulates a real computer. But the advantage with that is. I can protect the data that's stored on my real computer. I can make this fit. Computer look real, but it's quite safe, but the big advantages that I can monitor what happens on that computer and in particular, I can treat us what goes in and out of it on using that.

[00:15:44] I can find out where these connections are coming from. So I can see immediately who is trying to get access to my computer, which you can't usually do with a real computer. So that's the first step I lo the scammers access to my [00:16:00] computer. And then with my it background, I have enough tactical knowhow that because this person has given access to my computer, I can use that same connection.

[00:16:10] To go back to theirs. When they set this up, there is a two way connection on what I do is I affect it. Definitely reverse that connection without the scammer, knowing so effectively when he connects to me, my computer, I with a bit of knowhow can get back to him and I can see exactly what he's doing on his computer, on the date, get access, not only to his files, but even things like his web cam.

[00:16:35] If it has a web com and theory, I can even see him on, I've put a lot of that footage onto YouTube. And that's my, I think I'm quite a popular YouTube channel because it's not always possible, almost impossible. In fact, to normally see who it is, that's running the scams. So that's why I think the YouTube channel is popular.

[00:16:55] It's you can see what's going on from the scammers point of view.

[00:16:59] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. And you also [00:17:00] provide some very good background information on your YouTube channel, which I always find very interesting. And you're so successful actually, that you were. Recently featured in a British documentary series called the Panorama in which a large scale technical support scamming ration was infiltrated by you and a fellow YouTuber called Colorado, I believe, and was, extensively documented.

[00:17:24]that's some real FBA shit right there. how did you manage to pull that off? Did the FBI help you or how did this all take place and how did you go about this and pull this whole thing off? Inquiring minds want to know?

[00:17:37] Guest (Jim Browning): No, literally this is something that I do at home that I don't have assistance from anyone.

[00:17:42] In fact, the only reason I even could call rock involved is, he's another YouTuber. He is based in Delhi. He lives there and what I wanted him to help me with. It's the one thing that I can't get, which is video footage of the outside of the call center. So you're right. The reason why I [00:18:00] got Panorama involved is when I did this reverse connection trick, so a scammer have access my computer.

[00:18:06] I reversed that connection. See what was going on in his computer. And as soon as I did that, I noticed that they were looking at, in their own CCTV. So they had like little IP cameras set up all around their offices. Goodness and only knows why, because they're a scamming organization, but I thought, this is the first time I've ever been in April to see what goes on and yeah, the entire office.

[00:18:30] And I knew that it would probably be something that the mainstream media would be interested in. And that's the reason why I got in touch, which with Panorama or ABC documentary crew, I know one of their programs really, since I was a child and I knew that they would probably have an interest in this.

[00:18:50] And the biggest reason why I got them involved was every time I report one of these things to the police in India, little or nothing gets done about it. So I thought, If I'm able to [00:19:00] show that these people are scamming, people in Australia. Yeah. Usually UK and the USA that tends to be, yeah, we're speaking countries, but that's changing them.

[00:19:10] And even the starting nine into scamming people in Germany as well. I'm sure you may have experienced this already, but the reason why we got them involved was just that. I wanted something to be done about it. And if you have exposure where you're able to show what these scammers are doing, literally watch over their shoulders as they're scamming people.

[00:19:30] And I could hear the audio, of course, as well. I could hear people being scammed too. And I released that to the mainstream media in this. Panorama program and they were able to do the thing that I've never been able to do, which is who should mind a lot of media organizations throughout the world, let everyone see what's going on.

[00:19:48] And it seemed to be very effective. Okay. it's good television. You very rarely get that sort of footage. But the big thing that happened was. Even though I had reported the [00:20:00] operation to the police weeks before the BBC documentary went out, nothing happened, but as soon as the documentary program went live and they released the footage to a lots of media organizations, 12 hours later, there was arrest.

[00:20:13] Host (David C. Luna): And why do you think that is?

[00:20:15] Guest (Jim Browning): Whoa. I honestly, I don't know if reports from people outside India have as much wit as internal ones. My experience is that even the cyber crime reporting portals don't work properly. If you report, if you give for example, unknown Indian phone number, and that's what I think might be quite typical.

[00:20:37]if it isn't happen, my view is. If it isn't happening to someone based in India, it has less priority than the, maybe the local crimes. So that's my own experience. It could be wrong, but with this, I've hit brick walls. Every time I've tried to report these scams to the right authorities and India.

[00:20:56] But this was the exception.

[00:20:57] Host (David C. Luna): And how did the BBC [00:21:00] react or what was their reaction when you provided them with the video evidence where they're like, yeah, nice or, wow, this is exciting.

[00:21:08] Guest (Jim Browning): Really. We're quite excited because at the time that I approached one of the journalists, I have the live access to their CCTV.

[00:21:16] I was able to show them live. What was going on. And, I didn't have that access the entire time. I've only maybe had it for a few weeks, but it was certainly enough to generate interest by this was maybe a year before. The television documentary went out. It took that long to actually get the BBC with everything they need to do to get the program commissioned.

