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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. 

Missing Item & Partial Methods


Effectively Prepare The Missing Item & Partial Methods.

With regard to "company manipulation and exploitation", whereby you're hitting online stores to the likes of Amazon, John Lewis, ASOS and so forth for refunds and replacement Items, there's one particular element named a "method" that ensures the SE not only gets off to a flying start, but also keeps It flowing In the right direction until the claim Is finalized In your favor. If you don't have a method that's suited to both the nature of the company and the Item you're planning to social engineer, the SE will either not move forward, or prematurely come to an end- way before It had the opportunity to develop and progress. What I'm referring to of course, Is tricking representatives to credit your account for the cost of the purchased Item, or dispatch one free of charge.

There are many traditional methods that're utilized by SE'ers of all shapes and sizes, with the most common being the "wrong Item received", the "boxing method" also known as "box" on Its own, and the most popular of the lot named the "DNA" which Is an abbreviation of "Did Not Arrive". There's a couple more which you'll read about In a minute or so. If you're reading this from an Intermediate or advanced SEing standpoint, I have no doubt that you're well acquainted with all the above, Inclusive of how to prepare each one by leaving very little to no room for error. The reason for that, Is because each of those are "dedicated methods" that are designed to only function on their own and have no similarities to any other one In the SEing sector, thus It doesn't take too much effort to familiarize yourself with the Ins and outs of what they entail.

There Is however, a couple of methods that quite a number of social engineers have difficulties grasping the concept of how to effectively formulate them against the Item(s) they wish to SE, namely the "missing Item" and the "partial" method. Both are extremely simple to put In place, but I continue to come across messages In various social engineering communities to the effect of "I want to SE a Nintendo Switch console and I heard the missing Item method works, what do you think?". Really? It weighs around 1.8 Kg, so how on earth Is the SE supposed to succeed using the said method? Moreover, another SE'er who was very familiar with how the partial method Is structured, said something along the lines of "I'm ordering a Bose Home Speaker 500, It weighs 2 Kg, but I'll partial It by ordering 4 other Items to add to the weight".

Whether 4 Items or 400 Items are added, makes no difference whatsoever. The company will check If the consignment Is 2 Kg lighter and If It Isn't, then the speaker could not have been missing. Pretty simple, yes? Yet for one reason or another, countless SE'ers cannot comprehend such a simplistic equation. Now It's not my Intention to belittle social engineers (who lack common sense) In any way, shape or form, but rather guide them In the right direction with "Item & method compatibility and formulation", which Is precisely the objective of this article. I will clear all doubts and confusion pertaining to the "missing Item and partial methods", hence by the time you've finished reading this guide, you'll have the tools and know-how to apply each one with precision and Incredible ease.

If you've never used either of the two methods or both, I'd say It's safe to assume that you're at a loss as to how and why "the weight of the Item" Is the most Important part of their success but rest assured, I've got you covered. I will not only explain It In fine detail, but shall also list a few Items that have proven to succeed on almost each and every occasion. I've discussed that towards the end of this entire tutorial- for the reason that you must first have a clear understanding of how each method operates, thus you can move forward with the rest of this article with minimal disruptions. So without further delay, let's begin with the "missing Item method".   

What Is The Missing Item Method?

As Its name Implies, It's used by SE'ers to say that the Item they ordered from an online store, was missing when they opened the box/package as delivered by the carrier. For Instance, we'll pretend that you purchased "one stick of Ram/Memory" from a UK retailer named Currys, and had It sent to your home by their carrier service. Upon "opening the box", you'd call Currys and tell them that nothing was Inside, meaning the Ram Itself was missing- with the Intention to SE them for a refund or replacement. Alternatively, you can say that when you "opened the package", there was nothing Inside, meaning the entire box and the Ram was missing. Of course, you did receive It, but you're stating you didn't for SEing purposes. Allow me to elaborate how both of these alternatives work.

