Who’s Behind These Scammy Text Messages We’ve All Been Getting?: The Search Engine Podcast Demystifies the Global Scam

You have received those odd text mes­sages from a stranger. (“Hi, This is Ani­ta. Have you received the Panam­era parts yet?”) You know the mes­sages are spam, but you don’t quite under­stand the angle of the scam. Above, the Search Engine pod­cast works with Bloomberg reporter Zeke Faux to break down the con oper­a­tion. The sto­ry turns out to be more com­pli­cat­ed than it first appears. It involves cryp­to, but also human traf­fick­ing and forced labor com­pounds in Cam­bo­dia and Myan­mar. We’ll just leave it at that and sug­gest you lis­ten to this unnerv­ing pod­cast episode. You can hope­ful­ly stream it above or find it on your favorite pod­cast platform—e.g., Apple and Spo­ti­fy.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.