[00:21:38]so I had to sit on the footage really for quite some time before it went, before it aired, but it was definitely worth the width. I was a low, it was quite exciting footage. And it's very revealing about how the scams work. I really had to wait until the media were ready for this as well.

[00:21:56] Host (David C. Luna): And you had worldwide press coverage. I think the more admirable [00:22:00] thing here is that you had the patience to sit on that video evidence for so long or the more shocking thing is that the BBC took over a year, but. Again, that's often the case with very large organizations.

[00:22:13] Guest (Jim Browning): Yeah. There's a few things which got in the way, there were things happening in India, like riots and so on.

[00:22:19] And they had to use, for example, one of their Asian correspondents to do this, there's certain restrictions on reporting and that has to come from there. But so there was a number of things which got in the way, but eventually, I think I got the footage, Rhonda, but May, 2019. but. By the time it came to the BBC reporters confronting the skull center owner.

[00:22:40] That was probably Brian December time. I'd say the program actually went out at the start of March, 2020.

[00:22:46] Host (David C. Luna): It was definitely worth it. just for the fact alone that it was circulated around the globe by the mainstream media. Yeah. And I've even seen many foreign articles covering this story, even one, a German article and I'll link the [00:23:00] documentary in the show notes as well.

[00:23:01] Guest (Jim Browning): Indeed. It's a, I've searched for it myself. It went as far as New Zealand, as far as I can see. And yes, quite a number of other media organizations, particularly an actually Indian. Media organizations who were particularly interested in this as well.

[00:23:15] Host (David C. Luna): So if we could, beyond this very high profile case, what does some of the most creative scams you've come across today?

[00:23:23] Guest (Jim Browning): There's a few quite common ones. the one that you will probably hear most often today is a ruble Cole pretending to be. Amazon prime. And a lot of people have signed up for Amazon. This type of coal might seem believable, particularly if you're maybe expecting such a coal you've ordered something from Amazon, but the, that they will either scum.

[00:23:47]the one, yeah, that I think is probably most creative is. They will send a lot of emails, pretending that you've played. Yes, I'm a hoarder for maybe a television and or something, and you will get [00:24:00] the email and the email will simply give details of an order on union. I know that you didn't play us out order yet.

[00:24:06] It's arrived in your head, the box. And the only thing that really isn't not email. Is a phone number, but of course, if you call that phone number, the person on the end of the phone will explain to you that the reason why someone has placed that order and you're getting the order confirmation is that you've been hacked and they will start to see him or tech support scam using that route so that they can be in quite inventive that way they will.

[00:24:31] There's variants of what is essentially the same scam. There's just a few other ones as well. that one, I think it's maybe not the most clever that they keep inventing new ways of rolling the cm scam. The one that I would say there was most troubling, is the refund scam. So what happened funds is if a scamming organization, hold of a list of people who have already been scammed.

[00:24:58] So someone has already [00:25:00] got a list of names, addresses, phone numbers of people who've already paid out, possibly hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. They are a suckers list. They will deliberately target not group because they're most likely to fall for a different sort of scam. Again. And they will usually do the refund scam.

[00:25:19] So if someone has paid for technical support and even doesn't even realize they've been scammed, another group will use that list and they will say, Oh, we're going out of business. We're going to refund what you paid to us. And all you need to do is give us remote access again, and we'll reinstall this, but of course, as soon as they get that remote access, they will get the victim to log into their bank account.

[00:25:41] They will. Distract them usually and pretend they've paid and maybe they promise something like $300. They will edit the screen. So it looks as if the paid and more than that, maybe $3,000. And then they'll turn around to the victim saying, Oh, look, we've paid you too much. You're going to have to give us some money back.

[00:25:59] And in [00:26:00] fact, all I've done is just edit the screen to make it look as if they paid something and they paid nothing in. And if the victim just looks at the screen and doesn't realize that. It's a slight of hand, it's a trick. Then they might be tempted to pay these people back on. They usually ask for gift cards instead of a bank transfer because the gift card to them is a much easier way of laundering money.

[00:26:24] So you'll tend to find that these, we call them refunds cameras with bumped gift cards and they can immediately. transfer that gift card number into hard cash at their site. It's quite easy for them to do that. So on the flip

[00:26:38] Host (David C. Luna): side, what are some of the dumbest scams you've come across?

[00:26:41] Guest (Jim Browning): Yeah, there's quite a few that I would say every scum tends to be quite similar.

[00:26:45] The obviously want money, but I would say it's not the scam itself, which is dumb. It's the scammers because it's very easy to take them off their script. So when these scammers get trained up. They will, they run a very [00:27:00] set script and if you take them off out at all, they tend to fly under. you can easily wind up these scammers that they will usually ask the same questions.

[00:27:09] They'll want to stick to their script. And I've been able to use not my own voice, but little snippets of recording. So I've used, for example, Arnold, Schwartzenegger his voice. Okay. So there's websites where if you. Press a little button. He will say, I still love Easter, baby. all that sort of stuff that he would typically say.

