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Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

This Cybersecurity Professional is Out to Scam the Scammers

This Cybersecurity Professional is Out to Scam the Scammers

Scammers look to take advantage of someone else for their own gain, but there are some scammers out there who are trying to scam the scammers to teach them a lesson. One such individual is “Kitboga,” a content creator who calls themselves a “scam baiter.”

Kitboga’s Story is Rooted in Familial Concern

In 2017, Kitboga, or Kit for short, learned about a chatbot that could waste a scam artist's time, expose them online, and showcase the dangers that they represent to particularly vulnerable populations, like the elderly. Kit channeled his expertise in computer software engineering and his concern for his grandparents into developing ways to combat these crimes.

After doing this independently for some time, Kit established a presence on the Twitch live streaming platform to combat scammers in real time. Kit specializes in “scam baiting” content, where he keeps scammers on the line as long as possible and tries to manipulate them into his own traps.

Kit’s strategy is simple: waste as much of their time as possible, while also collecting enough information to potentially report them to authorities like banks, law enforcement, or even the FBI and Secret Service (although it should be noted that neither agency has confirmed involvement or cooperation with the streamer).

Kitboga Scams the Scammers and Educates His Audience

Kit’s streams serve more than just to make fools out of scammers. He is also trying to educate his audience on how these cyberthreats function. These threats will often try to have their victim install malware or spyware, and some ask for people to send them a gift card with the intention of scamming them. He has even seen pig butchering scams, where the scammer will build up trust and then strike when the victim least expects it.

Kit’s far from alone here, too; he has built up a small team to help him in these efforts.

As you can imagine, Kit’s efforts have given his audience significant knowledge of how to spot scams throughout their daily lives. He has even created an AI-powered “honeypot” which lures in scammers, then traps them in constant verification requests for “stolen” (i.e. made up) Bitcoin accounts. Furthermore, he has released his own scam protection software service that helps to keep users safe from scammers whose time cannot be wasted.

If you’re interested in learning more about Kit’s work, you can listen to this fascinating and terrifying conversation with him and Jim Browning on Boston’s NPR station. It’s a great listen, as long as you’re okay with some explicit language.

Don’t Try This At Home

We know it might be fun to try this out for yourself, but know that some scam baiters can incur fines and experience other issues during their work. It’s definitely not something that the average user should ever attempt.

You do have some recourse, though:

4 Tips to Prevent Scams

Remain Calm

Scammers will try to scare you into action, so think things through in the moment. If you receive a message with claims like you owing money in unpaid taxes or you’re facing potential criminal charges, think through how reasonable these claims are before you act.

Avoid Cryptocurrency

If you’re going to make purchases online, use a credit card. Transactions can be canceled in the case of credit card fraud. Plus, credit cards are also insured. 

Never Send Money to Strangers

This should go without saying, but you should never transfer money or give personal information to strangers on the Internet.

Don’t Return Calls

Sometimes scammers will try to pose as a trustworthy entity within the user’s community, like a bank or a customer service number. Don’t call them back at this number; instead, use information publicly available on their website to contact the legitimate entity.

Let Us Help You Out

Naturally, cyberthreat scams like those that Kitboga faces are commonplace, and your business should be prepared to combat them. We recommend you contact us at Directive for business-grade solutions. To learn more, call us at 607.433.2200.