The Big Payback: How to Scam a Scammer

How to scam a scammer

When encountering a scammer online, the best method is to block, report, and move on. Let the law take charge of handing out consequences to scammers, and you can focus on stopping scammers in their tracks.

Sometimes, this can be more challenging as online scammers become more adept at tricking people into believing their lies, using technology, social engineering, and emotional manipulation to achieve their aims.

No matter how knowledgeable we are of the most common scams, all it takes is one slight mishap or clicking on a malicious link that could lead to trouble. Last year, for example, consumers lost $10 billion to popular scams promising people the chance to earn huge amounts of cash.

Whether you lost money to a cybercriminal or not, you may wonder how to get a scammer in trouble, to either seek revenge or stop them from ruining other people’s lives.

While learning how to scam a scammer may seem like an exciting form of social justice, you should only protect yourself and others from scams in legitimate ways. Leave the punishment of criminals to the law, and focus on protecting yourself from scammers without extra consequences that could cost you more than your online privacy.

That being said, we’ll find out why people want to scam the scammers and the methods some people use to get their own back.

What are the most common scams?

The most common scams are imposter scams, meaning online scammers will use a reputable company for their benefit to try and trick people into handing over their money. Generally, a smaller percentage of older people report being victims of scams, but, on average, they lose more money.

On average, victims in their seventies lose $800, whereas those in their twenties average a loss of $480. The most common scams will likely occur via email, phone calls, and texts.

Social media is also a common platform for online scams, especially during peak shopping seasons, as scammers try to take advantage of social media marketplaces to scam people out of their money.

Consequently, if you want to know how to get a scammer, one of the first and most crucial steps you can take is to be familiar with the common scams. On social media, you can report the scammer to the platform and block their profile from spreading their scams.

Other scams may be more complicated. To understand how to scam a scammer, we must first be aware of what they are doing to try to scam people in the first place. For that, here are some of the most common scams you may encounter when browsing the web.

Debt collector scams

Debt collector scams target people who have outstanding debts and promise to renegotiate, settle, or change the contract and repayment plans of the contract to help you take control of outstanding payments.

The scam uses the following techniques to try and steal money from its victims:

  • Impersonation: scammers copy government agencies or officials when impersonating debt collectors.
  • Threats or intimidation: threats of legal action, arrest, or other consequences are made to make you pay.
  • Demand for payment: they will request your financial details, social security numbers, or other sensitive information and require payment via untraceable methods.

If any of these companies contacts you, you must first verify the caller’s name, company name, and contact information. Legitimate companies will give you this information with no problem so you can verify their claims.

Money transfer fraud

Money or wire transfer fraud uses deceptive tactics to steal money. Transfers can happen via online transactions, wire transfers, or electronic payment. Transfer fraud can appear in a few different forms, but the most common are:

  • Fake invoices or payment requests: you may receive a fake invoice from someone posing as a genuine company for goods or services that will never be delivered.
  • Fake investments promise high returns if you invest money in this opportunity. If you send a payment, the scammer will disappear without a trace.
  • Tech support scams will contact small businesses or individuals to convince them to pay for unnecessary services or software.
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If you receive unsolicited requests from someone asking for money or with the promise of providing services you didn’t ask for, it’s likely a scam. Requests for money transfers typically happen on dating apps and websites, so be especially careful when using those.

If you’re wondering how to get a scammer in trouble to stop them from contacting others, gather as much evidence as possible so you can report the fraud to the necessary authorities.

Lottery or prize scams

Lottery scams make the list as the third most common scam in the US, leaving many people wondering about the best methods regarding how to scam a scammer that uses lottery scams.

Scammers will contact you via email, claiming you have won a substantial amount of money. You will be asked to pay insurance or bank fees to claim your prize. Afterward, the scammer will disappear.

Another version of this kind of scam is a threat actor hacking or accessing a social media account to contact the real user's friends and family. The scammer sends these accounts an email address for instructions to receive their prize.

Obviously, if you have never played the lottery, this is the clearest way to identify whether this is a scam. Another way you can tell is that the email is sent to multiple people and is sent by a person rather than a legitimate company. Using a secure email can help block unwanted scam messages from unknown or suspicious emails entering your inbox.

How to scam a scammer

Just as people dedicate their time to scamming people, some people know how to get a scammer in trouble, known as scam baiting.

Scam baiters know the best methods on how to scam a scammer because they will pose as a potential victim to waste their time and resources. Here are some popular methods used for people interested in scam baiters or how to scam a scammer.

Wasting a scammer’s time

Wasting a scammer’s time is a popular method to waste a scammer’s time and resources and prevent them from reaching a wider audience.

