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Gone Phishing!

Your money is my money!

By Mark GagnonPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Gone Phishing!
Photo by Clément Hélardot on Unsplash

“Gone fishin’ instead of just a wishin’ was playing on my alarm clock as I awoke to another beautiful and hopefully profitable day. It’s surprising how a song written so many years ago could be relevant to a person in my line of work. I know some of you are thinking, “Work! How can you possibly call scamming people out of their life savings work? Simply sitting at a keyboard all day is not work. All you do is send out email blasts, the computer does the rest.” True, what I do really isn’t rocket science. Greed, guilt, and fear are the tools I use against my willing victims.

In the beginning, separating people from their money was much easier. It simply involved sending out personalized emails notifying the targets they had inherited a large sum of money from a long-lost relative. The only requirement was for them to prepay the taxes, and the windfall would be theirs. They were instructed to submit the appropriate payment via Western Union, or forward gift cards purchased at Walmart. I received money daily, sent by greedy would-be beneficiaries eager to collect funds from someone they’d never met.

Then the Nigerians started the African Prince con, which was so blatantly ridiculous people became overly cautious. The river of dollars slowed to a trickle, and it was back to the drawing board for me.

My next venture into parting people from their cash was the bogus IRS phone call. Everyone cheats on their taxes. Playing on a person’s guilty conscious was almost too easy. A spoofed phone number and a digital voice often convinced people big brother was about to seize their assets. All good things end eventually, and once the news media sounded the alarm, the proverbial cat was out of the bag. Most people hang up the phone now.

Generating fear is what my current endeavor is all about. I start the email with an official-looking bank logo followed by a message telling the recipient we have locked their account because of an attempted hack. I ask my quarry to please provide their social security number and password to assist fraud protection in verifying their identity. Never checking to see if the account is actually locked, people gratefully supply the requested information. Now that I am in possession of their personal data I have options. I can either empty the account myself, a task that has some risk involved, or sell the info on the dark web to the highest bidder.

I have upped my game and now run several scams simultaneously. The condo con was next. Relieving frustrated timeshare owners from their burden was easier than one might think. Of course, I knew very little about timeshares and even less about canceling contracts, but desperate people were willing to pay a nominal fee to finally rid themselves of this millstone around their neck. I wish I had been the guy who invented the timeshare scam, it’s brilliant. Even when the original owner dies, the beneficiary of their estate is tied to the contract. It’s the gift that keeps on taking!

I must admit, I got into the car warranty business a little late. There are semi-legitimate companies using actual celebrities to advertise their product. I get some fringe business from this market, but not enough to spend a lot of time on it.

My next sting is almost complete. It is a real masterpiece, a work of genius, even if I do say so myself. “What is it?” I hear you ask. You’ll need to figure it out for yourself. Yes, it’s a great day to go phishing!

hackers

About the Creator

Mark Gagnon

I have spent most of my life traveling the US and abroad. Now it's time to create what I hope are interesting fictional stories.

I have 2 books on Amazon, Mitigating Circumstances and Short Stories for Open Minds.

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    Mark GagnonWritten by Mark Gagnon

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