When scammers impersonated a pair of magicians to conduct financial fraud, the victims had a trick up their own sleeves.
The scammers set up a Yahoo webmail account that was designed to look like the victims' legitimate email address with AOL, Ars Technica reported Monday. The magicians, spouses Kyle and Kelly Peron, were exposed after the husband, Kyle, clicked a link that exposed his Facebook contacts to the scammers. The scammers then used the fake email account to attempt to steal money from the Perons' friends.
The couple was unable to immediately convince Yahoo Inc. to close the impostors' webmail account, the article said. However, they were able to freeze the scammers' bogus account for 12 hours by trying (and failing) to log into it themselves.
Yahoo temporarily freezes accounts after repeated failed login attempts. This is a security measure to prevent scammers from breaking into legitimate users' accounts by brute-force guessing.
Eventually Yahoo agreed to shut down the account after the Perons convinced AT&T to help them. A commenter to the Ars Technica story suggested that the couple might have had better success by contacting Yahoo's legal department (instead of its customer service system) to explain the fraud.