Recently, the China Academy of Information and Communication Technology released a report showing that in 2020, the post-90s have become the main target of telecom network fraud, accounting for 63.7% of the total number of fraudsters. 63.7%, more than the total number of other age groups combined.
We always say that this generation is the generation of the Internet, yet the generation that is the best at gathering information on the Internet is the main target of telecom network fraud, which is not unusual for people who have personal experience.
I, an Internet native born in 1997 and a graduate of a “double-class” program, did not even want to believe that I had to make a phone call and use a rather troublesome method to transfer money to a criminal. I had to transfer nearly 70,000 yuan to criminals in a rather troublesome way because of a phone call.
As silly as it sounds, I shared my experience with my friends at the time to remind them to be more vigilant. Even so, not long ago, a sister sent me a tweet saying she almost took out a $300,000 loan because of a phone call.
She is not the first friend who came to tell me about her experience after being scammed. In fact, most people are reluctant to mention this experience after being scammed, only those who have gone through similar experiences know and understand that telecom scams are not far from every self-proclaimed smart us.
A phone call
In 2019, I graduated from my undergraduate program and will be studying in the UK in September, with a period of time in between to stay in Beijing for an internship.
In August, which was the second month after my undergraduate degree, I received a phone call during a very ordinary lunch break on a weekday, and the other party wanted to check with me about a certain shopping order on Taobao, including the store name, goods, consignee, cell phone number and address. I did buy a pair of pants before that and returned them because they didn’t fit well, and the information I checked with the person matched that order exactly.
She sounded very busy, and was very busy with the matter at hand. She explained to me that I had been pulled into the Tmall proxy service list because of a store mishap, a service that allows me to get certain discounts on my purchases but deducts a monthly fee from me, and asked if I needed to unbundle it. She repeatedly apologized for the inconvenience she caused and bothered me to operate the unbundling myself, and promised to give some coupons as compensation, exactly like a real customer service.
The coupons didn’t really matter, and I did suffer from automatic membership deductions, but I chose to be understanding because my own job at the time had a similar customer service component. After gaining my understanding, the person explained that the chargeback would be generated on any account in my name, so unbundling would require a transfer to a “vip account manager” at a bank that specialized in handling this incident “This is the same account manager that made me do this.
It was this same account manager who made my six hours of my life memorable.
After I said hello to my colleagues, I started talking in the office pantry with my headset plugged in, using my phone to operate all kinds of financial software that I hadn’t used much before. Because of the greeting, no colleague came to disturb me.
First, he told me that the platform would deduct money from any account in my name, and to prevent this from happening, I needed to transfer all the deposits from all the accounts in my name to the reconciliation account provided by the other party for clearing and reconciliation, and the money transferred would be automatically returned.
“You first transfer a dollar to this account to test it, hey, you see the return. “
Since I was unable to transfer all the money out of some of my accounts at once, he instructed me extremely patiently over the phone in a thick southern accent, opening a series of loans that he had never thought of, with the aim of replenishing the money that could not be transferred out, so that the amount transferred into his account would match the total amount in my account.
I later took inventory of my transfer screens and they included, but were not limited to, bank cards, WeChat wallets, Alipay, and cash transfers made because of restrictions on internet banking transfers, loans purposely opened for this purpose on a range of platforms such as Jingdong and Meituan.
I still remember the details of the other party imitating the formal process on the phone: emphasizing the call recording, and I reported the work number, each transfer provided a so-called service code for the return of fees, and even said that if you feel the trouble, you can go to a nearby bank for it.
Six small time, I step by step to their names of various bank accounts, a transfer of money, the bank card can not transfer the money in the form of loans to advance. Because the operation is tedious, we have continued the conversation until the end of the day, until the confirmation of the newly graduated me, there is no way to open more accounts for loans, he finally took the initiative to propose “business is completed “, hung up the phone.
After tossing money all afternoon, I called my mother on the bus home to spill my encounter, my mother’s emotions gradually turned from hesitation to agitation, she concluded that I had been cheated. I couldn’t accept the result for a while and tried to argue until my dad took over the phone in a moment of silence on the other side: “Listen to me, go and call the police. “
I thought with what little sanity I had left and took a taxi to the police station in the evening.
“How can you believe that? “
When I sat at the police station in the early hours of the next morning, my mind was still confused and I couldn’t even say how much money I had transferred out. The police took a look at my ID card registered university address and reassured me, “No shame, there are still Peking University professors who have been cheated of millions, you are a small amount. “
In fact, at that time I still have a little hope, in case it is not a scammer, in case the other party can be as described in the 24 hours to automatically return the money to the account it? But after I described the whole process, the police’s first words put me out completely, “is definitely a fraud, go make a statement. “At the end still can not help but look at me, “how can you believe it? “
I spent two hours at the police station to review the stupid things I had done.
