One golden rule that every netizen out there should always follow is – do not scam, do not be scammed. However, scams happen on the Internet all the times – mostly because not everybody is watchful enough while dealing with strangers they meet online.
Unfortunately, most victims of online scams have no other way but to regret and face their fate silently. Even law enforcement agencies are usually unable to handle such cases as the perpetrators are often based outside their jurisdiction.
However, Christian Haschek who was targeted by a 22-year-old scamster from the US on Reddit was not a run-of-the-mill type victim. He refused to silently put up with the fact that someone had just ripped him off $500. What followed next was remarkable and hopefully taught a valuable lesson to the young lad who tried to exploit the “benefit of the doubt” vested on him by Hatschek.
Based out of Austria, Haschek is the chief of the security research company Haschek Solutions. It all began when he was trying to sell $500 in US Apple gift card on Reddit because they are tough to use from overseas.
He thought he had struck a deal with a buyer after prolonged negotiations, only to find out later that the person was actually a fraud.
Following the verification of the eBay account of the buyer, which by the way, was legit, Hascheck mailed the cards to the address given to him. But the Bitcoin payment that he was promised never came.
Out of suspicion, Hascheck tried inquiring about the payment and found that the Reddit account associated with the buyer had already been deleted. When he reached out to the guy through eBay, the buyer told him that his account had been hacked and denied any knowledge of the sale.
Haschek was sure now that the buyer was trying to rip him off. He then used the scammer’s eBay and Reddit account names to track down a Steam name, which in turn gave away the Facebook account of one of the guy’s friends.
Haschek then banked on his stalking skills to gather some key details about the scammer including his full name, address, the Facebook accounts of his brother and mother, and more. He sent the guy’s brother a message explaining the situation and urged them to handle the situation without requiring him to go to the authorities.
Scared by the turn of events, the scammer soon responded and apologized to Haschek for his misdeeds and offered to return the cards.
In the end, nobody was harmed and both parties had learnt their lessons – the scammer in particular who promised Haschek that he would never try to pull off something like that again.
Here is a full account of the chain of events including details of the messages exchanged between the two.