The series focuses on intercepting refund scams (aka overpayment scams), a type of tech support scam which involves the scammer demanding repayment from their victim after "accidentally" refunding them too much. Pierogi masquerades as a prospective victim of refund scams using a variety of pseudonyms and a fake bank account, agreeing to send the overpaid funds to a recipient (often a middleman, based in the same country as the victim, with connections to the scammer) in a package. Unbeknown to them, however, the package doesn't contain anything of monetary value, and will instead be intercepted by the Trilogy Media duo as it makes its way to the recipient while also confronting them in person.
Pierogi has his own coverage of the series here.
Scammed! contains the following tropes:
- Character Name Alias: Ashton and Art go by the pseudonyms "Dexter" and "Vlad" respectively, when they go out confronting scammers in-person.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Susan endured two years of stress after tech support scammer "John Kudo" fleeced her of $30,000 in a refund scam. A GoFundMe fundraiser was set up by Trilogy Media to help Susan rebuild, and the campaign succeeded. A follow-up video to the first episode of the series was uploaded to commemorate the occasion.
- Elder Abuse: Refund scammer "John Kudo" leaves a voicemail addressed to "Vivian Rogers", threatening to send the FBI to her doorstep if she doesn't return $29,000 worth of overpaid funds to him."The message is for Mrs. Rogers. Mrs. Rogers, it's me, John Kudo. Answer me, ma'am; you owe me my $29,000, or else I'm gonna report you today, and tomorrow you're gonna see FBI knocking your door. Thank you, have a blessed day."
- Gaslighting: Refund scammers prey on the emotions of their victims, claiming that they'll lose their jobs if they don't recover the money that was "overpaid" to the victim's bank account.
- Implausible Deniability: The recipient of "Mary Swanson's" package repeatedly denies any knowledge or involvement with India-based refund scammers, even when Trilogy Media confront him with evidence to rebuke his claims.
- Online Alias: Pierogi poses as an elderly female named "Vivian Rogers" when carrying out his scambaits. In the fifth episode, he uses "Mary Swanson".
- Operator from India: Like with many tech support scams, the scammers featured in this series often call from India, with heavy Indian accents.
- Predatory Business: The recipient of "Mary Swanson's" package claims to have turned to refund scams to fund himself, following a failed business venture because of the COVID-19 Pandemic."I read about all those things because I fail [sic] in my business because of coronavirus, my whole business is destroyed."
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: When "John Kudo" catches on to the fact that the package Susan received contained no checks and confronts "Vivian" over it, Pierogi drops the persona and condemns him for swindling an elderly woman off $30,000 without remorse.Pierogi: You're a worthless piece of crap for stealing money from people; she's an old lady. How dare you?
- Weird Currency: Refund scammers will often demand repayment from their victim in the form of gift cards after manipulating their bank details (via HTML editing) into appearing as if they'd been repaid too much money.