[00:27:30] And I have had a 15 minute conversation with a scammer. Yes. Using only Arnold Schwarzenegger's voice. They are so determined to get money out of you. They will not cut on. Yeah. They're actually speaking to some sort of robot.

[00:27:43] Host (David C. Luna): So this is future me during the podcast editing. And this is the section where I asked Jim about this one time.

[00:27:52] He came across a scammer that was trying to convince him that he was connecting to the Interpol and FBI database, where the scammer was [00:28:00] activating a Hawkeye to kill all enemy vehicles. And if you think I've gone totally insane and crazy. Let me play you a short clip. So you know what I'm talking about and what Jim is referring to.

[00:28:11] And I'll link the video in the show notes as well.

[00:28:14] Guest (Jim Browning): Now you can see secure content protect that is a digital and the security authorization new needed from United States of America. Can you see out there on your, in front of your screen now? Yes. Now you can see. I have this Julia, decentrally your IP address, but you can see there is an IP address of killer IP address, two Oh five two one one one five 7.84.

[00:28:37] And can you see connecting to CIA internal database? And there is an IP trust which we have found and which we're triangulating it. So according to the security, so contents and according to activating the Hawkeye, where we can engage all the enemy vehicles, Tennessee.

[00:28:55] Host (David C. Luna): What are you talking about?

[00:28:57]Guest (Jim Browning): belongs to a security department [00:29:00] and we have found something which I need to show you.

[00:29:02] Can you see how the Interpol database? Yes, I can read. It says he lives in Gotham city, which is where Batman lives is not right. Yes, exactly, sir. But let me . Oh, yeah. So scammers will do anything to try to appear convincing. And if they have access to your computer, they can Brose a website, which all the website does is it makes it look as if you've got like hacker suits.

[00:29:36] It's actually a little animation, more than anything else. And yeah, this particular scammer decided to use that particular website. To try and convince me that I had some problem. they not only will use those sort of websites, but yeah. Vent very elaborate stories as to why you should give them money.

[00:29:54] And I even had one. Yeah. That was trying to convince me that I was going to help in [00:30:00] some sort of like investigation of. Criminals. And I was the one who was supposed to help in this. I was the key person who could help in this investigation. And what they really wanted me to do was buy all of this story.

[00:30:16] But the reason why they wanted to involve me was they were saying that the person who they suspected of doing all this criminal work worked in a bank on what I was supposed to do was go into that bank, withdraw a large amount of cash. But not tell, I would be monitored. Of course, no, I would withdraw this cash, but I wouldn't then move it to another bank account and they were going to monitor all of this.

[00:30:42] So that was my job. Yeah. As part of this investigation was to be leave money out of my account into another one. And of course, all that really does was. Getting me to move money when I shouldn't have done. So they will invent really very creative stories about why not a good idea. And if you don't have your [00:31:00] wits about you, you could well fall for that.

[00:31:03] Host (David C. Luna): We've touched upon this topic a little bit, but maybe you can give us some more insights into the philosophy or mindset of scammers and what makes them. Take advantage of often helpless and innocent victims. And what types of skills, if you will, they have to have in order to achieve success?

[00:31:24] Guest (Jim Browning): Yeah. the skills is one word.

[00:31:25]they have to park the conscience at the door before they go into their office because they will be speaking to very vulnerable people. they really. Cannot have a conscience when they do their work, because there's no way. I've listened to quite a lot of their phone calls on quite literally.

[00:31:41] I was nearly on the verge of tears, listening to them, it just, you have to have a certain mindset, I think, to be a nut job. But the skills that they need, I would say, obviously could command of English helps. Okay. That's a given. If someone can't understand them, they're not going to make a lot of money.

[00:31:57] So language skills, particularly [00:32:00] English or not in shortage in India. So that's one thing. They've got language skills, but the, probably the more important one is being convincing, being persuasive. And the way that they can do that is they will talk gently. persuasively to elderly people. They will charm elderly people, particularly, if it's mom talking to an elderly woman, for example, he will always use lines like, Oh, you sign just like my grandmother always signed much younger than you, they might tell, say their age and so on.

[00:32:32] You sign much younger than that. Oh, lovely. That's lovely. You're 91. And you still drive. That's a lovely thing. Kay. That's lovely. All right. I've never expected somebody like at the age of 90 will be driving a car. They will use all of the lines that they come to appear as if they're genuinely trying to help this person.

[00:32:53] So interpersonal scam skills are really high up on that list. And I'm certain share that the most [00:33:00] successful scammers will be the ones who will effectively charm their victims. You need to have that as a skillset. If you're rude to someone they're going to hang up to you. If you're gentle with them. If you can persuade them that something's going on, you're going now that could make a lot more money.

[00:33:16] So as I say, if you can park your conscience at the door and butter people up, you're going to make the money.

