Hey there, Committee! We've all seen them - the relentless scammers trying to push their non-existent products in cannabis and mushroom circles. It does my nut in, and everybody else's - but have you ever wondered what drives these individuals to engage in such activities? Money obviously, but today, we're bringing you an exclusive interview with a Telegram scammer, who's going to give us a no-holds-barred look into the world of online drug scams and tell us what's what.
I wanted to know a little bit about this loser, but he kept refusing to answer a lot of the questions which I suppose is to be expected. These are the ones he answered, I tried to be as polite as possible in order to suck out as much info as I can. I had quite a big conversation, but also sent him a list of questions which he took a long time to mull over. The online account was named Patricia but one thing he did tell me was that he's a dude. Originally he commented on my own profile (a post taking the piss out of scammers, believe it or not) - and informed me that he uses automated software that targets key words, hence the 'mistake'. Absolute muppet! But lastly, a quick disclaimer. We do not condone this activity and advise any readers that this is a silly, nasty, and dangerous path to go down. Do not attempt it.
Background and Motivation
Can you share some background about yourself and how you got involved in this line of work?
Scammer: "I'm not telling you nothin' about me personally but I started out legit. Had a pretty tight group but it got closed down along with my account at the time. I realised after its quicker and easier just to use software and let people come to you"
Why did you choose to promote cannabis and psychedelics through social media? What motivates you to engage in promoting these substances online?
Scammer: "Social media's where the eyeballs are at. Gotta go where the people are. And the demand's there. I run a Telegram channel - [REDACTED]. I even run sponsored ads for it on Facebook. Not been shut down yet for the ad and it's been about 6 or 7 weeks. Most people be messagin' me from either Facebook or Instagram and I link em my Telegram"
Legal and Ethical Considerations
Do your customers ever actually receive anything?
Scammer: "I used to send it bro but no, I don't anymore except a few who are old customers of mine. Maybe 15 or so regular people I'll send something out but I just get somebody else to do it and charge a lil extra"
Have you faced any legal consequences or challenges due to your activities? How do you mitigate the risks of getting caught or facing legal consequences?
Scammer: "Ain't nobody catching me and I can't tell you that. It's not hard though"
Do you think cannabis and psychedelics should be made available recreationally? Are there any ethical boundaries you wouldn't cross in pursuit of money?
Scammer: "Recreational? Who gives a fuck? Makes no difference people still be messagin' me for it legal or not. And yeah I just want money. I'm not tryin' to hurt people or anythin' else. Just the cake. I don't be hurtin' anybody but I might leave they ass a lil more broke"
Challenges and Strategies
What platforms do you use?
Scammer: "Facebook and Instagram are the ones that slap but my friend uses Twitter alot as you don't get blocked, and Redditt too. I also use Whatsapp and Messenger of course. And Telegram for the menu. I also use a Google Chrome extension [REDACTED] to be commentin' faster"
What "sells" most on the menu?
Scammer: "It all sells. I got flower on there. Extracts. Cocaine. I even got fake money I just take videos of real money"
Can you describe the most common challenges you face in running your online drug scam operation, and how do you overcome them?
Scammer: "One of the realest challenges I face is earning that trust, you feel me? Gotta drop some fake testimonials at the start and be a lil pushy sometimes. And you know, staying ahead of the platform security is a pain in the ass - that's a whole hustle but it's also just a formula you follow after a while. I havn't really changed much in the last few months but learnin' from some mistakes at the start. I used to accidently type the wrong currency alot"
What advice would you give to social media users to help them identify and avoid falling victim to online drug scams?
Scammer: "If you don't got money to lose, then don't send money to strangers on the internet. That's my guide"
Do you have anything else you'd like to add?
