We’ve all seen them at some point on the internet, those annoying notifications that pop up on your screen.
No, this isn’t about trolls or fake news. This is about those irritating internet scams claiming your computer is infected with a vicious virus, or that you’ve just won a few thousand dollars.
Where most people just ignore them, some unfortunately fall prey to them. However, YouTuber Jim Browning goes above and beyond to not only try to warn people about these internet scams, but also to dismantle them completely.
Here’s how Jim Browning has become the scourge of scammers everywhere.
Turning the tables on scammers
Much of Browning’s content on YouTube involves exposing and even undoing the work of scammers all over the world. By remotely monitoring scammers, Browning catches them in the act all in real-time.
Through the use of software such as a virtual machine, which is meant to imitate a real computer, Browning connects with scammers in a safe way that allows him to monitor and turn the tables against them.
This is because a correctly-made virtual machine can make it so scammers can’t detect it’s not an actual computer. It also prevents them from stealing any genuine information.
Some of the most dangerous types of scams the YouTuber goes up against are forms of refund scams, but these offer anything but a refund.
The only thing victims get from these is their information stolen and their livelihoods threatened, as scammers siphon and launder money from their bank accounts.
Tech support scams are another deadly type of scheme in that scammers can steal your bank account information, your identity, and even upload terrible viruses to your computer.
These scams are just a fraction of efforts Browning has foiled. With the access he obtains into scammer’s operations, he not only warns potential victims, but he also foils the scammers themselves.
Where they’d normally steal a victim’s personal information, Browning instead tracks them down online through their IP address, reveals their information, and catches them red-handed. The results he shows in his videos are truly satisfying to watch.
How to steer clear
While most people, especially those of younger generations, are wiser to internet and phone scams, not everyone is as tech-savvy. Many scammers prey on older individuals, since most may not necessarily know it’s a fraud. This makes them especially vulnerable targets.
One way scammers gain access into a person’s computer is through remote desktop control software such as TeamViewer or Supremo. These programs are typically used collaboratively, or to help others with their computer from a distance.
By allowing someone else to control your computer wirelessly, scammers use this as a way to steal people’s personal information and manipulate their user interface.
Despite the developers having clauses in their software licensing agreements that strictly prohibit using their program for fraud or malicious uses, that unfortunately doesn’t stop scammers from doing it.
If you need to use these softwares for whatever reason, make sure you’re using them with someone you trust.
Knowing how these scams work is also a good defense tip on making sure people don’t fall for their tricks. Most if not all of Browning’s videos help educate viewers on how these various types of scams work.
What to do if you’re stuck in a scam
Should you find yourself suspicious of a scam, hang up the call or stop corresponding with them completely. If they have access into your computer, turn it off completely, as that will cut them off from your machine.
Most importantly, if they’ve seen anything related to your bank account, which many scammers want to know about in order to get your money, contact your bank immediately to make sure your money and accounts are secure.
Your best bet to avoiding scams is to simply ignore any sort of phone call or e-mail that seems suspicious. If you want to have a bit of fun messing around with scammers though, one website known as re:spam uses artificial intelligence to turn the tables on scammers and distract them.
Jim Browning also has a video that mentions this same site, as well as other ways people can get back at scammers.
A real internet hero
Jim Browning’s efforts are certainly valiant, especially when the internet is a prime place for scammers and other cyber-criminals to lurk.
Thanks to his videos, him warning people about these scams, and him foiling these scammers himself, it’s safe to say Browning is almost a cyber-crime-fighter, keeping people safe from the dangers of the digital realm.