Advertisement
News

Hacker Breaches Scam Call Center, Warns Victims They've Been Scammed

A hacker claims to have also stolen source code from the call center, which they say is an antivirus scam.
A still from a CCTV camera in Waredot's office.
Image: NanoBaiter on YouTube.

A hacker claims to have breached a scam call center, stolen the source code for the company’s tools, and emailed the company’s scam victims, according to multiple screenshots and files provided by the hacker to 404 Media.

The hack is the latest in a long series of vigilante actions in which hackers take matters into their own hands and breach or otherwise disrupt scam centers. A massively popular YouTube community, with creators mocking their targets, also exists around the practice.

“Hello, everyone! If you are seeing this email then you have been targeted by a fake antivirus company known as ‘Waredot,’” the hacker wrote in their alleged email to customers, referring to the scam call center. The email goes on to suggest that customers issue a chargeback “as this trash software isn’t worth anywhere NEAR $300-$400 per month, and these trash idiots don’t deserve your money!”

A screenshot of the email allegedly sent to Waredot customers. Redactions by 404 Media. Image: 404 Media.

A common tactic of these call centers is to target senior or less tech literate people, and convince them that their PC has been infected with malware or has some other sort of issue. Sometimes this can involve popups that invade a person’s screen, at which point they’re told to call a hotline. The call center then offers an apparent solution: their own antivirus software. This will often cost much, much more than a standard piece of consumer antivirus software, and, more importantly, will not work. In March, 404 Media reported that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) went undercover against fake antivirus companies which used approaches like this.


This segment is a paid ad. If you’re interested in advertising, let's talk.
DeleteMe image 5_20 NL w 404.jpg

Your personal data can easily be found with a simple Google search—DeleteMe is here to help. Join a growing community of privacy champions, from individuals to forward-thinking businesses, seeking to stop the leak at the source. We're offering 404 Media readers 20% off all consumer plans.


On its website, Waredot says it is “empowering people to live their digital lives securely.” But the hacker, and NanoBaiter, a YouTuber who has previously covered the company, claim Waredot is a scam. In their video, NanoBaiter appears to gain access to Waredot’s CCTV cameras and see Waredot staff scam victims in real time. The video feed includes Waredot branded material hanging from the ceiling. During the video, the company is also apparently raided by authorities.

💡
Do you have any other data related to scam call centers? I would love to hear from you. Using a non-work device, you can message me securely on Signal at +44 20 8133 5190. Otherwise, send me an email at joseph@404media.co.

After that video was published in April, the hacker contacted 404 Media and provided multiple screenshots and files of what they said was their own intrusion into Waredot. “We found it pertinent to carry it home and release the source code to put Waredot to bed,” they wrote in an email. They added that Waredot was still selling its product and was being advertised after the apparent raid, which “caught my attention.” So, the hacker breached the company.

“The source code for the antivirus is entirely underwhelming and will piss off any reasonable person who reads it then thinks about how it was sold for $400,” the hacker told 404 Media in an email.

In their alleged email to Waredot victims, the hacker said they had wiped various sets of Waredot data, and encouraged victims to contact who they said were Waredot’s developers. Those three people did not respond to a request for comment from 404 Media.

The screenshot of the email included some alleged Waredot victim email addresses in the BCC field. 404 Media verified that these email addresses do correspond to accounts on Waredot’s website. 

Some of the vigilante videos on YouTube have millions upon millions of views. One of the biggest, a YouTuber called Scambaiter, has nearly 2.5 million subscribers. 

Waredot did respond to a request for comment.

The hacker’s email signs on with “To the waredot team, if you want to contact us please stick your head up your arse and scream. Death to scammers.”

Advertisement