Fascinating Mentality

I am fascinated by the mentality of criminals. Mostly by how they can, in turns, be so clever and so dim in the same moment.


Like how how automated spam comments on message boards are constructed. These comments start with a fake response, then offer their pitch for their fraud. Example:


“I agree completely with Owen.


And I have been able to make money from home just by surfing the Internet. Check out how I did it: efihiwig.com/noofus.”


The thing that gets me is that using a script to spread these comments takes a certain level of sophistication. And, even if it’s being done manually (the comments added to message boards by copy-paste), it means that the scammers are knowledgeable enough to find message boards that permit unmoderated commenting, craft their spam messages, then insert them, hoping to snare victims. There’s a degree of understanding there, even if it’s just basic understanding of human nature and how to surf the Internet.


But it’s the naming that blows me away. That introductory bit --including a name in the first line, to pretend it’s a response to another, previous commenter-- is almost always so bizarre, because it uses names that almost never exist in real life, much less as a message board handle someone chose for themselves.


I mean-- who names their kid “Owen”?? And who, if they were named “Owen,” would use that as their username on a message board?


Because the level of sophistication it takes to Google “most popular English names” is far, far below the threshold of the cleverness demonstrated in the rest of the scam.


How can you be so efficient and determined to take someone’s money by fraud, but so very, very dumb when it comes to the simplest part of your scam?


The psychology of that mind, the thief who is both smart and impossibly dumb, is downright intriguing.