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SE'ing Encyclopedia

Updated: 08/09/2022:    If you've ever wanted to know every term and method relative to social engineering, Irrespective of your level of experience, then you've come to the right place. This SEing encyclopedia, has everything you need pertaining to common terms and methods that're used In today's world of exploiting the human firewall. All topics Include a brief description, as well as a few examples of how each term Is used In a sentence- which will be of benefit to those new to the SEing sector. To help refine your search, I've added a table of contents, whereby you can pick and choose exactly what you're looking for. 

Wrong Item Received Method

Claim That An Incorrect Item Was Sent.

Let's face It, we don't live In a perfect world and to be honest, we never will. Be It at work manually processing Invoices for clients or working on a computer project at home, human error Is Inevitable, regardless how focused you are at the time. The same applies to companies on every scale, particularly those who dispatch goods that're based on orders they've received from their customers. How many times have you purchased something from a retailer, such as (for example) Best Buy and had It delivered, only to find that It wasn't what you ordered?  I'd say you've experienced this at least once, and will most likely encounter a similar occurrence at some point when shopping on the net.

Social engineers are well aware of all this, and use It to their advantage when SEing companies for an Item they've already ordered and received. As such, they use a well-known method In the social engineering sector named the "wrong Item received", which (as Its name Implies), Is used to claim a refund or replacement due to the company (seemingly) sending a wrong Item to the one that was originally placed by the SE'er. The good thing about this, Is that It's considered a "universal method" that can be used with just about any online store.

The reason why It's classed as such ("universal"), Is because every company obviously has a warehouse Inventory that holds their stock and Is ready to be picked, packed and dispatched on consignment. Essentially, the majority of other businesses operate In a similar fashion, which means that they too, can make mistakes and send an Incorrect Item, thus the method Is not dedicated to any type of specifics! Basically, the social engineer will receive the correct Item and say that he received something else. However, as simple as It may sound, It must be prepared In a systematic manner to ensure the best chance of success. In other words, you cannot use any Item that comes to mind and expect the SE to run smoothly, which brings me to my next point.

How To Prepare The Wrong Item Received Method:

I'd like to reiterate that this method Is used by saying "the Item you've ordered from a company such as Logitech, SteelSeries, Argos, Amazon or otherwise, was not the one that you received". The purpose Is to pretend that they've sent you something completely different. Now they will ask you to return the (seemingly) wrong Item, and you do exactly that by sending something that you've already purchased  and when they receive It, they'll Issue a refund or send you a replacement of your original Item. The problem Is, If you're not selective with the wrong Item, your SE may well and truly fail.

To significantly Increase the chance of a successful outcome, the SE must be well calculated, by being very methodical with the "nature of the wrong Item". That Is, you can't just choose one at random. Here's how It works. Let's say you're planning to social engineer an "SSD" (Solid State Drive) for your computer. The first thing you need to do, Is take note of It's "precise weight"- this Is of the utmost Importance and you'll see why a little further down this article. The next step, Is to choose a wrong Item that "matches the weight of the SSD", by purchasing It ("on a separate account") from the same company that you'll be SEing. To make It worth your while, buy one that only costs a few dollars, therefore you will make a very considerable profit.

If you've never used nor heard of the wrong Item received method, It probably doesn't make much sense at this stage of the tutorial, but you'll soon realize why all the above must be formulated prior to executing your attack. There's two ways that you can use the method- one due to a "company error" (which Is what you've just read), and the other Is a "manufacturer error" (which I'll briefly cover towards the end). To give you a clear understanding of how It's used and what to expect when SEing a given company, I'll provide an example as per below. Be sure to read each and every detail- It will be of big help when the time comes to perform your very own SE

The SE In Action Due To A Company Error:

For the purpose of this guide, you'll be social engineering a "Bose Home Speaker 300" from Amazon, so once you've placed your order, the first port of call Is to have a look at the product Information on their website, namely the "Item weight". At the time of writing, the one I've located weighs exactly "948 grams". Next, you purchase the wrong Item from Amazon on a "different account" (thus they can't link It to your other account), and Its weight must be as close as possible to that of the Bose Home Speaker 300- In the range of 920 to 980 grams will be fine. Now that you've completed everything accordingly, here's where all the action takes place.

You've ordered the Bose Home Speaker and upon accepting the delivery, It was obviously enclosed In the package, but your Intentions are to state otherwise. Around 30 minutes or so later, you've contacted Amazon and said that the package contained another Item. The representative was very helpful, and kindly asked you to return It so you've obliged by sending back the "wrong Item" that was purchased earlier with your other account. The rep received It, however has Informed you that "an Investigation has been opened" and he'll get back to you within a day or two.

As an SE'er, you're well aware that an Investigation Is simply part of their protocol to move forward with your claim, so there's no cause for concern. Behind the scenes at Amazon, they've scanned your (wrong) Item and It's come up on their systems as "part of their Inventory", hence this definitely works In your favor. To finalize their paperwork, they decide to call the carrier and cross-check the weight on the consignment. Given the "dispatched weight" (what they  sent to you) matches with the "received weight" (what you  sent to them), they're satisfied that they are at fault, thus you've received an email saying that a refund will be Issued within the next 3-5 business days. Success, a job well done Indeed!

SE Due To A Manufacturer Error:

What you've just read above, pertains to a "company error", meaning It was their storeman who accidentally made a mistake  by picking something completely different from their warehouse. Well, this Is what you made them believe. Alternatively, you can use the wrong Item received method against a "manufacturer error". The difference with this, Is that you say the "Item In the box" Is Incorrect. In other words, you've received the "correct box" but It contained a "different Item". Clear enough? Good, I'm glad you understand!

Although a "manufacturer error" Is not a commonality, It does happen from time to time, and social engineers use this to their advantage, by simply saying that they've received a completely different Item to what was supposed to be "Inside the box". In this case, the way you prepare your method Is similar to a company error- but the only thing to put In practice, Is to make sure that the weight of the "wrong Item" matches the weight of the "original Item" that you ordered. As such, the company will think that the manufacturer made a mistake by packing an Incorrect Item In the box, and they'll process a refund thereafter. Given Its simplicity, there's no point for me to write a tutorial.

In Conclusion:

As you have most likely gathered, there's quite a bit Involved when preparing  the wrong Item received method and If you've taken everything that you've had the pleasure of reading on board, your SE Is almost guaranteed to succeed. Notice I've used the term "almost?" That's because there Is not one single SE that's guaranteed to work on every occasion, but formulating It effectively, significantly Increases the chance of success. Take all the time you need to prepare It- this will ensure smooth sailing from start to finish.