Scammer: "No" Scammer: "Actually fuck it. Yes. The next one I'll be doin' is firearms and munitions I hear that's getting to be a big one in the UK"
Legal and Ethical Implications of Online Drug Scams
Online drug scams carry severe legal and ethical consequences that extend beyond the immediate act of promoting and selling illegal substances. The ramifications impact individuals, communities, and society as a whole. Here are some key considerations:
Violation of the Law
Participating in online drug scams involves a direct violation of the law, regardless of where you are situated in the world. Distributing and promoting illegal substances through any means, including social media, is subject to legal consequences. Law enforcement agencies actively monitor such activities, and individuals engaging in these scams may face criminal charges, fines, and imprisonment. These days, AI detects a lot of this stuff quite easily.
Beyond legal implications, online drug scams pose significant health risks to consumers. Individuals purchasing substances through these illicit channels may receive products that are mislabelled, contaminated, or unsafe if they do receive anything at all. The absence of quality control and regulatory oversight increases the likelihood of adverse health effects, ranging from minor ailments to life-threatening consequences.
Support for Criminal Networks
Engaging in online drug scams indirectly supports criminal networks involved in the production and distribution of illegal substances. Profits generated from these activities contribute to organized crime, fuelling broader illegal activity. This support perpetuates an illicit industry with far-reaching consequences for public safety and well-being.
Undermining Public Health and Safety
Online drug scams undermine public health and safety by bypassing established regulations designed to protect consumers. The lack of oversight means that individuals purchasing substances online are left vulnerable to unscrupulous sellers, increasing the likelihood of harm and abuse. These scams erode trust in online platforms and hinder efforts to establish secure, legitimate online markets for regulated products.
How To Avoid Getting Scammed Online When Buying Weed Or Other Goodies & How To Spot A Scammer
In the vast landscape of online transactions, especially in the realm of cannabis and related products, it's crucial to navigate with caution to avoid falling victim to scams. Here are essential tips to help you identify and avoid scams, as well as recognize potential scammers:
Conduct Thorough Research
Before making any purchase, conduct thorough research on the seller or platform. Look for reviews from external sources, such as reputable review websites or forums. Always look at the negative reviews first and remember - positive reviews can not only be faked, but paid for relatively cheap. Legitimate sellers often have a track record of positive feedback, while scammers may have negative reviews or no online presence beyond their own platforms.
Use Secure and Reputable Online Marketplaces
Opt for secure and reputable online marketplaces that have established trust within the community. These platforms often have mechanisms in place to verify sellers and ensure transactions are secure. Avoid making purchases directly through social media comments or unsolicited messages.
Verify Product Quality
When purchasing cannabis or related products, prioritize sellers who provide transparent information about product quality. Legitimate sellers may offer third-party testing results or certifications. Be cautious of sellers who make unrealistic claims about their products or offer prices that seem too good to be true.
Secure Payment Methods and Guarantees
Only make purchases using secure payment methods that offer buyer protection. Reputable sellers provide guarantees for the quality and delivery of their products. Avoid sellers who insist on unconventional payment methods or seem unwilling to provide assurances about the transaction.
Be Wary of Unsolicited Offers
Scammers often reach out through unsolicited offers, especially in social media comments. Be sceptical of messages that pressure you to act quickly, create a sense of urgency, or offer deals that seem too good to pass up. Legitimate sellers respect your autonomy and provide information without aggressive tactics.
Trust Your Instincts
Scammers will generally (but not always!) try and have you buy larger amounts at once. Remember: they can only scam you once.
If something feels off or too good to be true, trust your instincts and proceed with caution. Scammers rely on exploiting trust and urgency, so taking the time to verify details and ensuring a secure transaction is crucial to avoiding potential scams.
Recognize Red Flags
Spotting a potential scammer involves recognizing red flags such as poor communication, inconsistent information, or a reluctance to provide verifiable details. Legitimate sellers are generally transparent and willing to address any concerns you may have. They are also usually less "pushy".
By following these tips and staying vigilant, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to online scams and ensure a safer online shopping experience for cannabis and related products.