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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. 

Prevent Locked Accounts

How To Prevent Accounts From Being Locked.

There's no doubt that social engineering has Its perks, and If you do the job correctly right from the get-go, you can have just about anything you like without paying a single dime. What I'm referring to of course, Is SEing companies on every level by applying your methods according to the nature of the Item(s), and then manipulating your target for a refund or replacement. Advanced SE'ers have been doing this for many years, and they certainly know how to circumvent "almost" every entity and/or obstacle at their disposal. Notice how I've used "almost" as the operative word? That's because no matter how careful you are, there's one thing that you cannot prevent from happening In Its entirety- and that's when a company decides to lock your account that was used to make your online purchases.

For example, If you've been hitting the same company many times In succession on the very same account for each transaction, the chances are that It will raise suspicion and result In It being locked. This can (and for the most part does) have an Impact on subsequent accounts that you try to create- you may Initially succeed, only to find that sometime later they too, have been flagged and you're unable to log In. This can ultimately leave you In a position of not being able to register further accounts with the same company, which Is obviously not what you'd want to experience, hence the purpose of this article Is "prevention" rather than "cure".

Given you're actually using social engineering as your main gateway, the latter ("cure") can be a very arduous task In trying to convince the company In question, that your actions were (seemingly) legit and to unlock It based on genuine grounds. As such, my aim Is educate you with the very best principles to help "prevent" detection of suspicious behavior, thereby significantly minimize the possibility of account closures. I've Intentionally not named any specifics, but Instead generalized on the most common reasons responsible for locked accounts. This allows you to apply any or all of the topics (that you're about to read) to your very own SEing environment In an Informed and effective manner. They do not run In order of priority, thus pick and choose as per your needs.

Use A Mature Account:

Although this Isn't an absolute necessity, having an aged account that's many months or even years old, has a much better Influence than one that was just created only recently- such as a few weeks ago. When the claims department physically analyzes the nature of an account, they tend to take Its maturity Into consideration before moving forward with the next course of action. As a result, It Impacts their decision-making In a positive fashion, which decreases the likelihood of a lockout. Sure, you may be lucky enough to perform so many SEs on a fresh account, but the last thing you want Is to enter your credentials and receive a message of: "Your account has been locked for security purposes, please check your email for further Instructions"- or some variant.

If you've personally come across this before, you'd be well aware of the difficulties Involved to gain access once again- shooting off emails back and forth, providing verification documents only to be (Initially) Ignored and the list goes on. And that's If your application Is accepted. In my view, Amazon Is the hardest to deal with, whereby their representatives can be very unhelpful at the best of times. So prior to social engineering, be sure to allow your account to mature. I recommend a few months as the bare minimum.

Allow Sufficient Time Between Each SE:

When you're on a streak of success from one SE to another without any failure whatsoever, It's very easy to get carried away by losing track of precisely when each one took place. For Instance, the probability of your account being flagged due to 15 transactions In a space of a couple of days, Is almost certain to happen- particularly because you're SEing and not purchasing on legit terms. Regardless of whether It's a small organization with only 20 employees, or a company on a huge scale such as Zalando, they all keep logs of every account activity and refer to their records as the need comes to hand. Have you ever dealt with ex-amount of representatives, with each one taking over from where your last conversation ended? I thought as much.

They all referred to previous details and knew exactly what was going on. As such, If they happened to Identify too many purchases In very close timing and they were Inconsistent with your regular buying, then they'll most likely Investigate It further. This gives them very good reason to go through your account history and If deemed Inappropriate, they have every right to hit you with ban/closure. The equation Is pretty simple- don't be greedy, take control of your behavior and allow a sufficient gap between each SE. One every couple of weeks or so will be fine.

Perform Legit Purchases On The Same Account:

If you've read my guides and recommendations on this blog, you would've seen the one about the Importance of taking every SE as a legit claim. Meaning If you treat It as such by manipulating It accordingly, then there'd be no reason for the representatives to judge It otherwise. However, this does require a high degree of skills and not every SE'er Is capable of doing It, In particular beginners so Instead, simply perform a few legitimate SEs on the same account. This will help mask and draw attention away from your acts of social engineering, which will give the Impression as though there's no malicious/Illegal activity on your account.

