He was the closing keynote at our annual conference (Okta's Oktane) last year and it was the same way. He was open and clear about what he did, how much he regretted it, and why he did it. Fundamentally, it came down that he was young (16), scared (parents getting a divorce), and stupid. He reacted out of fear and total disregard for other people. He also talked about coming through the other side and learning what mattered and why.
I sat down in his keynote as a fan of his exploits and finished as a fan of the man himself.
Watch the Google talk.
Or there’s the IRS scammers who call you and tell you that you owe taxes.
Most of these involve really pathetic attempts at impersonation and the only reason people fall for it is ignorance.
So con artists are by no means dead and YouTube is full of channels where con artists con the scammers.
IRLRosie and Kitboga in particular are hilarious.
Plenty of smart, young engineers have fallen for phishing scams with similar structures. The elderly and ignorant are especially vulnerable, but every single one of us, without exception, is vulnerable to being conned.
We'll usually agree afterwards that it could have been easy to see from the right perspective. Hindsight blinds us to the reasons people are vulnerable in the first place.
Companies really should design their procedures more to not look like social engineering...
I think of all the elderly these people are terrifying and my civility slips a bit. Kitboga is great and all but that's not a solution.
> the only reason people fall for it is ignorance
That's not correct. Mental faculties deteriorate with age; mindful people that would never have fallen for this nonsense become vulnerable every day. Ultimately no amount of 'education' can fix that. That's what these scammers are really preying on.
(Maybe that's not a great name for it. In truth, I think I would use this elderly-mode too.)
> That's not correct. Mental faculties deteriorate with age; mindful people that would never have fallen for this nonsense become vulnerable every day. Ultimately no amount of 'education' can fix that. That's what these scammers are really preying on.
On this analysis, the problem could be solved by organizing society into large family groups instead of a bunch of small independent households. When "the family finances" are a thing and several different people can see them, this is a pretty unlikely failure mode.
You can achieve something similar in the US, but first you have to notice the problem and then you have to have the victim legally declared mentally incompetent.
That said, many banks (at least in EU) already offer shared accounts or multiple-reader accounts to consumers, though multiple person transaction sign-off is reserved for business accounts.
I think I prefer our largely clan free 'society.' The vast bulk of these scammers are the dregs of our species and could be effectively thwarted with fairly simple policies. Limiting gift cards to domestic redemption, for example. No need to re-engineer everything around some sociologic noble savage fantasy.
90% of perpetrators of fraud are known to their victims.
On a personal note, if my dad had access to my bank account it would be completely drained the next day.
So not only are conmen alive and well, they’re a primary industry in at least one US state.
I think it's fare to say that Orrin Hatch's career has resulted in millions of people being fleeced by quack snake oil, and some non-trivial number of people's health harmed.
One virtue of a centralized system is that their incentives are to stop this parasitic crap because the systemic costs are greater.
And rule of thumb: the government doesn’t call anyone for tax stuff.
They can send the police or tax auditors to find me in person if there’s a real fucking problem. Hopefully, I’d get certified mail before that happens.
YouTube often offers the opportunity to catch different stops on speaking tours.
Talking heads in multiple TV soundbites, or candidates in stump speeches as well.
Banks know about websites and printers so there's no way this would work... er, right?
1. the payer name was not mine
2. the payer address was not mine (and was in another state)
3. the signature was that of another person
4. the checks were not issued by my bank
The thing is back in the day, if you put in the work, your con was all but guaranteed. I don't think you can make that same claim today.
On the street we have a legit smalltime money-laundering industry in terms of retail gift card availability. A real common racket these days is targeting immigrant business people pretending to be the utility company/IRS/etc and demand gift cards to settle some matter, for example. There is a huge underground economy out there.
Off the street, the complete lack of security controls around ACH is an even more extreme risk. Just rob a mailbox and steal account info from checks.
Don't know if banks do that sort of thing anymore. If not, then WTF is the point of "branches"? If they don't provide any value added then they are just expensive real estate and warm bodies.
Of course in hindsight in Wells Fargo's case we know that those warm bodies were expected to push all sorts of ancillary products on customers (they never did that with me).
Con men/women are everywhere in every era. They just change their mediums and methods according to the times.
"Well I was just talking about <insert popular movie> and then I got an ad for it!"
No need for the mic.
Ultimately people are going to spy on everything they can get away with, more data for the neural network to make you buy things...
So yes. Phone likely is actually listening to you if you ran into this and actually literally never searched for bell bottom shaped cast iron skillets but see them in your ads now.
A good amount of religious motivation has been based on this disconnect in our brains. And plenty of quack science (speaking of conning people).