Man in the Middle Scams

For the discussion of non-419 related miscellaneous scams.
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dscotese
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Man in the Middle Scams

Post by dscotese » Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:59 am

Some scammers first find someone selling cryptocurrency, and then they find someone who wants to buy something. Lastly, they get the instructions from the crypto-seller and forward them to the something-buyer. They act as a middleman. Ultimately, the scammer gets the buyer to pay the seller, and the seller sends the cryptocurrency to the scammer. The buyer gets nothing. The buyer then uses the information about how to pay for what they wanted to buy to find the person who got their money and never sent their purchase to them. The crypto-seller might be confused by this irate person who demands something that they are owed "because I paid for it!" The seller looks up the payment and says "That payment was for crypto, which I sent, and here's the proof."

My strategy for thwarting these scammers is to demand the the payment come with a note (I sell crypto for cash through the mail). The note says "I'm _____________ buying crypto from Dave Scotese..." so if the person sending the cash isn't ______________ (some user on some website), they ought to resist writing such a note. I make the scammers' job into "get your victim to fool me into thinking they want to buy the crypto." Some still do it. If I can tell, I make it harder and harder (for scammers, but for honest people, it's not that hard). I also send a letter back to the return address on the package in which the cash came to me. That letter explains the scam above, and that I don't want to help scammers or criminals commit their fraud or theft.

My favorite thing is to tug at the strings of a scammers' conscience. If I could ever find out that I got just one scammer to go legit (trading crypto can be lucrative if you're honest and patient and helpful and smart), it would make me very happy. I settle for wasting their time quite a bit.

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Padme
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Re: Man in the Middle Scams

Post by Padme » Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:13 pm

dscotese, welcome to eater. This forum deals specifically with advance fee fraud. While the type of scam you are describing involves the transfer of funds, man in the middle schemes are an entirely different type of fraud. This isn't the forum to discuss those scams or crypto in general, outside of of an advance fee fraudster seeking payment via bitcoin or something. That said, while your desire to convince a scammer to go straight is admirable, I fear your efforts will be wasted and often scammers will pretend to be reformed simply to move you on to another scam whereby they pretend to go legit and need assistance in that endeavor. Be cautious.
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dscotese
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Re: Man in the Middle Scams

Post by dscotese » Sun Jul 19, 2020 1:25 am

Thanks, Padme.

I've been doing it for years and have never noticed anyone move me on to another scam.

Maybe an admin should remove this from the description of this subforum: "For the discussion of non-419 related miscellaneous scams." Or perhaps you're mistaken about the intent of it. Anyway, how a scammer tries to get unearned money from other people isn't all that important to me. The fact is that such an attempt reflects some damage to their own sense of self. I hold an underlying assumption that if a person is truly a lost cause, the universe would end them.

In all my experience wasting the time of Man In The Middle scammers, I often get them to the point where there seems to be a small opening to hint at what's happening and how. It nearly always fails, but there have been one or two who engaged me and seemed to do some soul searching. I can't find them now, but here's a typical message (along with a picture of his profile which had been marked as a scam):
"I can't wish you luck because your luck, as far as I can tell means misery for someone else. I can only leave you with the impression that if you say "*** you" to the world, as I think you do, the world will respond back the same way. If you seek redemption, learning, and joy, you'll find those instead. You reap what you sow. Sow wisely, my friend. And here you see why."

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