On Being Scammed by “Internet Marketers”

A longform piece by Joseph Flatley writing for The Verge:

It was only when he got back home [from the hospital] and started to recover, and “started thinking like a person again” that Joseph realized that Rob Martino, the salesman from Raygoza’s operation, the one who claimed his brother was also a paraplegic, had ripped him off…Joseph would wheel himself out of earshot of his family and work the phone. Many hours were spent in vain, trying to hold the voices on the other end of the line accountable. Ultimately, that’s all they were — voices. Apparitions, almost.

These are not poorly written emails from “Nigerian princes” who want you to help them transfer money. This is a different caliber of scam, preying on people who believe that they really are the 1,000,000 visitor to a website or who purchasing an eBook that guarantees a successful online business. The “boiler room” call centers operate right here in America.

When we hear about scammers and scamees, it’s easy to write off the consequences, but it’s jarring when journalists turn anonymous “scam victims” into real people. This article is no different.

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