[00:33:21] Host (David C. Luna): So I guess that having good social skills pays off in almost any job.

[00:33:26] Guest (Jim Browning): 100%. Yeah. I could show you recordings where quite literally they will use similar lines whenever they're trying to refund some of them.

[00:33:35] They'll say, look, we're going to get the stone really easily. And at the end of it, you might, I'm going to send you a bunch of flowers or, you're going to buy me some I'm chocolate, that sort of stuff. it's the real soft skills that make them better scammers. That's sad to say, but that is one of the big skills they need.

[00:33:52] Host (David C. Luna): Now fraud itself has been around for as long as humans existed, but if we go deeper and here's my question, in what ways has [00:34:00] scamming evolved over the years? What types of trends or changes have you seen over the years? I remember back in the days and the two thousands, it was mainly viruses malware. Now it's ransomware botnets, rental scams on Craigslist or Corona scams, and so much more.

[00:34:17] So it seems that. Scammers are essentially also entrepreneurs and have been innovating and diversifying their scam portfolio as well. Can you elaborate on that as well?

[00:34:28] Guest (Jim Browning): Yes, definitely. They have evolved for sure. one of the things I've seen, which is definitely something new is the advent of scareware.

[00:34:39] So software, which runs on a computer. On its sole reason for being there is to put scary messages in front of a person who runs it. And aloof. For example, there may not be anything wrong at all with your computer. Scareware will deliberately. Mislead you to say that your computer has got a [00:35:00] problem on, they will do that purely to generate money.

[00:35:03]there's plenty of examples of this. And if you do a Google search for, or the word PC VAR, V a R K PC FARC, there's a whole suite of software there, which not the company designs. To scare people into buying the product and they will not only, they will push this software through very dodgy adverts.

[00:35:26] So their adverts online will suggest to you that you have got a virus when you don't. And when you download the software, it will always report some sort of problem. And even if you have some sort of query, the software itself will have a phone number, emblazoned all over the software. I'm not well to, through, to a scam call center who will continue that sort of scam.

[00:35:49] They will convince you that you've also got a problem. Because they're in cahoots with that software company. So the figure of that $1.8 [00:36:00] million per month, that came from one of these scareware manufacturers. So that is something new. I haven't seen that until fairly recently, but it's on a fairly unpleasant change to, the group who Coles and.

[00:36:14] The pyramid schemes and everything else, software based scams are definitely on the rise.

[00:36:20] Host (David C. Luna): And do you think that development or evolution comes from the fact that we, as a consumers are embracing more and more online services technology that makes our life more convenient? Or what do you think this development comes from?

[00:36:32]Guest (Jim Browning): I think it's the fact that computers are ubiquitous neither in every single home. And, people generally just surf the internet. And if you can get enough of those scary ad ferrets in front of people's faces, you are going to make more money. And even if you do an interview net search, so say you have problem maybe with your printer or even in it's something nontechnical on.

[00:36:57] If you do a Google search or Bing [00:37:00] search or whatever, and you're looking for someone to speak to about this problem that you have. If you, aren't very careful that you're through to the right support desk, you may end up speaking to a scammer. And even quite recently, I did a search for, the navigation devices, Tom, and Garmin.

[00:37:21] If you happen to type the right thing into Google, You will not get the genuine Tom, Rick Arvin Garmin website. You will get someone else. And they may have a, an internet address, a URL, which looks like the Garmin proper government website. But it isn't on, unless you're very tuned in. The person on the end of that phone will answer as if they are the genuine article.

[00:37:44] And once again, just because you've seen a result high up on a search engine, it doesn't mean you're speaking to the right people. You have to research it. I'm not as definitely an increase. the people who run those sort of scams. No, how to get their website [00:38:00] results quite high up on Google's search engine, it's called an SEO or a black hat.

[00:38:06] If you have to be very careful. How about which websites? Even Google returns. So that's one of the increasing scams it's called blackout SEO. And say, if you don't look carefully at who you're getting through you too, you may well be speaking to a scammer.

[00:38:21] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah, that seems pretty sophisticated. So have you come across what is called a BEC or business email compromise, which is a type of a scam targeting companies who essentially conduct wire transfers or have suppliers of prod.

[00:38:35] So the scammer would pose as a CEO, as a company or any executive, and then send them an email to an employee saying finance, requesting them to transfer money to the CA account that they control. Have you come across that yet?

[00:38:50]Guest (Jim Browning): it's also called whale fishing. So they will target people at the very top of the organization and they will make it look as if they're some other person [00:39:00] that maybe the research within the organization.

[00:39:02] And they will try to persuade the person that this hall. To release funds or to change bank accounts or whatever. But it's the key thing is to very targeted attack. They will. what happens is they will do a bit of reconnaissance on the business. They will understand who may be someone, the key people are unlivable, basically pretend, and to be one of the top management team.

[00:39:24]chances are, if they get some sort of edict from one person in the organization, it may not even be questioned because if they use the right language, if the use something which appears convincing, then you could fall for that scam. And it tends to be that if something comes down from what looks like the boss of the company, like to change bank accounts, someone may not question that.

