Phone Scam With Mark Rober
If you don’t know who Mark Rober is, he is an American YouTuber, engineer, and inventor. He is known for his YouTube videos on popular science and do-it-yourself gadgets. Before YouTube, Rober was an engineer with NASA for 9 years where spending seven of those years working on the Curiosity rover at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He later worked for four years at Apple Inc. as a product designer in their Special Projects Group, where he authored patents involving virtual reality in self-driving cars. He makes some very interesting and educational videos. In this case, he is working with Homeland Security to bust some scammers.
In December 2018, Rober posted a video showing how he tricked parcel thieves with an engineered contraption that sprayed glitter on the thieves, emitted a foul odor, and captured video of the thieves. The video went viral, receiving 25 million views in one day. Rober later removed two of the five incidents caught on tape after discovering that two of the thieves were actually friends of a person he hired to help catch the package thieves. Rober posted a follow-up in December 2019, teaming up with Macaulay Culkin and featuring an improved design. Rober would post another follow-up a year later, featuring a third edition of the bomb. During the process of building the third bomb, Rober collaborated with Jim Browning, ScammerPayback, and various state and federal authorities to use the glitter bomb bait package as a tactic to track and arrest money mules and their supervisors, who were working with scamming call centers in India to rob elderly people of thousands of dollars. Some of the investigations are still ongoing. This was in conjunction with a multi-Youtuber movement to get back at and shut down scam callers while raising awareness to prevent other people from being scammed in the future.
Mark has made three versions of his glitter bomb (links to the other two versions are at the end of this post), and this is a video explaining how he is working with authorities to catch these porch pirates and phone scammers. This video breaks down how the scam works in great detail.
In full disclosure, I have received several of these phone calls and emails. I knew right away they were scams, but I wanted to see how far they would take this. I did this well before Mark released his video. I called the number and the first time, I wanted to be dramatic and I told the person on the other end of the phone that I just received an email that I ordered a DSLR camera from Amazon for $3,068.00 and that I don’t know what do to and I poured it on thick and begged them endlessly to help me, but they hung up. So I tried again a little later and I got as far as allowing them to connect to my computer, I then hung up on them.
The Glitter Bomb in Action
Later in this series of posts we will get more in-depth on some of these scams, stay tuned.