On Friday, an anonymous security developer that goes by the name of Project Mayhem on YouTube posted a video in which he takes revenge on an IRS phone scamming company presumably based in India. Using a call flooder script, he collapsed their lines with 28 calls per second.
He calls himself /u/YesItWasDataMined on Reddit, where he also posted the video to the /r/videos subreddit. It got over 120,000 upvotes on that sub alone, making it the fourth most popular video of all times and over 30,000 additional upvotes across various reposts in other subs.
Since then, the mysterious internet hero has set up a Patreon account as requested by people who want to support his cause. He has also uploaded a second video in which he applies the same tactic to a fake Microsoft Support team asking for iTunes gift cards.
Project Mayhem deals with scammers and empowers others to do the same
Project Mayhem might just be the hero that people both want and deserve. Phone scams are not only annoying but also a real threat to people’s financial security, and many elderly or innocent victims fall for these fraudulent schemes every year.
The YouTube channel dates from August 2012, so the most likely thing is that Project Mayhem was just a regular guy with a YouTube channel created by default when he signed up for a Google account at the time.
In his Patreon profile, he describes himself as “a security developer who tries to prevent victims from being scammed by different types of scams.” In his first video, like many people, he seems to be genuinely fed up with con artists both wasting his time and taking him for a fool.
Project Mayhem then quickly writes a script that calls the scam number back 28 times per second. The idea behind it is to fight fire with fire, calling the fake IRS so many times that their lines collapse and cannot make nor receive any calls and record the whole thing for entertainment purposes.
Supporters have requested many times that he posts the source code for the script so can others can put machines they’re not using to good use. Project Mayhem has responded saying he will share it very soon.
Phone scams are no joke and make millionaire businesses
Although it is certainly enjoyable to have a laugh at scammers getting increasingly frustrated, the people who run these scams get the last laugh most of the time. They get millions of dollars from people who don’t know better and just fall for their traps, as obvious as they may seem to some.
Back in April, the Indian police arrested the alleged ringleader of one of these schemes who also used the IRS as a cover. Authorities said that almost 400 people were arrested for connections with the call center, which was responsible for stealing from roughly 15,000 people.
The 24-year-old man who led the phone scamming company was said to be living “a lavish lifestyle,” and investigations estimated he had made as much as $300 million since he started the whole operation.
Project Mayhem has set up a poll over at his Patreon profile for people to choose which target he would hit next. He also said that he would make revenge videos on phone scamming companies on a weekly basis.