“Scammed”… but I received real money, twice !

Despite this click-bait look-like title, it’s a true story !

DISCLAIMER : this is the story of a social experiment, and I strongly suggest to avoid this kind of experience without knowing what you’re doing. It could lead to a real scam and you may loose money or worse.

Ok, let me explain
πŸ₯· A few weeks ago, I’ve been contacted by an anonymous number on WhatsApp, a lady suggesting she was representing a company and she was proposing small jobs, and I could receive 20$ easily and even more later.

πŸ‘€ I’m naturally curious, and in the mindset “know your enemy”, so I replied to understand what’s the catch/scam.

🎯 1st mission is simple, 3 Instagram posts to like and provide proof. I dit it, and the lady provide me a contact on Telegram to be paid, called “the receptionist” (John Wick style at the Continental πŸ˜…)

πŸ’° The receptionist asked for a wallet address to send 20 USDT, and some information (name, age, job). I provided fake information, but real wallet address. (Real wallet address is not a risk, as it doesn’t come with login or identification information)

A few minute later, 20 real USDT were delivered on my wallet.

πŸ₯΄ Really surprised, I continued the chat and the receptionist offers more missions but it became sketchy: send 100$ somewhere, and receive 140$, 10 minutes later (+a few Instagram post to like).
🚩 Definitely a big red flag for a scam !
The receptionist also provided a Telegram group, filled with thousand of posts of people posting proof of their “missions” and “gains”.

At this point, I declined and I’m trying to understand what’s behind all that.

🧐Troubling points
– A scammer that send real money first ?
– Hundred of users in a Telegram group showing proofs for days: it’s time consuming to create a such elaborate scam with 10k different screenshots and hundreds of profiles
– Screenshot of crypto transfer are always dated a few seconds before the post (like a real screenshot)

🚩 Red flags
– The greed factor is a well known scam technic
– “Easy” money is not real, there is always a looser somewhere
– Anonymous contact, code-name, cryptocurrency: classic in scam
– Screenshot are a little bit to perfect (no Android or iPhone toolbar, only a perfect cropped screenshot, each time) : generating a fake screenshot is not difficult

πŸ”Ž At this stage, I’m hesitating between 2 scenarios, all nasty:
– A simple greed-scam, to push you sending money and hope for more gains. Only troubling point is scammer that start sending you money..
– A elaborated laundering system : to clean stolen cryptocurrency, you send your real money to a “clean” wallet, and they send you back 130% of it from a dirty account (linked to robbery and probably monitored by authorities)

What do you think ?

The story repeats again, 2 weeks after, but this time through an SMS.

It lead me again to a telegram account, a lady again, proposing me a similar deal : “buying” theater tickets on a shady website. 
A really fun, badly design website, with fake loading bar when “buying tickets”.

My mission, was to “order” 40 movies tickets, and I was promised 40€ this time. Once finished, no crypto this time, just a money transfer through Wise application, and I really received 40€..
Of course, the lady tried to get me to invest more money, but that’s where the scam take place !

How I live into a world (almost) without ads ?

Ads sucks.
That’s why there are none on this website, and also why I try to avoid them.
In my opinion, it’s an evil marketing stratagem to use human biases to write message in their mind without their consent.
I don’t feel attacked by ads, but I’m sure they have an impact on me.
They also push people to consume, in a world where we should reduce our consumption and focus on protecting our planet.
Finally, most of them are ugly.

Ok, here how I try to stay away from ads:

    1. Adblocker on all of my web browser : I use uMatrix on Chrome, it’s a bit neerdy, but I can control every script on every page
    2. DNS66 on my Android mobile phone to remove ads from applications and web browsing : it creates a local VPN that filters known ads URL
    3. Block ads on my Samsung smart TV
    4. Sponsorblock for Youtube
    5. ReVanced for Youtube on my mobile : A tool that create modified version of Youtube, Reddit, Twitter to remove annoying ads.
    6. Don’t watch TV, use others medias (Netflix, Disney,..)
    7. I pay my subscription to Spotify for my family, so no ads. (expect for the one in some podcasts..)
    8. In the car, if I’m listening to radio, I switch to another station if they broadcast ads, or just listen music from Spotify.
    9. I create a specific email system with my domain to manage potentials ads, that I don’t want to explain (security reason). It allows me to easily block emails (SPAM)
    10. I use my phone during ads period in the theater

In the end, it don’t remain so much ads, much harder to fight : billboards in the street, ads in newspaper,..

In the future, I’d like someone to find a solution for the annoying ads screen in the subway or in the street. (hack ? πŸ™‚ )

Clean your data #2

6 months after the first iMac, I came back to my local recycling center and found another 27β€³ iMac ! It was in a poorer condition (glass was broken), but I wanted to give it a try again..

And guess what ? It worked. Without fixing anything. I just plugged it, and it worked.
This time, it was own by a Chinese restaurant, in Paris, 15th arrondissement. I found professional emails, restaurants menus for many years, Netflix account, and even bank account still logged πŸ™

Same conclusion as before, clean your data.

I transformed the first iMac into a 27″ screen, bu removing all the CPU parts and just installing a driver board. Easy !
The second one was intended to be a smart mirror, but I think I broke it :-/