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Carrots and Sticks: The Scammer’s Toolbox

There are basically three types of scammer out there. We’ll call them the lone wolf, the foot soldier and the opportunist. The lone wolf and opportunist may or may not be affiliated to an organized criminal enterprise. Whatever the case, they are not acting on behalf of any enterprise, but instead are acting in their personal capacity. The difference between the two is that the lone wolf will have planned and deployed a scam (or multiple scams) and then lies in wait to reel in potential victims, while the opportunist would not necessarily have planned to scam anyone but has been presented with an opportunity or found themselves in a fortuitous situation that they simply cannot pass up. The foot soldier is someone acting on behalf of a criminal enterprise. Foot soldiers are generally low-level criminals or reluctant participants in more widely cast, and often better funded, scams. While they’re likely to have considerable experience in conducting scams, foot soldiers generally do not have a high level of expertise. Scams are formulated by decision-makers within the enterprise, and a foot soldier’s job is simply to follow the script.


An opportunity will be missed

You’ll lose something you have

You’ll get something you don’t want

You’ll be in trouble

It will cost you