To make this effective, It must be done systematically, that Is, on a reasonable level and not too extreme. In other words, don't go overboard with your spending by grabbing anything that comes to mind In one hit. This can be counterproductive and actually work against you- as too many purchases that're out of character to your usual pattern of buying, can set alarm bells ringing which Is just as bad (If not worse) than SEing. As a rule of thumb, balance out your legit & SE expenditures. For example, two legitimate purchases and the same amount for your social engineering Items thereafter. Then keep repeating It, but change the quantities every so often- with the next time being one legit purchase and one SE. Be creative, play It smart and use your Imagination wisely.

Alter The Value Of The Items:

Those who've been In the social engineering sector for years to date, are quite familiar with the possible consequences of repeatedly SEing high value Items. Depending on the type of account you have, If your spending volume Increases rapidly, whereby It's out of nature with your usual (spending) pattern or you're solely SEing very expensive Items, then It's likely to attract attention and potentially result In your account being locked. And the unfortunate part Is, It can happen without warning- leaving you somewhat at a loss as to why It took place, and what you can do to rectify the problem.

The solution Is simple. Alter the value of the Items that you're social engineering. Sure, we all want to SE that powerful 2k gaming laptop and once that succeeds, hit the Apple Watch Series 5 that's retailing for around 1,000$ shortly after, but this Is being Irresponsible and very naive. I don't need to explain the ramifications of such actions. As with the topic right above this, set a target between SEing low & high value Items however In this case, predominantly focus on the cheaper ones and throw In a more expensive product every now and then. It's good practice to work on a  ratio of 1:5, with "1" being the least expensive and "5" being the opposite.

Give The SE A Break For A While:

Generally speaking, companies review accounts based on their overall activity during certain time periods and If they've established a high number of refunds and/or replacements, they'll most likely open an Investigation. For Instance, If you've been consistently SEing Amazon without taking precautionary measures, their typical email message Is something along the lines of: "We have noticed multiple returns from your account In the past few months for refunds and replacements. Please reply and let us know why you returned your orders". Whilst this may not Initially be a cause for concern, If you keep social engineering In the same manner, do expect your account be closed.

Now you could be thinking that you'll simply open another account and move on as per usual but If you're dealing with Amazon, I can tell you that they're very good with linking multiple accounts  and as a result, each one will be closed before you have the chance to hit the Sign In button! It's understandable that It's difficult to stop the flow of your SEs, but use your head by exercising good judgement and take a break for a little while. SEing can be done anytime you like- there's no time frame nor a schedule to follow, hence you've got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Don't Use The Same Method Many Times In Succession:

No matter what level of experience or how advanced SE'ers are, they all have their strengths and weaknesses and as such, they'll have a favorite method that will be used a lot more often than others. A commonality with the majority of social engineers, Is the good old "DNA" (Did Not Arrive), namely because It's a universal carrier-based method that's compatible with just about any Item. Given this Is their preferred choice of method, so too Is Its usage by utilizing It for refunds or replacements many times In a row, which should always be avoided.

Think about this logically for a minute. If the DNA was used 5 consecutive times, what are the chances that the package was not delivered each and every time from the same company & carrier?  I'll answer this for you- "zero". If the company asks you to explain this, how will you justify It? Clearly, you can see that It's crucial to change methods In between SEs, but not just any one that comes to mind. Opt for methods that you're most comfortable & confident with, and they must also suit the type of Items you're SEing.

Always Login From The Same Environment:

Regardless If you're SEing a 5$ Item or one that's worth 500$, the fact Is, you are manipulating the representative to Issue a refund or replacement when he's not supposed to do It to begin with. There's no doubt that social engineering has Its fair share of risks, and SE'ers who've been In the scene for a very long time are aware of the consequences, thus many use a fake account and a VPN to anonymize their activity. There's nothing wrong with using a different IP address In the same region, however If the location Is In another part of the world, then the company may believe the account has been compromised, therefore lock It for security reasons.

You'd then need to go through the process of verifying account ownership, by supplying Identification documents, bank statements, credit card details and so on and so forth. Depending on who you're communicating with at the time, this could be a simple procedure or take weeks to confirm that you are In fact the rightful account holder- which Is not convenient when you have pending transactions. To help avoid all this, maintain the same consistency every time you log In and out of your account. That Is, take note of all your credentials (Inclusive of the VPN server that you're navigating with), and stick to your overall configuration. 

In Conclusion:

Although there are no hard and fast rules to prevent accounts from being locked, nor can any methodology guarantee It, you can significantly reduce the chances by applying what you've just read to your current setup. Now I'm not suggesting to take every topic on board, but rather pick and choose those that you feel will prolong the longevity of your account. Just remember that this article Is all about "prevention" and not "cure", so be sure to assess your account's standing and Implement changes at your very earliest convenience.