Beth’s parents showed me an article in their April 2021 AARP Bulletin entitled “Lessons From Inside The Fraud Factory”. The story features an Irish computer engineer that tired of receiving scam pop up warnings stating that his PC was infiltrated by myriads of viruses. The pop ups then conveniently provided a toll free phone number to call and ‘fix’ the problem for a nominal fee.
The scammers almost always ask their potential victims to allow the scammer to access control of their computer. At this point they are a victim because the scammer will access any online bank accounts and attempt to transfer funds. Other times victims will voluntarily send funds to the scammer due to fear that their computer will have a fatal failure.
It is unclear if scammers call more senior citizens than any other age group, but the majority of victims are clearly and overwhelmingly people over the age of 60.
This vigilante who goes by the false name of Jim Browning, for his and his family’s safety, decided that he would set up a virtual computer and begin calling the toll free numbers to talk to the ‘technicians’ who are standing by to assist with fixing the fraudulent viruses. The more “Jim” talked to the scammers the more determined he became to slow them down and eventually stop them whenever he could.
Thanks to “Jim” thousands of scammers have been arrested and put out of business. Unfortunate, this is a tip of the scam business iceberg. The world needs more people like “Jim Browning” in it.
I have linked the AARP story and one of “Jim’s” many YouTube videos. He’s become a viral star on the subject.