Utterly disgusting!

We’ve been told about a “company” that supposedly helps victims of sextortion. I’d already seen their videos, which are a joke. Today though I was given more information after someone we previously helped actually called them up. Here’s what the email said:

I ended up giving them a call and was reached out to by someone who said they have several plans based on length of time and cost (ex. 1500 dollars for 9-5 support for a month up to 20000 for 3 days 24-hour surveillance). The guy sounded extremely confident and very knowledgeable on the phone but it seemed fishy as they have literally no reviews but he was claiming they have locations all over the world with ties to local police. Their proposed plan of attack is to track the person blackmailing you (which you guys have said isn’t really possible as they are hiding behind fake profiles etc.) and reach out to them and tell them to back down or they are going to contact local law enforcement. I said I’d call them back and never did they also said your proposed method (which is the one that I went with and I’m glad I did) wouldn’t work and then they tried to scare me into saying they were going to doctor the videos and still release everything anyway and that going into hiding would not work.”

What complete and utter bullshit! Everything they say is wrong. The videos they have up on YouTube are ridiculous, making it appear as if they do forensic examinations of your hardware, rather than tell the scammer “Don’t do it again or we’ll call the cops”. Yeah, like that’s going to work! The simple truth is, what they’re doing is dangerous and can cause much more trouble for the person. They claim ” We have a success rate of more than 90 percent for keeping these criminals from ever sharing our clients’ personal and private images and information”. 90% is good. No, wait, 90% is terrible as it still means 10% sent this company money and got no useful help. We’ve said time and again that our method works in well over 99% of the cases. It’s also used by law enforcement. On top of that, it’s free. It doesn’t cost anything up to the $20,000 they quote for “3 days 24-hour surveillance”. I mean, sure you can donate a few bucks if you want, but we’re not going to refuse to help you if you don’t.

If you want to see their videos, check out https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDfYaNXa5xraFmvo7lnV6aA and let me know what you think.

Is Action Fraud fit for purpose anymore?

After even more media reports about Action Fraud recently, I genuinely have to question its future. No doubt people will continue pointing people there as that’s the status quo. Have they done irreparable damage to themself though? After reading all the articles about how the staff there act, how many people will be put off from reporting their crime? They can claim to have sacked or “retrained” the people in question, but this was the very large tip of the very large iceberg when it comes to them. For a long time now there have been reports about how unhappy people were with how Action Fraud reacted (or didn’t react) when they were contacted after the person was scammed. Bad publicity isn’t a new thing with them, and there are plenty of stories talking about how Action Fraud did nothing after a report. Let’s ask ourselves though, can it be replaced? Should it be replaced? If it is replaced, then with what? In my opinion, Action Fraud isn’t likely to be going anywhere, but will limp along continuing to do a job people aren’t happy with, but with no other realistic alternatives to take their place. Most of the people out there working to fight scammers don’t have the finances, backing or support they do. It’s a shame, a real shame. People are being let down badly on a daily basis, and it’s unlikely to change.

There’s a fine line between love and bait.

The whole purpose of ScamSurvivors is to educate the public in how scams work, so they can avoid falling for them. It’s essential that the information is out there and easily searchable. However, this also means that less desirables can also see it. It’s a difficult balancing act between sharing enough information to help and making a “scamming 101” for the scammers themselves. That’s why we often need to be vague when explaining the specifics of a scam. Sometimes a scammer will find us and assume we’re some kind of scammer education centre. A while back we had a scammer join our “live help” room asking for help that we made our new toy. Today I woke up to see this in my inbox:

I’ve been reading your articles and I found them so useful, but I do encounter some difficulties downloading some stuffs you recommended for screen recorder. Could you please help me with that and any other useful info, like good dating sites, latest formats, spoof numbers and all that. I look forward to reading from you. Thanks in anticipation.

Yup, another scammer who’s completely missed the point of the site. From the wording, it sounds like he’s a West African. The use of “formats” for example gives it away. A format is essentially another word for the script they’d use. Time for some more fun I think 😉

Updated to add:

Seems he’s finally grown a second brain cell, but now he thinks I’m the FBI!

“I know you FBI agent!”

We’re still upsetting people.

Recently we’ve had people trying to attack us via our web host. One is a company who still doesn’t get that, because they’re mentioned in a scammer email we’ve quoted, it in no way means WE’RE trying to encourage people to abuse their service. Apparently they missed all the warnings over the site explaing how scammers work and what we do. The other is a “faker maker” who’s pissed we won’t remove his details. Thing is, we’ve spoken to him before and given him an out where all he has to do is speak to law enforcement and provide us the reference number. That apparently was too hard for him to do, so he came back and tried the exact same thing, just via a different avenue. Here’s where we stand on situations like this. Give us a GENUINE reason to remove details, and then (and ONLY then) we will. Ignore our advice and all you’ll do is make us more convinced your details should be there for all to see. We don’t post information lightly, and I will stand by those members of our site who post the information and do EVERYTHING in my power to keep it there when it needs to be there. It’s really that simple.