When using the missing Item method, It's either a "warehouse error" or a "manufacturer error". The former (warehouse) Is when you opened the "package" and nothing was Inside. That Is, the box and Its contents were not enclosed. This happens when the storeman picks your order, and he's totally forgotten to grab your Item from the shelf/racking and either himself or the packing team, sealed the package with nothing Inside and dispatched It thereafter. In terms of a "manufacturer error", you'd claim that when you opened the "box", your Item was missing. Essentially, the manufacturer neglected to put the Item In the box and sent It to the company, therefore only the box was delivered to you

Believe It or not, "warehouse errors" happen a lot more often than you may think. The fact Is, It's human nature to make mistakes when picking & packing goods, particularly when the company Is experiencing an Influx of customer orders and deadlines must be met prior to close of business for the day. The same can be said for "manufacturer errors". Although most are noticed during the final Inspection by the quality control team, there are many that go unnoticed and leave the factory without their respective Item In the box. Whichever of the two events you decide to use, both are equally effective for the said reasons, so be sure to stick with your story of "the missing Item"- Irrespective If the rep/agent tries to tell you otherwise.   

What Is The Partial Method?  

Given you've just read about the missing Item method, you'll have no problem relating to what the "partial method" entails, namely because It works on a similar principle but with a slight variation In how It's executed. Also known as "partial", this pertains to ordering a bunch of Items from an online store, but claiming that your order was partially filled when you received It. In other words and as an example, you purchased 5 Items, however you only received 3 or 4 of those Items. It's performed almost the same as the missing Item method, but Instead of buying only the one product and SEing that alone, you "purchase multiple Items on the same shipment" and then contact the rep and say that one or more were not In the box/package when you opened It.

For the partial (and missing Item) method to work, "every Item that you'll be SEing must be extremely light to not register a weight on consignment". More on this In the next topic. From an SE'ers standpoint, here's a brief example of how the partial Is used. He's placed an order for 6 Items In total, two of which are Ray-Ban Justin Rectangular Sunglasses weighing around 29 grams each- this Is what he'll be SEing, both pairs of sunglasses. When his delivery arrived, the SE'er waited for 20-30 minutes and then called the company explaining that the sunglasses were missing when he opened the package. 

As expected, the company "opened an Investigation" to determine why there was a discrepancy between the dispatched and received goods. The SE'er Is well aware, that an Investigation Is simply part of their protocol to move forward with the claim, so there's no cause for concern. He also knows that It can take anywhere from a few days to (at the worst-case scenario) an entire month or more to complete, hence he patiently awaits their response. Due to both pairs of sunglasses being as light as a feather, the claims specialist team could not pinpoint where the variance occurred, thus their findings during the Investigation was Inconclusive. As a result, they had no evidence to decline the claim and a refund for both pairs of sunglasses was Issued Into the SE'ers account. 

Why The Weight Must Be Applied Accordingly:

After reading how both the missing Item & partial methods are used, you would've well and truly realized that they require one particular element to succeed- being the "weight" of the Item Itself, or the box as well as the Item. Don't worry, this will make perfect sense In a couple of minutes. So why Is the weight so Important? Well, unless the representative Is brain-dead and approves your claim on the spot with very little to no questions asked, the nature of each method warrants a company Investigation- like the one you've read In the above topic. When this happens, the company will liaise with the carrier who serviced your delivery, and cross-check the weight that was recorded at their depot's facilities

If your Item(s) were rather heavy, they would've been detected when weighed, therefore they were not missing and picked, packed and dispatched correctly- which will result In a failed SE. So you can clearly see why you need to Incorporate the weight when formulating the methods, but It must be done against "how you plan to SE the Items". I'll first discuss how It's done with the missing Item method In a very short and simplistic manner. If the Item comes In a box and you're solely SEing the Item Itself (hence a "manufacturer error"), then you only need to focus on the "Item weight". If you're planning to SE everything, meaning the box & Item (hence a "warehouse error"), then the weight of the "box & Item" must be taken Into account. Apply the same approach for Items with different types of packaging.  

Regarding the partial method, when social engineering only a single Item, It's exactly the same as the missing Item method as per the example above. However, when SEing more than one Item, It's Imperative to calculate their "combined weight". In other words, whatever It Is that you'll be claiming as missing when you opened the package, that's the equation that you'll be working with. For Instance, let's say that you bought 5 Items and the two that you'll be SEing, Is an "SSD" and a "CPU". The weights of each of those Items have to be added together Into one single weight. Makes sense, yes? You see, It's not hard at all to formulate each method accordingly, Is It? Now as you know, the "weight" Is the most Important part of the SE, so we'll have a look at that next.