[00:39:49] And we'll just do that. So yes, there's definitely that.

[00:39:52] Host (David C. Luna): And is this done by people that are much more sophisticated and skilled?

[00:39:56] Guest (Jim Browning): I would suggest more sophisticated. I would [00:40:00] say them, the scammers that I would see that sort of scam requires a fair bit of analysis. It requires a bit of research on the company and probably the people who run those sort of scans we'll know what works and what doesn't work.

[00:40:14] So they have experience in there. So yes, they tend to be more sophisticated than the ones that I would go after. Who, if you take them off their script, they really fly under. I would say it's probably a more intelligent. Bunch of people and they probably make more money out of it. There isn't another sort of scum as well, which is another unpleasant news.

[00:40:34] And it's an email best scum on what happens is someone will email you real password. So it's, or maybe not your current password, but maybe a password that looks familiar to you. And they'll surround it. And a lot of text on the tanks will be something along the lines of here's your password. It's whatever there's.

[00:40:54] And then there will be another paragraph below that saying, aye, have been able to get [00:41:00] access to your computer. That's how I've got this password. I've got all of your calls tax. I've been able to switch on your web com and I've caught you in some sort of compromising position. And they'll usually wrap it up with some maybe pornographic references or something, and then they will demand money and they will say, if you don't pay, it's such a Mito Bitcoin to this Bitcoin wallet, then I'm going to send this footage from your web com to all of your complex, because yes, I've got your contact details as well.

[00:41:30] And a lot of people have emailed me saying, hang on, this is my real password. Maybe this person really does have this sort of footage. What should I do? And in fact, this whole thing is a scam as well, because what's all that has happened is that maybe a third party website has been compromised. So you may have registered not password.

[00:41:50] On, something like Yahoo or LinkedIn or something, which has had a data breach and the scammers have get hold of thousands of [00:42:00] email addresses and passwords on the scent. Everybody on that list, the same email with their real password. they will then hold them to ransom. But in fact, the whole thing is a scam.

[00:42:10] They don't have any web cam footage. They don't have anything like that. But unfortunately, a lot of people, when they just see that password, they might be convinced that someone has broken into their computer. And that's where the password has come from. When in fact it's just a general data breach and the advice there is.

[00:42:27] If it does look like a password, particularly if it's woman, do you currently use chins that password on any website where you've used it and the real reason why this is so convincing, it's obvious it's a real password, but the thing that we ever, everybody advises everyone to do is have a different password for every single website, because unfortunately, those sort of data breaches were.

[00:42:51] Passwords get published is inevitable. It will happen from time to time. You leave yourself very vulnerable. If you [00:43:00] use that password over and over again on different websites, because that means that someone genuinely could log into your account just because you keep reusing it.

[00:43:09] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. And I think that tip alone, can't be overstated.

[00:43:12] Don't you? It was the same password for every single website. And also don't use my past for every website, which is monkey one, two, three. So I, for instance, have a separate password for each website. And a separate email for each account, but it's funny that you mentioned that email because I've received that exact email multiple times and just deleted because I know my webcams secure, at least as a protection over it, and don't be lazy and use the same password over and over again.

[00:43:44]Guest (Jim Browning): we're all human, it's the easiest thing. If you, there are certain passwords, which I remember very easily, all the ones I count to possibly, and yeah, it's just, unfortunately, even in this day and age, it is difficult to remember passwords. I rely on a bit of password [00:44:00] manager software, so effectively, I only have to remember one password and the bit of software that I use tells me.

[00:44:06] And we'll generate good, strong passwords, and I will use those and various websites, but it means I only have to remember one password, but obviously that's not the password I would use on any other site.

[00:44:17] Host (David C. Luna): And then obviously activate the second factor authentication. So something that you know, which is your password and something that you have as a hardware.

[00:44:25] Key so to speak. I think that is also something most people should have activated by default,

[00:44:31] Guest (Jim Browning): right? Yeah. it's even, yeah, that's right. That's the single biggest defense against any data leak is even if someone does know where your password, you have that second factor, a pin to your mobile on not will defend against anyone actually taking over your account.

[00:44:45] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah, it's definitely more inconvenient and we humans tend to love convenience, but it adds a much added or needed layer of skills. . So do you have some more tips or recommendations how someone can better [00:45:00] protect themselves against scammers or being scammed?

[00:45:03] Guest (Jim Browning): Yeah. I think, being a skeptic is probably the single best thing you can be.

[00:45:09]just because someone phones you up, whether or not you're expecting it, I would aye for any interview phone call that I ever get. I assume it's a scam unless the person can convince me otherwise. And that usually keeps you in good stead. Even if it's your bank forming you to say that this may be something unusual and if they ask you for example, hold on.

