I just wasted 35 minutes of a scammers time

It made me think about what’s right and wrong

Monday, 30th August 2021


My phone starts ringing. It’s from a number located in Sydney, New South Wales 02 725X XXXX

Usually when I receive calls from unknown numbers, I pick up wait a few seconds and the call cuts off by itself. But today I pick up and he starts talking.

At the same time, I had been messaging a professional work colleague about administrative matters. Like the true professional that I am, the conversation was obviously very formal.

I have since transcribed that conversation. In the quotes below are my live reaction to the scam as I updated my professional work colleague (clearly to the highest standards of the English language).


“BROOI I just got a call from an Indian telemarker

Stocks and commiditied”

I don’t remember the name he provided, but it definitely didn’t match his accent.

He introduced himself as an investment representative. I could hear other voices in the background.

He said that they work on stocks and commodities, so naturally, I was very interested.


He told me that on their records, they could see I was an investor. He asked me about my investments.

So I told him about my very real and extensive crypto assets, which I told him was just an investment in Dogecoin:

“im telling him about DOGECOIN”

Being a highly educated advisor, he asked me how my investment was doing.

“The coin hasn’t been doing well recently” “Have you lost money?”

I told him that I invested early, so I’ve actually made a lot of money.


Unfortunately he hadn’t been as lucky. He told me how he had invested in Bitcoin, and lost really badly.

“He stared with bitcoin

And lost really bad”

But then he found this company, and they made him a lot of money! Instead of holding cryptocurrency assets, they day trade and provide advice. He told me that I would always have an advisor “just like him” providing advice on when and what to trade. He even promised me that all my money would be secured:

“He is working with a brokerage company

My money will be secured :))))

No need for me to lose my money”

In fact, the company did him so well that he started working for them! I was seriously impressed! They must have had some seriously strong results:

“Risk manage

Yoooo the company was that good

That the man started working for them

Yes story, makes sense”


I felt comforted that they could guarantee I would make money. He explained to me their “risk management software” which would be able to recover losses. It felt like magic, but I knew it had to be true. Otherwise, why would this man start working for the company?

“Risk management software woooo

That can recover losses ahaha”


We were getting along well. I let him do most of the talking as I sat, answering only when he prompted a question. I felt so truly truly blessed, so much so that I was on the brink of laughter.

He told me that he was going to connect me to a financial advisor to continue the process. But before he did so, he warned me that their minimum membership option was $250:

“He’s connecting me to a financial advisor now

MINIMUM investment $250"

He placed me on hold as I was transferring over. There was no hold music either! Such an forward thinking company, one which cared about the sanity of its customers’ ear drums…

“I’m on hold I think

There’s no music tho”


Unlike other companies with super long hold times, it was not even a minute when the financial advisor picked up. He introduced himself as James Steward.

“His name is James steward”

Again he asked me about my investments, and I told him about dogecoin. I told him I had $100 invested early on, and now I had made lots of money. When he mentioned Ethereum, Cardano and other cryptocurrency coins, I told him I had none of them. Just dogecoin.


Then he started showing me his technical knowledge and skill.

He dazzled me with facts and statistics:

“WOAH 288% increase in dogecin,”

Used impressive technical jargon:

“Smart contracts


I knew I was dealing with the best in the industry. It was very comforting to finally meet a financial advisor who knew what he was talking about.


Again he reiterated the investment strategy:

“They don’t buy and hold

They go on the price change”

Some more relevant numbers:

50% 45% percentags wooooo

And all the assurance I needed:

“He’s gonna give me all the assistance

Hes gonna give me a call everytime I go on the platform

To trade”


I couldn’t believe it! Here I was, talking with the self professed “living proof” of investing in crypto! As I quoted James Steward’s dialogue:

“ ‘I am LIVING PROOF of investing in CRYPTO

Let’s do this together and invitst in crypto together’ “

YES! I was ready. Ready to do this together, with my trusted personal advisor Mr Stewart!


“He wants me email address”

He asked for my email address. I considered giving him a random one, but I gave him one of my own burner email addresses.

“I’m giving him one of my real email addresses

I want to see what he sends”


Then he asked for my mailing address. I asked him whether it had to be my personal address. At first he pushed, but then relented that I could give my work address. So I searched up the address to my former high school, changed up the numbers and letters a bit and gave him that:

“I gave him the address to my school”


We were getting along great. He asked me about the pandemic and it’s impact in Australia. Then he asked me how my work was going.

