Follow TV Tropes

Following

Web Video / Kitboga

Go To

Kitboga is a scam baiter and occasional PC game streamer on Twitch. His goal is to spread awareness of the various phone scams out there, that prey upon innocent people that are too easily-manipulated into their schemes.

In other words, he prank calls scammers to try and go along with them, while trying to waste as much of their time as possible in the process. The most common scam seen are the infamous "tech support scams" — where users are coerced into calling (or, in many cases, cold called by) a fake tech support hotline (most commonly an Operator from India) that tries to convince the user that their computer is compromised and requires an expensive software subscription in order to fix it. Or it's the IRS trying to claim you owe them, or trying to give you a fake government grant.

Advertisement:

Kitboga is known for using various characters in his calls, which can range from a sweet old lady, a man from the Deep South, a vaguely European person, to an anxious teenager that has a relative who does weird science experiments.

He streams on Twitch, but also has a YouTube channel where condensed videos are posted.

Kitboga's streams feature each and everything:

  • 419 Scam: Usually not the focus of phone scams, though he has encountered a few. One incredibly barebones example is the "Cash Flip" scam, in which a service to multiply money is advertised via social media platforms such as Instagram.
  • Berserk Button: The usually calm and friendly Kit has a handful of things that will put him into Tranquil Fury mode:
    • As mentioned under Real Men Love Jesus, scammers who try to exploit a victim's religion as part of their scam.
    • Scammers who threaten physical violence or arrest if you fail to pay.
    • In general, though the general incompetence of scammers is mostly Played for Laughs, Kit becomes far more serious when he realises that someone on the phone is really good at their job. Those that take the time to befriend the victim, or go through the extra effort to make the scam seem convincing often fall into this category.
  • Advertisement:
  • Blatant Lies: Just about everything the scammers do qualify. From claiming to be from Microsoft or even the Internal Revenue Service, they go to great lengths to make themselves believable.
  • Booby Trap: His virtual machine is filled with custom-coded gags intended to waste the scammer's time when they are connected, including versions of common Windows applications that do not work 100% as expected, and the legendary "Nudes" folder.
    Kitboga: I don't know if it's too much too soon. Like, I have taken quite a few ... [scammer clicks Extra Large Icons mode to see the thumbnails, awkward Beat] [...] These are my mole rats.
  • Canada, Eh?: The Canada Revenue Agency scams, which are essentially the same as the IRS tax scams with references to US institutions replaced with Canadian ones. Kitboga always checks whether the fake-CRA offers its services in Frenchnote , which it never does.
  • Advertisement:
  • Character Level: A Running Gag treats the scammer's frequent claims that they are technicians of a certain level as this. This is based on the multi-tier tech support system some legitimate providers use to delegate tasks based on their severity, though in a highly exaggerated form; the scammers often claim to be 'level 7' or 'level 9' technicians, whereas actual tech support tiers rarely go beyond 3 or 4 levels, and most certainly would not transfer high-level technicians to perform basic virus cleanups. The fake Syskey application references this by turning into a "Microsoft Certified Login Terminal" that has level options that skip right to 9: clicking that changes the Microsoft logo to a GIF of a cat using a laptop.
  • Chewing the Scenery: The refund scams, which ask the scammers to react with horror when they "accidentally" send the victim too much money, frequently involve this.
  • Cool Shades: He always wears sunglasses; initially, it was because he was concerned that people would recognize him. They eventually stuck for Rule of Cool.'
    • And then in March 2019, as a charity incentive ... he finally took them off! He's since taken to not wearing them during his introduction.
  • The Comically Serious: A lot of his humour comes from the scammers trying to get through their scripts no matter what silliness Kit tries to throw at them. The fact that the scammers often only have very basic knowledge at best of the topics they are supposed to be adept at only adds to it.
  • Complexity Addiction: The schemes Kit faces usually go by the assumption that companies would go through ridiculously roundabout ways of performing basic customer service tasks. The biggest example are refund scams. Just about every company on the planet can offer refunds instantly by simply reversing the original transaction. The scammers would much rather connect directly to the customer's computer, log in to their bank, and somehow transfer the money directly between accounts. A Running Gag is to ask the scammer to take the Occam's Razor route before attempting to hang up.