[00:45:33] We need to identify who you are. If they are making a call to me, I usually challenge them to say, hi, do I know who you say you are on? If you do that, a genuine organization should give you enough information that they can convince you that they're genuine. So they should be able to cook. For example, At least part of your customer number, but I would ask for a number of things, will, anybody who is legitimate color, she'd have no problem [00:46:00] telling you this is how you know that we are genuine.

[00:46:03] Okay. They will have some information on their systems, which should be able to persuade you if they can't do that, then hang up the phone, go on. If you're still unsure, whether it was a genuine call or not, you make the outbound call to that organization and just ask, Why am I getting this phone call?

[00:46:22] Who would this be? And they should be able to help. So I think be skeptical, I think is the kind of key thing here. It's always a good idea to be skeptical. You're far less likely to be a victim of a scam. If you don't take things at face value request and things.

[00:46:37] Host (David C. Luna): That's what banks do or just general organizations they'll ask you.

[00:46:41] Okay. Name the last three digit of your visa card or what's your birthday? Where do you live? And, basically just do the same with the scammers, challenge I'm on something.

[00:46:50] Guest (Jim Browning): Absolutely. Yup.

[00:46:52] Host (David C. Luna): I like to start by understanding of business and then dissecting their business model.

[00:46:57] And if we do that kind of for these scammers, [00:47:00] what are some of the like key partners, key resources, and maybe even the cost structure that they have and where do they get their revenues? Yeah, we can break down for the listeners.

[00:47:10] Guest (Jim Browning): Sure. Yeah. So Ben quite successful at, I, the reason why I put a lot of videos onto YouTube is that structure of the scam organizations fascinates me almost as much as the scams themselves.

[00:47:23] How do they go about running these things? And obviously there's bits and pieces, which are technical. they'll set up the robocall software. How do they get, even though you might be falling. A number in the USA or UK still the Colin's up in India high does all of that work. So that's one part, that's the technical part and that's fairly straightforward, but there are certain things which are needed by scammers.

[00:47:47] If they're going to take in money on the most obvious one is a payment gateway. So ultimately they need to get money from a credit or debit card or a check or from [00:48:00] a bank account number. there's only really a few places where they can do that. And those things are called payment gateways. And there are, if you want to run a scam organization, you need to be able to take in those checks, you need to be able to process credit and debit cards and say, that's where your payment gateways come in.

[00:48:19] And that really is the weak point. Typically of these scams. If you can figure out who it is that they use for these payment kits twice. And of course, all companies would use these including scammers and whatever I usually try to do whenever I actually do get access two scammers computers, his workout, who those payment gateways are, because if you can go to them with evidence that one of their.

[00:48:43] Customers is scamming people. They not only will take down those payment gateways, but there is the potential to refund the people who have been scammed as well. So that's the bit that I go for. So there's a number of layers to the organization. They need the buildings and [00:49:00] infrastructure. They need their phone calls, need the computers.

[00:49:02] That's one end. But as I say, it's the money processing that, which is really key. As I say, that is the weak point. And of course, not only would they approve processes, payments, ultimately they will have their own company bank accounts. They're wrong, very professionally as they would. They look no different to any other business.

[00:49:21] They need their own bank accounts. They need their own salary scheme. They'll have their own bonus schemes and everything else, but they will look no different. To any other organization? it depends on their size. maybe there's very small scam companies where if you pay in dollars, it will go straight into the scammers pockets, but they tend to be quite rare.

[00:49:41] Normally scam organizations are very much organized as a normal business would be proper bank accounts, proper payment gateways, proper payment processing.

[00:49:51] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. And scamming is just like any other business. They really rely on resources. And it's quite interesting that you identified one of [00:50:00] their key resources and took that out, which is basically their payment gateway.

[00:50:04] So even if they would switch, say customers, segments, we put it in business jargon, then they couldn't do anything because their revenue stream is gone because. They rely on the payment gateway to generate or transfer those revenue streams. So I found that quite interesting that you identified the weakest link and took that out

[00:50:27]Guest (Jim Browning): and date.

[00:50:27] Yeah. If there's, I mean there's booth environment, pine Coles, the robocalls, or was the pine from the scammers. There's no look you can do with that, but if the scammer is relying on. Calls back. So it may be the Ruby Coldwell beat, dial this number. If you want to refund or press one, if you want to re get a refund, if you can work out what those phone numbers are, you can, or I have done in the past, absolutely flooded those phone numbers so that there's no way real victims could get through to this number, [00:51:00] even if they tried and.

[00:51:01] There, I don't know how legal Lissa is that I, I've maybe risking a little bit here, but if a genuine scam number at one of the most effective ways of taking that out is to do that cold flooding. And there are services, which, people who are against scammers, they will operate, which will flood those numbers on realistically, take them out of action.

[00:51:25] And that is one of the most costly things. But a scam organization. We'll see if you can tie up their phone lines so that their agents who they have to pay. Anyway, aren't talking to real people, then they are losing money and say they will often have to change the phone numbers as a result of that flooding.

