SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Vigilantes are turning the table on bad guys and making fools out of scammers. Call Kurtis introduces us to people who make sport out of wasting the time of the bad guys.
They call themselves Scambaiters, vigilantes who work to make these people look stupid using the same psychology the bad guys use.
Scambaiters find a way to a guy to strip down to his underwear, wear a bra, with a cucumber in his mouth while getting slapped in the face with a fish; they’ve also gotten someone to just wear underwear, while performing a religious ritual with a goat between his legs.
Author Kenny B of “Transcripts of an Internet Scammer,” says when he gets a scam email he sees an opportunity to waste a scammers time.
“This is going to be so great; I’m going to give this person such a runaround,” said Kenny.
He first convinces the scammer he’s fallen for their scam.
“I’m the bass that’s like yanking on that lure to get them going,” said Kenny.
He says once he has them on the hook, making the con artist think they’re so close to getting money, he has them perform some tasks, designed to waste their time.
“I’m playing a video game live, with a live human being, a chess ‘game’ if you will,” he said.
These so-called Scambaiters have gotten the scammers to do ridiculous things like taking a picture smelling bread, with a fish on their head; strap a toilet to the back of a bike and ride through town, or strap on a mankini.
Kenny loves playing the game, “I’ll be the one to harass them.”
When Kenny was messaged by someone named Lori, who claims she’s in Syria for a peacekeeping mission, Kenny says yes he will help her get $10 million to get to the United States.
Kenny commends her service and spends weeks getting to know her.
He sends her a list of pointless questions to answer and sends her a video of himself to show he’s real.
In return, he asks for proof she’s real. Once again “Lori” sends a picture to prove she’s real.
He then says he wants to establish a code should they need to verify each other’s identity. He sends a picture to her, with the code “Call Kurtis.”
Thinking she’s about to get money, she sends a doctored photo with a message on it, “Hi Kenny B” and “Call Kurtis.”
Kenny feels a sense of accomplishment, “I’m just dying by now.”
When these types of silly images show up, they are considered “trophies” by Scambaiters.
“It amuses me, it screws them up. Hopefully it saves somebody from heartache, embarrassment, and financial loss,” said Kenny.
Once the trophy is received Kenny sends the con artist a video message.
Using an app that turns his face into a skeleton he then records his message to the scammer to let them know they have been busted.
“Lori, you’re a scammer, and I know it,” laughs Kenny.
He said, “This has become one of my life’s passions; I will always be messing with scammers.”
The recently released report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimated that American’s lost 1.4 billion in internet scams last year. The report also says that 43-thousands of those victims were in California alone.
Most of these scams involve them sending you a check that’s fake. Once you cash it and wire off money- you realize the check is fraudulent.