  • Dance Party Ending: Sometimes, after the reveal, if the scammer has not hung up in anger, Kit often inquires about if they could sing a song together — most often "Ocean Man"
  • Dating Service Disaster: Scams that claim to offer support for dating websites exist; SilverSingles users seem to be the most common target. Generally the dating service is simply used as a hook, after which the script becomes a standard tech support or refund scam.
  • Elder Abuse: On a few occasions, Kitboga has discovered that scammers who quickly hang up on other characters are often happy to talk to Edna, and that's when the scam isn't explicitly targeted at the elderly like the aforementioned SilverSingles support scam.
  • Gilligan Cut: Used to great effect in one video.
    Scammer: On the Steam cards, there will be a scratch bar. You need to scratch that part, but do not scratch it hard otherwise the numbers will be erased.
    [Cut to Edna vigorously "scratching" the cards]
    Scammer: No no no! Don't scatch it hard, listen!
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": "Do you know what a floppy disk is?" Kit is visibly amused by how the caller ends up pronouncing "disk".
  • Holding Both Sides of the Conversation: Sometimes, Kit has played multiple characters at once — typically as either family members or store clerks (in the latter, typically asking them where the Google Play gift cards are) — to make his side of the calls seem more plausible and realistic. In one call, Kit posed as another tech support caller from the "World Wide Web World Support Team" trying to offer his services to Edna.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Many tech support scams use the threat of hackers to convince the victim that new security is needed, and their descriptions are often in this vein.
  • Hopeless with Tech: Tech support scams tend to target people who fall under this category. Naturally, Kit's characters tend to be like this too.
    • From time to time, the scammers themselves are prone to this, especially during the refund scams.
  • Instant Humiliation: Just Add YouTube!: Some Genre Savvy scammers have questioned whether the call is being recorded to go on YouTube. As a rule, Kitboga tends to avoid uploading those calls to his channel since he sees it as an attempt to 'tank' the call by raising the possibility that the scammer is in on the joke. So far, a tiny handful of scammers have mentioned Kitboga by name; none of them has mentioned his stream, only his YouTube channel.
  • Internet Tough Guy: A fair few scammers count, especially if they're doing a legal scam.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: One time-wasting exercise is to try and connect a scammer to a different call centre to watch them argue. Sometimes it devolves into this, with one of the scammers acting like they are protecting Kit from the other scammer, before proceeding with their own after they've been chased off.
  • Literal-Minded: Edna is very prone to this, often misinterpreting the things that the scammers talk about as being about a literal subject (hearing the typing instruction "I as in ice cream", and suddenly talking about ice cream, or suggesting that cloud storage literally involves clouds), or mishearing the addresses they give her (such as, for example, "HelpMe" as "Healthy Me" or "Healthy Knee", and more spectacularly, "FastLikeWeRunFastSupportLikeWeSupportYou.com")
  • Operator from India: The majority of illegitimate call centers are unfortunately these.
  • Overly Long Gag
    • "Type in the letter T as in Tom. V as in vehicle. T as in tea. R as in Romeo. O as in oval. P as in Peter. E as in Edward. S as in Sam. A period. Then O as in Owen. R as in Romeo. G as in Geoffrey."
    • Edna can practically turn the simplest of tasks into one.
    • The "refund" scam (see under Recycled Script) often becomes an overly long gag when the scammer inevitably fumbles around trying to do the fake "deposit", especially with the state of Kit's virtual machine and his character's stalling tactics. It's no surprise that the all-time records for longest calls (stretched over multiple "episodes" with the same scammer and Edna) have involved refunds.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Any attempt to impersonate a specific company/institution falls apart pretty quickly when it becomes apparent that the scammer knows very little about it in question. From IRS workers lacking even basic knowledge regarding the US taxation system, to Microsoft technicians being stumped when asked about any computer issue not listed on their script. The scammer's claims that they work within the United States also often quickly fall flat once they are asked about geography.