[00:51:44] And again, if you can figure out what the next phone number is. I'm flooded again, you can actually take an entire call center that way. And I've even got a video where we've done. Just not, we know it's a scam call center. We have very strong evidence that these people are scamming on the cold [00:52:00] flooding actually gets them to shut down.

[00:52:02] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. And I would assume that the call center agents would be the largest cost for them and the payment gateway, VoIP software, et cetera, are probably insignificant

[00:52:13] Guest (Jim Browning): in terms of cost. It's there. I would say after the payment get base, the call flooding or keeping phone numbers out of action will inevitably be the next big cost.

[00:52:23] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. I found that very fascinating on how they basically try to innovate on the same scam over and over again, and just how they. Use their business model, very creatively to continue to innovate. And I'm obviously not condoning that you go out and get skills to scam people, but I do find the whole business model behind the scammers.

[00:52:46] Pretty fascinating. I must admit.

[00:52:48] Guest (Jim Browning): Yeah, I have a slight sneaking admiration sometimes for the variants of the various scums. They can be quite inventive for creating new types of Scouts [00:53:00] based on old ideas. But that's I keep on my YouTube channel. I could make every video look the same cause they do tend to stick to scripts, but there will be ones who will do things differently.

[00:53:12] And even recently, for example, instead of making phone calls, what these cameras were doing, I was running an online chat service. So sometimes if you prize to a certain website in the bottom right corner, there'll be a window saying, do you want to chat to an agent here about something you have trouble with?

[00:53:29] And that's what they were doing. They were running their scam that way and they will pretend, need to be whatever support number it was. And instead of getting a phone call, they were getting people typing that, yes, I've got a problem. They were giving reasonably convincing, sing answers over the text chat, but ultimately they would say, Oh, that sounds like something we're going to need to call you appoint.

[00:53:50] And that's the way they would start their scam. Their point of vulnerability was their phone numbers. Again. And this text chat. So we immediately tried to [00:54:00] get the people who run those sort of chats, scripts to be made aware of this. And what happened. There was the vendors who run this sort of scams.

[00:54:09] They shut off their access immediately. It's something that they actually purchased and advance. So they lost money because of that as well, which is great. But reporting it to the right person actually took their entire scalp mode of action.

[00:54:22]Host (David C. Luna): what do you recommend people do if they want to help in the fight against scammers?

[00:54:27]Guest (Jim Browning): it's actually quite easy. You don't have to be in the least bit technical. They don't have to do or go as far as what I do the best thing that you can do. If you have the time at all. Is keep them on the phone because if they're not scamming, if they're not speaking to you, there's coming, your parents, grandparents, other people, and simply wasting their time is always a very good thing to do.

[00:54:50] There's people here really creative about it. There's other people on YouTube, like kit booga pierogi. There's a number of people who will actually make a very entertaining [00:55:00] evening, just keeping people on the phone, or even pretend to be different characters. The, these people even have things like voice tinders and it can be a very worthwhile pastime.

[00:55:10] So we say just keeping them on the phone. So Zay, you don't need to be on the least bit technical. The normal advice though, is if you do get some phone calls, hang up immediately. But to say, if you do have the time. Please keep them on the phone, waste their time. Pretend that you've got somebody at your front door, keep them on the line.

[00:55:29] As long as you can say, it doesn't need much effort. If you have the time to do that.

[00:55:33] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. that's a really good recommendation. Just waste their time and I can definitely recommend the YouTube channel kit Boga. And he has a pretty elaborate setup where he actually has a fake Chrome plugin where he redeems, Google play a store card codes, but they're false and it looks real.

[00:55:53] And the scammers just go ape shit because they see their money just going through their hands and they [00:56:00] just, they go absolutely ape shit, cuss him out. See, I didn't tell you to do that. You idiot so

[00:56:06] Guest (Jim Browning): well worth a watch. Yeah, I'm in touch with Keppra. We were gonna do some sort of link up between us as well.

[00:56:11] We're very different styles because I tend to go after scammers and find out who they are. He keeps him amused for hours and hours. It very entertaining.

[00:56:18] Host (David C. Luna): So if people want to support your work and this good cause how do you want them to do that?

[00:56:24]Guest (Jim Browning): I'd say just by the videos on YouTube or free.

[00:56:28] So just look for my name, Jim Browning on your find a lot of videos by these that's. Okay. Easiest way you can support me, just look at the, they look at the content that I've got on YouTube. if you want to go further and you really want to support me in what I do have a Patreon channel. So if you go to Patreon, P a T R E O n.com/jim Browning.

[00:56:48] There is a way that you can support me in what I do. And I say, I tried to fight against scammers. That's one way that you can support me directly. But as I say, even if you don't want to spend any money on, not [00:57:00] just watch the YouTube videos and, by you getting those, that actually gives me revenue anyway.

[00:57:06] So you can do this. For nothing at all. Maybe what's the advert at the start, if you don't want to spend any money, that's the easy way to do it.

[00:57:13] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. And I'll be sure to include all the links in the show notes so people can watch the YouTube channel support you if they want to. And so on. Is there something that I didn't touch on or forgot to ask you that I should have mentioned?