Well I had given him my work address to a school and apparently I could still go to work in the pandemic. So I told him I was the “big boss” of an education company. The principal as I clarified:



He sighed in reply, laughing for a second before lamenting that he hoped to be a “big boss” too.


But all of this was putting off the inevitable. Which was that sooner or later they would ask for my credit card. And now was the time

“Oooh he wants my credit card”

So I searched up “fake credit card generator” online, and found this website:

And read out this card generated by the website

“VISA, 4716 1282 0465 2958, 11/2024, 548”


He told me I would receive a request for payment which I would have to approve, then asked me to wait for a moment while he processed it.

The generator had produced a card with valid format, but then he told me there was a problem

“He saying it appears as a U.S. card”

Slight problem. Was he onto me? An Australian with a United States card?

So I thought for a second and replied:

“I am telling him it is an A US card ahaha”

I thought I was being pretty clear. It was definitely a U.S. card. But for the sake of our conversation, it was more A U.S. card.

“No, it is coming up as US”

“I know. It is an A US card”

“No, you don’t understand. US, United States”

“Yes, an A US card, I know”


But he kept pushing. So I told him that I would go find another card. Maybe that was my work card or something. So I asked him to wait while I supposedly went to find a card. We were 28 minutes into the call, and I decided I would mute myself and just wait.

“I want to see how long he will wait for

I’m hot gonna reply

I’m gonna turn off speaker

And just hold forever until he hangs up”


“It’s been two minutes now. I think he might’ve tried to say hello

But I turned down the volume so I can’t hear”


OH shit he’s saying hello

He’s saying hello

He’s saying ALAN ALAN ahahaha


HE keeps saying hello

It’s been 6 minutes now

He’s stopped now


Ahhhaa he hang up ahahah

It was over. A good use of 35 minutes.

Ah wait


“Ahahaha brooo he called me

And the number was from Wellington

Like it wasn’t the same number

And I picked up and I heard the man go like ‘HELLO’

And I just picked up for like two secs and hung up

Without saying anything”


Then I received a message on WhatsApp

I felt very honoured to be called the “mark”. They were a very transparent company. I definitely appreciated that

From: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/72057/11-swindling-slang-terms-grifters#:~:text=Mark%20meaning%20someone%20targeted%20for,for%20a%20swindle%20or%20scam.

Then at 23:27, and then 14:28 on Tuesday, they called me again. This time, I did not pick up

Lessons about sympathy

I thought this would be a fun article about wasting a scammer’s time. But by the end, I’ve grown in greater understanding of why they scam. Of course, just stalling and delaying their time meant that perhaps less people would be targeted. The delay may have saved someone else in the world $250 dollars. But I’ve also grown in my sympathy for such individuals. When I pretended to work as a “big boss” and he replied with a hopeful sigh, I imagined the reality of his situation. He was not an evil scammer. More likely than not, he was a helpless man in poverty, just trying to sustain himself and his family.

If we flip perspective, we realise that this was really just a case of the poor man trying to steal a loaf of bread for his starving family. When we consider this thought experiment from a neutral perspective, we debate the morality of the theft: “Perhaps he should steal. The baker is very rich and has many loaves of bread. Why should the baker be so selfish?”. When we consider this situation as the baker, we might think “I would allow him to take the bread. I have many loaves to give”.

Of course the two situations aren’t equivalent: Shouldn’t the poor man ask the baker for a loaf first? Explain his situation and place in hands in good will? I’m not saying that they are: Absolutely, there are malevolent people who steal and scam with warped morals, who do so for pleasure. But for many thieves, the act is a constant internal conflict. A conflict which puts morals up against life and death and the brutal realities of poverty.

When you and I are pushed to that same limit, most of us would do the exact same thing: Morality falls. Survival instinct prevails.

Thanks for reading. May you be blessed with good fortune and circumstance.

Have a great day,


Article #19 inspired by walking outside at dawn and observing the local community. Please read this article if you’d like to know more.



Trying out this thing. I think people call it “writing” but dunno

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Alan Wong

Trying out this thing. I think people call it “writing” but dunno