Wikileaks-inspired phone scam

"A caller reported she received an automated phone call telling her that her computer and IP address had been noted as having visited the Wikileaks site, and that there were grave consequences for this, including a $250,000 or $25,000 fine, perhaps imprisonment. It left an option for leaving a message as to how she was going to handle this and the fine payment."—A Better Business Bureau advisory on a new telephone scam making the rounds.


  1. No big whoop. I’m expecting a huge pay-out from some cash that I wired to Lagos last week.

  2. At risk of making mountains out of molehills, it’s interesting how the BBB italicizes Wikileaks qua Wikileaks. This implies to me that whoever wrote that considers Wikileaks to be a media organization. A good sign for Wikileaks supporters, considering the BBB is not exactly a bastion of left-wing/libertarian information freedom zealotry.

    1. Insert,

      Whatever you might consider Wikileaks to be, they are essentially a media organization, and not entirely unconventional. They gather through various means previously undisclosed information and make that information public. Where’s the mystery there? Too boot, they tend to do so with a bit of fanfare and horn-tooting, and in doing so, by-passed the pre-24 hour era of news for news’ sake and combine the whole enterprise in a pretty modern rendition of the media.

  3. I don’t think the scam’s the part to be worried about. It’s the fact that it might work.

    Even in the UK you can detect somebody whose world is composed of generalisations inferred from the media within about a minute of conversation. I’ve reached the point where I only get news from bb, Wikipedia/news and The Onion.

  4. Netter Business Bureau: “Insist on a written statement of what you owe. Don’t pay it if it’s fake.”

    That’s the kind of advice money can’t buy. Thank you.

  5. For the less cynical, I could see a scam like this possibly working, but it’s predicated on the notion that a randomly dialed person has a computer, an internet connection and actually visited the Wikileaks domain. Somehow the old “your ATM card has been deactivated, press 1 to reactive” scam seems like it’d be more lucrative.

  6. People need to accept personal responsibility for being morons.

    If your dumb enough to take that call and say “Let me just get my credit card and we can clear this up”, you deserve to get taken.

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