“Méta-Brouteur”, an account that entertains fraudsters

Who has never received a scam message on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Almost everyone who reads these lines, we don’t get wet. But who among you enjoyed answering to lure the cheater into his trap? Some days David spends several hours on it. It has even become one of the favorite hobbies of the 44-year-old man who is an account manager @Meta-browserhe has more than 47,000 followers.

For the past decade, he has been making fun of “grazers,” online fraudsters who operate mostly from internet cafes in West Africa. “It is a term from the Ivory Coast that designates a sheep that is fed without doing anything. In other words, it’s easy money,” says David. In most cases, the modus operandi is the same, these scammers create fake social media profiles to extort money from their victims. “There’s a whole panoply of things, ranging from romance scams to sexual photo or video scams, to recruitment or even escorting,” explains David. The word “brouteur” is also one of the newcomers to the 2023 edition of Le Petit Robert dictionary.

“manipulative manipulator”

David shares an anthology of his best traps every day on his Twitter account. He does not hesitate to drive “grazers” by giving false locations – “Brussels Savoie” – false professions – “gynecologist, I study antique lamps” – by copying fake captchas – identity verification models. imitative robots – automated robots. “I’m happy to think I’ve cheated on them. This is a manipulated manipulator, “he rejoices.

The 44-year-old man created his Twitter account a little over two years ago, but he has been playing this “game” for almost a decade: “These scams have been around for a long time. At first I did it by letter or fax. Then I started frequenting cheater forums where troll cheaters like me would give each other advice and share their best jokes. And then, while I was in prison, I had a lot of free time, so I started this Twitter account,” he said.

With each new “grazer”, David tries to become an “inventor”. “One day I play a victim who doesn’t understand anything, and the next day I play a more experienced herder who gives advice. I love the concept of role-playing games, I play a character,” explains Meta-Brouteur. Moreover, as soon as the “grazers” don’t play, David stops. “This is the moment when it doesn’t make me laugh anymore.”

“I’m not sober”

But Meta-Brother insists, he’s not there to do justice. “My main goal is entertainment, I do it for fun. If someone is cheated on, there’s not much I can do. I am not alert. “On the other hand, he admits that if his tweets can help people, that’s a plus: ‘I’m not doing it for that, but it might give people a better understanding of the mechanics of these scams.’ It has a preventive and educational side. »

And for good reason, if David chooses “the crispest exchanges”, some “otrans” are not wrong. “Some people write very well. We should not say that we necessarily detect them. It’s not about intelligence, we all have moments of weakness, we need to be suspicious. »

Because these scams can affect anyone. Like this journalist who found out who took €70,000 from him by a “grazer” David met on Scrabble. “They are often active on social networks, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, as well as Le Bon Coin. And sometimes on less expected platforms like this scrabble app,” he warns. Moreover, he is almost certain that he himself “will be one day”. So, if you have a few minutes, don’t hesitate to take a look at his Twitter account, we promise you some laughs.

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