ICS0018 Hands-on seminars

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The idea

The hands-on seminars are based on ScamLab materials. The goal is to learn about different scams in a safe(ish) but real environment. A little side quest is to waste scammers' time so that they can't use it on actual victims. A successful presentation will result in passing the course if the attendance criteria (6 out of 8 lectures and seminars) is met. To register a presentation, please send an e-mail to Kristjan, stating the chosen time slot. There are limited presentation slots - first come, first served!

The Task

Step 1: Create a fake identity and honeypot email account for engaging with scammers. Other platforms are also welcome, as long as you are able to protect your identity.

Step 2: Distribute the email address on shady or spammy sites, such as social media, online forums, etc. Some tips can be found here https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-get-scam-emails

Step 3: Wait for the scams to start rolling in.

Step 4: Engage! First select if you're going to use a naïve or aggressive approach.

If you don't manage to get any scammers to directly email your newly created address, go look in your regular mailbox, in the spam folder, ask friends & family, etc. NB! Before replying to any of those "crowdsourced" scam emails from your fake account, be sure to delete the address it was originally sent to.

Some tips for safety:

  1. Never reveal your (or anyone else's) real personal information to the scammers. Make up something realistic.
  2. Never open any links in emails unless you're in a protected sandbox environment.
  3. NEVER give out any real financial information, account information, or passwords.
  4. Always use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). Even on your fake accounts.

Here's the grand prize: if you manage to engage with at least 3 scammers for an email chain of 5 messages or more (they respond to at least 2 of your letters in the same thread), and present your findings at one of the seminars, you pass the course. It's not as easy as it might first seem.

An alternative way to pass is to educate people in your social network, friends, family, coworkers, etc about scams, how to spot them, how to avoid them, what to do if you're already a victim.

The Seminars


Back to the course page