This is a great video by Mark Rober that talks about how some of these scammers work. He not only talks about how they catch a scammer using a glitter bomb but how the entire scam is structured. This is a great video to send to seniors who seem to fall for this kind of scam.
Old scam new tech
This scam in the video is just a variation of a scam where someone attempts to buy an item with a check. But the check is written for an amount much higher than the value of the item. The scammer then suggests that it is ok for the victim to give them change in the form of cash to make them “Even”. The victim then later discovered that the check is worthless.
Many of the techniques used in this scam have existed for hundreds of years. The scam is far more about convincing the victim to do something that it is about the computer. Honestly, if it was only about the computer than the scammers would avoid calling their victims altogether.
Seniors and “The Trust Contrast”
Our brains are wired for contrast. This is a fancy way of saying “Good Cop Bad Cop” A common techniques of con artists is to have an accomplice be a total asshole to their victim. Then swoop in and be reasonably (and seemingly) nice to them. Throwing off their perception and adding a feeling of “Instant trust”.
Example: One man picks the pocket of their mark but deliberately fails at doing so. The con artist comes in and chases off the pickpocket and returns the wallet. Giving the victim a feeling of instant trust. Allowing the con artist to set them up for a larger con.
In the case of seniors, Many already are distrusting of computer and sometimes downright hate them. So anyone offering to solve a problem (Even if it is a manufactured problem like the pickpocket in the example above) gives the senior an ally with their distrust vs the computer.
Remote Access Scammers
Apple computers are not immune to this kind of scam. If you give access to your computer to anyone, there is no anti-malware or anti-virus that can protect you.
Understanding how this kind of scam works will allow you to spot a scam before you become a victim. Better yet you can help your family and friends spot this kind of scam as well.
How can you help?
- Share this video!!
- Report all scams to the police!
- Help educate your senior friends and family about this kind of scam.
- Get your computers checked out to remove remote software. Mac or PC
Help your seniors with computer literacy! Help your seniors become less susceptible to Trust Contrast when it comes to computer by helping them use computers better. We offer classes to help seniors avoid scams.