Scamming, or any other illicit act where money or resources are stolen from unsuspecting people or patrons, has been a long-standing problem that unfortunately wears many different faces. Long gone are the days of the simple “Nigerian prince” email scams directly asking for money; instead, we have scammers that have the gall to either call their prey on their personal phone number with an elaborate story to milk the target out of funds or try to construct their scam as a legitimate opportunity for their prey to make money along with them.
 
The most common version of scams that are passed off as a lucrative opportunity are of course pyramid schemes that pose as something called “multi level marketing” (MLM), where your success is correlated with how many of the useless and overpriced products you sell, and a portion of the profit goes to whoever got you into the scheme initially. The chalk-flavored smoothie “health and wellness company” Herbalife is arguably the best example of MLM, but Advocare, Nu Skin and Amway are other perfect examples.
 
As sad as it is to admit, senior citizens are often the most vulnerable targets of scammers. Usually pulling either technology-related scams or schemes involving a younger member of the family almost always in a situation where that money is needed, such as a grandson in need of bail money.
 
To combat a multitude of malevolent scams only designed to steal money from seniors, a Twitch streamer is using his platform in a different, but albeit rewarding way.
 

An image with 3 things that scammers do, but the IRS will never do

IRS Scams (semaphoretax)

After noticing many ways his late grandmother was being taken advantage of by landscaping scammers, tech support scammers and phone scammers, Twitch streamer Kitboga decided to leverage “scambaiting”, a practice whereby Internet users troll potential scammers into ceasing their scam operation. Although he keeps his real name anonymous, Kitboga uses a variety of self-produced characters like an elderly woman based on his departed grandmother named Edna and a Russian man named Viktor Viktoor.
 
Since his Edna character is supposedly elderly, Kitboga finds much more luck with scammers; perhaps due to the fact that they believe they are speaking with a vulnerable old lady as opposed to the tech-savvy man that Kitboga is.
 
Among his most famous “scambaiting” streams are when Kitboga speaks with a scammer pretending to be with the Internal Revenue Service. The common IRS scam involves a phone call from an individual claiming to work with the government body. It involves the scammer communicating to the recipient of the call that he or she owes several thousand dollars in taxes that must be paid via wire transfer or face criminal prosecution. This would be believable, except for the not so tiny detail that the IRS never calls anyone directly nor do they handle their outstanding debts via a wire transfer.
 
In some cases, Kitboga even reports the scams to the government occasionally.
 
What started as a small following among his friends, has reached critical mass, with thousands of followers, partially owning to a Reddit post featuring some victims of similar scams.
 
While Twitch is mainly used to livestream popular video game streamers, I certainly appreciate Kitboga’s benevolent use of the platform and his incessant, yet hilarious trolling of scammers.
 
What are your feelings on Kitboga? Tell me on Twitter at @CaptainKasoff.