[00:57:26] Guest (Jim Browning): I don't think so. other than I think if you do watch the YouTube challenge, you will be more aware of how those scams work. I really do take them apart. And the only thing I would say is a lot of people that watch YouTube tend to be fairly tech savvy, but the people who probably most need to be aware of those scams, or maybe not the people that I can reach.

[00:57:46] So you're more middle elderly people or older relatives or whatever. If you can spread the word about those scams. if those, all the people know what to look for, know what to listen for, it will help [00:58:00] them from being scammed. So say if you can spread the news about these scams, as much as you come, it will help prevent them.

[00:58:08] All

[00:58:08] Host (David C. Luna): right. So that wraps up this interview. Definitely very fascinating to know more about the scammers, their business model, how they operate and how we can beat them. So thank you for being on the podcast, Jim, and taking the time out of your busy schedule.

[00:58:22] Guest (Jim Browning): No problem. Thanks.

[00:58:23] Host (David C. Luna): How we've reached the end of this episode.

[00:58:25] And this is generally where I try to summarize the interview and give you some additional insight. Now, fraud itself has been around for a millennial. As long as we humans existed, we've been scamming ourselves, but I believe the first recorded instance comes from 300 BC in Greece. When shipping merchants changed the world by attempting to calm the insurer of a ship load of valuable goods.

[00:58:48] And then sinking them, but claiming the loss anyway, or in the 1920s, where we saw the first Ponzi scheme in form of a investment scam by Charles Ponzi, which takes its name today, or the [00:59:00] identity and check fraud, which was very prevalent in the 19 hundreds. One famous example of that was Frank Abignail junior who had eight identities, including an airline pilot, a physician, and a lawyer.

[00:59:12] And this story was made famous by the movie. Catch me if you can. One thing to always keep in mind is that scamming is like any other business, except for the fact that it's illegal and that these scamming organizations. Innovate and change their business model, according to new trends or changes in their environment.

[00:59:29] Like we see now with the Corona scam emails, scammers have a very strong incentive as it's financially very lucrative to scam people out of their money and have no qualms about targeting old, innocent, and often helpless people say, for instance, grandparents that have dementia, like we've heard in the interview.

[00:59:48] So always being on lookout. So here are some. Tips to better protect yourself and are generally considered best 30 practices. Most of these tips are, or should be well known already, but let me iterate something [01:00:00] here. First one is use an enforce strong password practices with at least 16 characters. Use at least one number, upper case letter, lowercase letters, special characters, and some balls.

[01:00:10] Don't use names of your family, friends, pets in your password. Just to name a few. And if you find that too cumbersome, just use a very respected password managers, such as last pass, which I personally use, but there's also a password managers like one password and refrain from using dodgy or suspicious ones.

[01:00:28] And gas is also a very good alternative, which happens to be open source as well. And if your account has it enable two factor authentication on all your accounts and off the little program that has apps for mobile and desktop can help you consolidate these into one single app, sync them across all devices and create a backup of these two factor authentication codes.

[01:00:50] And if you want to go a step further, like I do ideally use a hardware, two factor authentication, key such as you became a very well respected Swedish [01:01:00] company that provides this inform of a hardware key. And then also, as Jim mentioned, challenge the callers that are requesting any kind of personal information with security questions of your own, ask them, what are they?

[01:01:11] The last three digits of my account number. They should be able to answer that. And most importantly, be skeptical as Jim mentioned in the interview, along with just using common sense. If something sounds too good to be true, like getting an unexpected refund, then it almost always is. Now, most of these recommendations might not be new to you, but maybe your grandparents who are not as tech savvy as you are.

[01:01:33] So feel free to share this podcast episode or some of Jim's YouTube videos, which are very educational with your grandparents, because awareness is key. But by far, the most important thing to remember is what a famous scam Bader called Jim Browning once said,

[01:01:50] Guest (Jim Browning): but all of this goes to prove you can have all the security in the world, but if you pick on the wrong person, you might just end up having your scam ruined.

[01:01:59] Host (David C. Luna): And in plain [01:02:00] English, that means don't with Jim or any person with vastly superior I T skills.

 


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This podcast looks at innovators and companies that are changing the game and how they took their initial idea and created a game-changing product or service, while giving you unique perspectives and insights you’ve probably haven’t heard elsewhere.

David and his guests discuss real-world practical advice on how to best harness the creativity of your employees and go from idea to product or service that has the potential to radically transform your business.

They also share lessons they’ve learned along the way to effectively accelerate, incubate and scale innovations within small, medium and large enterprises, all while separating hype from reality and replacing bullshit bingo with common sense.

The show is hosted by David C. Luna, author, keynote speaker and founder of GAMMA Digital & Beyond.

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The Innovational Correctness Podcast by GAMMA Digital & Beyond, David C. Luna is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on a work at gammabeyond.com/en/podcast/. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by contacting us here.


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