New York Times homes in on call center scammers

The New York Times took a deep dive into the world of call center scammers, investigating a particularly malicious example and profiling Jim Browning, a tech-savvy scambuster (previously at Boing Boing) famous for turning the tables on fraudsters and explaining to them exactly who they are.

"I'm fascinated by scams," he told me. "I like to know how they work." A software engineer based in the United Kingdom, he runs a YouTube channel under the pseudonym Jim Browning, where he regularly posts videos about his fraud-fighting efforts, identifying call centers and those involved in the crimes. He began talking to me over Skype in the fall of 2019 — and then sharing recordings like the episode with Langer — on the condition that I not reveal his identity, which he said was necessary to protect himself against the ire of the bad guys and to continue what he characterizes as his activism. Maintaining anonymity, it turns out, is key to scam-busting and scamming alike.

I love the calm Irish lour of Browning's voice. Absolutely perfect for the genre.