h a l f b a k e r y
Your journey of inspiration and perplexement provides a certain dark frisson.
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An organization is comprised of former telemarketers, spammers, and scam artists. They continue to play out their confidence games, with one little twist: the mark actually benefits.
"Congratulations, you've won our lottery! Simply provide us with your bank account, and we'll wire you the money."
You don't remember entering a lottery, the caller has a thick accent, and tries to dodge any request for details. Nonetheless, it's real. The money will be yours, and the account number will not be stored.
A Nigerian prince offers to share his wealth with a stranger on the other side of the world. You don't know why someone of such status would email you of all people, but you're trusting. Several weeks and one flight to Africa later, and you'll go home with a suitcase full of cash.
You receive a call from your computer company, saying your computer is insecure. After providing your login credentials, they install some decent antivirus software, teach you how to use ad blocking programs, and patch the firewall to prevent future logins.
The entire business is operating at a loss, mitigated only by the relative scarcity of those who follow through with the "scam". The purpose? To seed the next generation of gullible fools. The investment will eventually pay off as more people buy into time shares, reverse mortgages, and long term no money down car leases.
Mitchell & Webb
One of a series of "MASSIVE YACHT" sketches [hippo, Sep 07 2015]
||It would suffer a severe Free-Rider problem from other scammers, who will participate in the harvest, but not contribute to the seeding.
||Thanks to Yahoo!'s (mis)use of X-Apparently-To (where if their email server can't find a match for received mail they randomly send it to somebody else in their domain, in this case yours truly), I could've been the owner of somebody else's paypal account, having gotten their confirmation request: a real one, from paypal, not a scammer.