Thinking back, the suspicious overseas phone number, the typical southern accent, the clearing of accounts required to unbundle a member …… were each very obvious holes. I have also questioned on the phone how you could just debit my bank account. What does this have to do with other accounts in my name?
But the person on the other end accurately captured several of my weaknesses.
First, I am not in the habit of getting to the bottom of things. Every time the other side used plausible words, I seemed to not get it, but then I seemed to get it, but did not dig deeper in these plausible areas.
Second, the subconscious mind’s blind obedience to authority. In the confusion, I actually didn’t understand many things, but the other party could accurately tell my order information and knew that I had visa experience, which made me think that the one who had my information might be a bigger authority, so the need to clear my account seemed to become reasonable.
Third, I was afraid of trouble, and I was afraid of causing trouble for others. From the moment the “customer service” gave a deadline to unbundle the service before the next debit, I already unconsciously had the thought. I’m not sure if I’m going to do it now. The “vip account manager” in the back revealed an emotion in his words. “This matter also caused us trouble, so I have to deal with this kind of work”, “Hey, I am also working overtime to deal with this matter Overtime”, as if he was also implicated. Because of this, the line dropped several times in the middle of the day, and I still got through to the caller again, and I kept downloading and registering new software with his “encouragement”.
This feeling of being involved together even created a wonderful “empathy”, which led me to politely hang up after the long call, and kindly said to the other party I even hung up politely at the end of the long call and said “You had a hard time too” in a friendly way. So when my mom suggested that I was being scammed I retorted, “I’ll admit it if I’m still a scammer for being so patient. I’ll admit it if it’s still a scammer.” Until my mom questioned, “He’s just trying to get your money. “
When reporting the case, the police frankly said, because the use of foreign virtual numbers, money and money transfer extremely fast, the probability of solving such cases is very small.
“Think of it as paying tuition”, this is what many people have said to me, and what I later said in turn to comfort others. After that time, I have seen too many young people who have been victimized like me.
The night I reported the crime, I started to search for telecom fraud on Weibo.
After typing in the keyword “tmall agency service”, I effortlessly found the army in the telecom scam super talk and was surprised to find that this was not a new scheme. I didn’t feel very surprised.
I have seen on various occasions to prevent the propaganda of telecom fraud, the word can be open-mouthed, but really personal experience, only then it will dawn on me, so this is telecom fraud. Holding back the emotions of regret, anger and aggression inside, I tried my best to fully recount my own fraudulent experience in the super talk as a warning, so I, a small transparent with less than 20 followers, saw more than a hundred comments under my own microblog for the first time.
Following a comment, I joined a WeChat group called “Suffering Brothers”, the members of which are all caught in the same scheme of deception.
When I entered the group, a Wenzhou girl just announced in the group that she was going to wear a “620,000 dress” to the police station to report the case, and found in the seven mouths The “difficult brothers and sisters” are many famous school graduates, all over the major professions and industries, but the face of this encounter is the same powerlessness.
The number of people in the group rose from thirty to more than a hundred within a week, and every newcomer to the group spoke through righteous indignation, doubts about life, to a daily question about when the case will be solved, and then to silence. The amount of money cheated from a few thousand to more than 600,000, a group of young people scattered across the country do not know each other but suffered the same injury trying to group warmth, hoping to get comfort in this way, or not expecting to wait for the gang one day to be solved.
I’m grateful that my parents never mentioned this to me again after the initial clarification of the situation, considering the psychological pressure I was under, even though I knew it was an experience we would never forget. I thought I had learned so much to protect myself from walking around the world and being on my own, but in reality I was just a blank sheet of paper in the eyes of others.
The day after I was cheated, in addition to reporting it, I immediately reapplied for all my bank cards, as if that would allow me to cleanse myself of some of the traces left by my naivety and stupidity. After paying off the loan in time, for a long time I still had fears about answering strange phone calls and operating the Internet banking transfer page, and I felt guilty to my parents for this considerable loss of property.
For a period of time after I reported the incident, I could not stop myself from going back and forth to review what happened, constantly reflecting on myself, digesting myself, and asking myself what was wrong. This is actually a kind of self-torture.
Some people have been cheated and transferred their anger to the store, accusing them of leaking order information and personal information, while the store seems to have no action other than sending text messages to remind them. If we insist on pursuing the matter, is it the store’s fault? The platform’s fault? Or is it the fault of the criminals who stole the information? After all these accusations pale in comparison, I have to point my remorse at the only variable I can control – myself.
But what gave the criminals access to my information? I don’t know. But life goes on, and spitting out that I am a “transparent” person with no privacy under the internet and big data, I can only continue to use these platforms and products, fearfully entering my updated information. I entered my updated information.
Then I cursed and hung up the harassing phone with a mechanical electronic voice.