Some common methods of this technique include:

  • Engaging in Lengthy Conversations: Scam baiters deliberately engage scammers in lengthy and often nonsensical conversations to occupy their time and attention.
  • Creating Diversions: Diversions can include asking irrelevant or absurd questions, pretending to be confused or gullible, or introducing unexpected twists into the conversation.
  • Exposing Inefficiencies: Through extended interactions with scam baiters, scammers may inadvertently reveal weaknesses or inefficiencies in their operations. Baiters can use this information to develop strategies for disrupting scams more effectively in the future.

Scam baiters can then use what they learned from their time to educate the public via YouTube for people searching for popular scam techniques, how to scam a scammer, and how to stop these scams from happening to you.

Providing false information

As scammers rely on false information and tactics to cheat their victims, another popular method on how to scam a scammer uses the same methods they use by giving them false information about themselves.

Scam baiters provide fake names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, or other personal details scammers use to try and steal your identity. By providing false information, you can give scammers false leads, such as a fake business, investment, or romantic opportunities, to attract different opportunities for the scammers to waste their time on non-existent prospects.

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Gathering intelligence

Gathering intelligence about what scammers are up to online can help in a scam baiters' mission when they want to know how to scam a scammer and ultimately stop them.

By observing how scammers react to different scenarios and responses, baiters can learn more about their methods and develop strategies for disrupting their activities more effectively.

Grey hat hacking

Not all hackers can be categorized as either good or bad; just like scamming, there is a kind of grey area between good and bad. When people wonder how to get a scammer in trouble, they may learn more about grey hacking.

They will use their hacking skills, penetration testing, and more, and may expose the location of a scammer, attack their system with malware, demanding a ransom payment for its release.

Although not a legal way if you’re wondering how to get a scammer in trouble, scam baiters with advanced tech knowledge use their skills to get their own back on scammers.

Scamming the scammer examples

Many people know how to get a scammer in trouble, and scam baiters will dedicate their time to ruining the plans of scammers and keeping the public safe from financial trouble, hacking, or having their details leaked online.

Here are real examples of people who know how to scam a scammer.

Jim Browning: YouTuber

Jim Browning has over 4 million subscribers interested in the topic of how to scam a scammer. He tracks and identifies scammers who knock at his front door, call him, or shove popups onto his computer screen.  

He is particularly interested in tech support scams, refund scams, and other fraudulent activities.

His channel is dedicated to showing the most popular scams, but he also posts videos about

  • Getting refunds for scam victims
  • Scammers being arrested
  • Joining a scam call center

In 2020, Browning appeared in a British documentary series Panorama, where he and fellow YouTuber Karl Rock documented their infiltration of a tech support scamming operation happening in India.

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The duo recorded drone and CCTV footage to track the location and gather evidence against Amit Chauhan. Chauhan operated a fraudulent travel agency called Faremat Travels, targeting elderly people unfamiliar with competitors in the UK and US.

Although Chuahan denied the allegations, he was arrested in a police raid.

Secrets of the Scammers documentary

Secrets of the Scammers was a three-part TV show about cybersecurity released by Channel 4 in the UK. The series explores various aspects of online scams, fraud, and cybercrime, shedding light on the tactics used by scammers to exploit unsuspecting victims.

Throughout the series, viewers are given a behind-the-scenes look at how scammers operate, their methods to deceive their victims, and the impact of scams on individuals and communities.

Each episode follows a different scam and shows the process of people using their cybersecurity knowledge to work with the police to lure scammers and set up confrontations or arrests.

Rosie Okumara scams a scammer

Rosie Okumara has over 1 million followers on her YouTube channel, choosing to get into scam baiting after her mother lost $500. A scammer contacted her Mother via telephone, saying she had a virus on her computer. To remove it, the scammers charged her $500 and gained remote access to her computer, leaving her with the money and her personal details.

Fortunately, Okumara’s Mother didn’t lose her money, but Rosie wanted revenge on the scammer herself. She got the scammer’s number from her Mom and spent almost 2 hours wasting the scammer's time on the phone while giving her best Kim Kardashian impression.

She recorded the process on video and uploaded it to YouTube shortly after. She now uses her skills of voice acting skills and uploads videos on her platform on how to scam a scammer and other creative ways to get back at scammers, such as making them pray to Britney Spears.

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Choosing safety over revenge

Learning how to scam a scammer may be tempting due to the emotional and financial damages they can cause to the public. However, revenge is not always the best method, as any interaction with a scammer can cause consequences that are better avoided.

The best method to stay safe online is to recognize their tactics and report their communications with you immediately to the relevant authorities. Protecting your privacy online is more important than revenge, as one tiny mistake when communicating with a scammer can lead to consequences that can be difficult to recover from.