The Ideal Weight For The Missing Item & Partial Method:   

If you're part of an active social engineering community to the likes of an Internet forum or perhaps a Discord server, there's no doubt that you'd come across an array of messages discussing the missing Item & partial method, but seldom do users specifically talk about "the Ideal weight that should be used with each one". You can dedicate all the time you need to prepare each method, but If you have very little knowledge about the safest weight (range) to work with, then there's no purpose In executing your attack vector- It will fail If the company opens an Investigation, and checks your claim with a fine-tooth comb. Naturally, this Is not based on claims that're Instantly approved due to reps who're half-asleep on the job or(where available) chat bots. 

So what's a safe weight to work with when using the missing Item & partial method? As a rule of thumb, I always suggest not to exceed "120 grams" for a single Item, or as a total/combined weight- and that's actually pushing It to Its absolute limit. If you don't go over that weight, the majority of SEs will result In a successful outcome, but I'm the type of SE'er who leaves nothing to chance by covering every angle, so I will provide a weight that has over a 95% success rate with each method. I strongly recommend sticking to a limit of "40 grams" for the Item Itself (net weight), or the Item and Its packaging (gross/shipping weight). 

I've personally performed countless SEs with products "< 40 grams" (less than 40 grams), and also assisted many social engineers by advising to apply the same formula and can confidently say, that "almost" each and every one was a success. I've quoted "almost" for a very good reason, namely for the fact that the weight was not responsible for the failed SE, but rather due to other factors- one of which was "CCTV cameras" actively monitoring the warehouse picking & packing procedures. It's vital to check that the company you're SEing, does not have cameras In place when using the "warehouse error" for the missing Item & partial methods. For In depth Information on that, refer to my tutorial here.    
Items Suited To The Missing Item & Partial Method:

You're probably wondering the type of Items that are well-suited to the missing Item and partial method, and although It's pretty much self-explanatory by simply Identifying their weights, It won't hurt to give you a few examples. There are thousands of Items that you can use, but It's way beyond the scope of this article to cover even the minority. What I will do however, Is list a few that will work In over 95% of cases- but only If you apply your method based on what you've learned In every topic thus far

Do note that what you're about to read, purely relates to the "Item weight" excluding Its packaging. If you're going to SE Its entire contents (Item & box/packaging), then you need to apply the "shipping weight". It's easy to locate the Item weight, by navigating to Amazon's website and viewing It under "Product Information". The shipping weight Is a little more difficult to find, so have a look at this website by entering your product name In the search field at the top of the page. It has the shipping weight for every Item listed for delivery, so If yours Is there, you're good to go. Moving forward, here's my recommendations categorized by Item descriptions and their respective weights.

  • AirPods (Previous Model) with charging case. Weight: 46 grams.
  • Versace Bright Crystal Toilette 10 ml. Weight: 45.1 grams.
  • AMD Ryzen 12 Core CPU. Weight: 45.4 grams.
  • Fitbit Versa 2 Watch. Weight: 38 grams.
  • Ray-Ban Justin Rectangular Sunglasses. Weight: 28.4 grams.
  • Crucial 16 GB DDR4 Ram. Weight: 10.2 grams.
  • 14K Gold Plated Cubic Zirconia bracelet. Weight: 45 grams.

Even though the majority of the above Items have exceeded the 40 gram limit, It's not a significant Increase- only 6 grams at the most, so they're still well and truly compatible with the missing Item and partial method. I'd like to reiterate that each one Is the "Item weight", hence the SE will be based on that alone, and not Its box/packaging. The list Is only an example, just to make you aware of what to expect when the time comes to prepare your very own SE.

In Conclusion:

Now that you've reached the end of this article, you should have a clear understanding of how to formulate and apply the missing Item & partial method , Inclusive of the safest weight to work with. As you've realized In the above topic, It doesn't matter If you go over "40 grams", but be sure that It's not a huge Increase. Also, and as already mentioned a few paragraphs above, It's paramount to check whether the company has "CCTV cameras" monitoring their warehouse activities- as It will have a big negative Impact on your SE, most likely to the point of It being declined.