  • Phoney Call: Used in one of the CRA scam calls, where the scammer is supposedly talking with the local RCMP branch at one point. But then Kit gets an actual call claiming to be from the phone number of said branch...
  • Plausible Deniability:
    • When pressed, scammers will often claim to be “Certified” or a “Third Party” as a slippery way of acknowledging that they aren’t actually the company they make a facade of being.
    • Kitboga also acknowledges that some call centers can exploit this too, such as by claiming that they really are a legitimate outsourced operation during recruitment. While some scams make it extremely clear that the perpetrator knows what they’re doing, it’s also plausible that some tech support scammers are simply following their script and not asking questions.
  • Rant-Inducing Slight: It is fairly common for scammers to get angry over minor stuff if Kit doesn't follow their every instruction. One infamous example had a scammer get into an argument for almost 40 minutes because Kit pointed out that he had spelt "Microsoft" as "Microshoft". When he finally calmed down enough to continue the scam, he made the exact same misspelling again.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: He rarely discusses it, but Kitboga is a devout Christian. One of the biggest Berserk Buttons for him is when scammers try to use an appeal to religion to coerce victims into paying.
  • Recycled Script (In-Universe): A particular type of scam tends to have a common series of events — and sometimes, identical scripts with little to no variation — between the various call centers that perform them.
    • The tech support scams tend to have various recurring elements that stick out, including:
      • Being roped in by being called directly, or through a Schmuck Bait pop-up on a questionable website (often resembling an error message such as a Blue Screen of Death or Microsoft website) that tells the user to phone a specific number.
      • Directing the user to go to a website for an online screen sharing program (most commonly GoToAssist, but others have also been used, such as TeamViewer or Supremo). Not by going into their web browser, but by telling users to literally open the Run dialog by pressing the Windows key and R together, and instructing the user to type out the URL letter-by-letter (often using phrases such as "R as in Romeo", which turns this into an Overly Long Gag).
      • Going into Windows administrative tools such as the Event Viewer or Services to explain that events and warnings (or in the latter case, stopped services) are a sign of issues, misrepresenting the tree command in the Command Prompt as being a virus scan (it literally just prints out the directory structures), claiming stopped Windows services actually are services that stopped because your license expired (Services on Windows are background tasks, not unlike daemons on Linux, and not all of them are necessarily always running), etc.
      • Trying to sell the user a subscription for "software" to fix the problem.
    • The "refund" scam is even more ridiculous than the above: it follows a similar process, except with a call claiming that Microsoft or the tech support company is shutting down or moving, and needs to give back your money. They often insist on using a very specific version of TeamViewer or another remote control program with the ability to blank the screen, and the Chrome web browser. When they log in, they ask that you go to your online banking service to perform the "transfer". Then — sometimes after zooming the page out to a ridiculously small amount (so the hackers can't see!) for security reasons — they blank out the screen, while they literally use the "Inspect element" tool to change the number of your balance on the page to "add" money to it (which is only changing the page as rendered and has no real effect). But then, they say they "discover" that they gave you too much money by accident, and say you need to send them back the difference. It sometimes blatantly uses a "demo" site from Chase Bank.
    • The Social Security scams are frequently mocked on the stream for being extremely formulaic. The gist is that criminal activity has been linked to the victim's Social Security Number, and they must pay to get a new one. Almost every call has the exact same crime: 22 pounds of cocaine has been found in a car "on the south border of Texas" traceable to the victim's identity, and bank accounts connected to the victim have been used to launder money.
  • Reference Overdosed: Memes are brought up often, but usually in such a casual and subtle manner that it seems very natural. Lampshaded by the fact that the stream has a "memometer" controlled by viewers using a corresponding subscriber emote in the chat, typically when these references or other running gags occur.
    • Stream viewer DigitalSketch made a new supermarket backdrop for the non-tech support calls, which is similarly filled with references to running gags and past streams.
  • Running Gag:
    • Mayonnaise
