“Scam Baiters” Are Turning The Tables On Criminals

(PatriotWise.com) — According to an annual Internet Crime Report from the FBI, in 2023, $12.5 billion was stolen from Americans by Internet scammers, a 22 percent jump from the previous year. However, since so many internet scams go unreported, the actual amount stolen could be much higher.

Most local law enforcement lacks the resources to tackle Internet crime, leaving most victims unable to retrieve the money stolen.

In a report on Monday, National Public Radio spoke with an Internet vigilante who has made a lucrative trade out of baiting scammers into wasting valuable time trying to scam him rather than targeting true victims.

Known as a “scam baiter,” Kitboga, or Kit, chronicles his exchanges with Internet scammers in humorous videos posted on his social media platforms, including YouTube and Twitch.

While the videos are often entertaining and lucrative, Kitboga is seeking to do more than simply entertain his social media followers and earn a buck.

He told NPR that the longer he can keep the scammers on the phone, the less time they have to scam real victims.

The videos also provide helpful advice to Kitboga’s more than 2 million YouTube followers, showing them the lengths scammers go to steal from the most vulnerable Americans, particularly the elderly.

The scam baiter has exposed some of the most costly and prevalent online scams, like phony tech support calls, gift card fraud, and even pig butchering investment scams.

NPR sought comment from both the FBI and the US Secret Service as to whether any of their agents had worked with scam baiters like Kitboga. However, the agencies said they do not provide comment on specific investigative activities.

The FBI encourages the victims of online scams to report the crime to the bureau’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The complaints reported at IC3 have helped the bureau build cases against the scammers.

While most Internet crimes go unreported, for the small percentage investigated, the bureau has a high success rate in stopping online scams. In 2023, the FBI’s recovery unit succeeded in freezing about 71 percent of the $758 million stolen from reporting victims.

Copyright 2024, PatriotWise.com