Ruining Lives For Fun and Profit

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🕔 2 min read ∙ 377 words

I don’t know why this story depresses me so much, but it does.  It makes me sad for a lot of people. relays a Times of London story of a company that offers to financially, socially, and otherwise ruin people’s lives for a meager $20 USD.   I won’t provide a link to the dreadful site.

A service offering a complete “revenge package” in which people can destroy the financial status and relationships of their enemies at the click of a mouse is being offered over the Internet.

Perhaps the proprietors of the site have never been in extremis.  If they are lucky, they’ve never had hushed conversations with a spouse–out of earshot of the kids–to choose, once and for all, between bankruptcy and foreclosure.  Maybe they don’t know the pain of telling the kids you’re moving, not to a better house with more room and a new kitchen, but to a much smaller, older, less comfortable house that you can better afford.

Victims' bank accounts can be shut down remotely and all their essential utilities cut off.

A few victims of the web site’s operators and clients might have something nasty coming to them.  My guess is that many of the victims don’t.  The odds are pretty good that most of the victims are decent people trying to get through life the best they can–like many of us.

“Create some false payslips [paychecks] and send them back returned to the victim’s employer and watch them lose their job,” it advises.

“Destroy a person’s bank account using our novelty bank statements. Bank accounts are like gold dust now; return[ing] a novelty bank statement with their details back to the bank works for killing someones [sic] credit card account.”

That someone, enterprising and evil, would prey and profit on the vengeful hatred of ruthless people, destroying the lives of perfect strangers, irritates the most callous strands of my heart.

There are sick people in the world.  We all knew that.  But this is a kind of evil against which society has so few defenses.  In classic identity theft, the thief, at least, makes a profit; he doesn’t hand it over to a third party.  With this outfit, the person exacting revenge walks away $20 and a soul lighter.