    • Naked mole rats and goats often come up too.
    • And "Ocean Man", although it's pretty much a general meme to begin with. Kit's fake online bank for the refund scam was "Ocean Main" at one point, though he had to scrap it for a different meme after "Kitboga" started showing up next to it on Google's autocomplete box.
    • The characters also sometimes bring up their support of conspiracy theories.
    Jeb: What in God's green Flat Earth is this?
    • The "Chicago Art Museum" became this after a scammer claiming to work in Atlanta said that they frequently visited it when asked. It has become a custom to ask every scammer claiming to be in the United States if they enjoy going to the Chicago Art Museum.
  • Schmuck Bait: A few traps on the virtual machine must be initiated by the scammer:
    • The "Nudes" folder hidden among the computer's documents. It features a gallery of Naked Mole-rats.
    • The webcam is coded to be stuck in a perpetual loading loop. Attempting to bypass it will result in a screamer featuring an image of a naked mole-rat.
    • Among the files on the computer's desktop is one named 'Passwords.txt'. Attempting to open it will cause error messages to pop up and be replaced with an exponentially increasing frequency as the scammer tries to close them.
  • Slow-Loading Internet Image: One of the options available on the virtual machine is the ability to make webpages load comically slow. In general, he also has Internet Explorer configured to not load images, in case a scammer tries to pull up NSFW images as revenge (and they have done that before). Sometimes, Kit will claim that either of those traits is what's wrong with the computer, just to watch the scammer stumble around as they are clueless when faced with an actual tech issue. A few times, the scammer actually has fixed this.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: If the scammer isn't simply taking the money and running, they'll typically be this. In one instance a scammer proceeded to "fix" the computer apparently believing they had been paid $500; it turned out to involve little more than clearing out a few junk folders and installing free software.
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: Made by viewers and played during the streams (often as an intermission or intro). "Just wait a moment, sir"
  • Tempting Fate: Whenever a scammer says their "process" won't take long...
  • That Came Out Wrong: Kit asking for someone who "specializes in pornography". As in pornographic riskware.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": On one call, the scammer uses syskey — an obscure and now-deprecated Windows NT utility used for setting startup passwords, but now primarily used as a form of ransomware during these phone scams (hence its removal from Windows 10) — to lock Kit out of Windows. He manages to guess the password on his first try. The password? "1234".
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Kit is an avid tea drinker. In fact, before he officially gets started on every stream, he invites viewers to drink whatever they have near them (preferably tea) in unity. He insists that it's not a cult.
    • Among his characters, mayonnaise happens to come up often.
    • On a more specific note, Edna likes baking pecan sandies.
    • Carrots have also been coming up recently.
  • Universal-Adaptor Cast: Kitboga has a cast of recurring personas, each of which can change names, hobbies, occupations and relationships between each call. Pretty much the only thing that remains consistent is a broad outline of each personality.
  • Weird Currency: Gift cards, usually iTunes or Google Play, are often the required method for paying scammers owing to them being relatively easy to launder. A lot of Blatant Lies get thrown around for why you need to pay taxes or buy airplane tickets with them; some excuses have included trying to pass them off as 'Electronic Federal Tax Vouchers', or claiming that Google is a 'Payment Partner'. Notably, even the scammers seem to be aware of how ridiculous this is; often they will wait for as long as they can before revealing that they need a specific gift card.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: Sometimes assisted by audio equipment too. But Kit does sometimes wear wigs when playing certain characters, especially Edna.
  • What's a Henway?: The "Updog" gag has happened from time to time. His aforementioned fake bank was also "Updog Financial" at one pont.
  • You Keep Using That Word: Because many of the scammers are based in South Asia, their local dialect of English often breaks into their script, even as they go to great efforts to make themselves seem like they are in America. "Fixations", "the securities" (not just security, the securities), "each and everything", “do one thing”, "please be hold", etc. From time to time, Kit has caught himself using some of these phrases by accident (particularly "each and everything").
Top

Example of:

/
/

Feedback