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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. 

Beginner's Missing Item Method


Beginner's Guide To The Missing Item Method

While communicating with social engineers In online communities to the likes of forums/boards and Discord servers, I keep noticing that there are quite a few SE'ers who have a lot of difficulty grasping how the art of "company manipulation and exploitation" operates and In particular, the way It serves Its purpose to deceive representatives Into Issuing refunds, or dispatching replacement Items at no extra cost. Furthermore, I find myself repeating the same thing over and over again until the advice I've given, finally sinks In and In some Instances, It does not register (at all) with the SE'ers I'm assisting at the time of our discussion. 

Additionally, many readers of this blog "who have just started SEing or are looking to get Into the scene", cannot comprehend parts of my tutorials and although I've simplified each one as best I can, It's still not enough to satisfy their learning experience. What I'm referring to of course, Is "beginner social engineers". I can confidently say that the primary reason for their Incapacity to understand SEing, Is their lack of knowledge of how "methods are structured and formulated against the product(s) they're planning to SE" - of which the "missing Item method" Is a significant part of that equation.

Because of the confusion and Indecisiveness that SE'ers encounter with the method Itself, I've decided to document this guide that's very easy to follow and straight to the point, hence as a beginner SE'er yourself, you'll have no problem relating to every facet of what "the missing Item method" entails. Unlike the majority of articles on this blog that're quite detailed, I've kept this to a minimum - with each topic/subtopic containing two paragraphs at the most. Given you're reading this from an absolute beginner's standpoint, we'll start by looking at what defines a "social engineering method", and then move onto everything regarding the "missing Item method". So let's rip Into It. 

What Is A Social Engineering Method?

Every method Is the backbone of the SE, and It's Imperative to select one that's suited to "the nature (size, weight and structure) of the Item", and Is also "compatible with the company" you're planning to social engineer. For Instance, If the box (of the Item you're SEing) does not have a seal and Isn't fully covered In cardboard, the sealed box method cannot be used. In terms of the company, If they have CCTV cameras monitoring their warehouse, the wrong Item received method Is Inappropriate. To give you an Insight Into the way a method Is applied, here's an analogy that you can relate to.

Let's say you've bought an entertainment unit from IKEA, that comes with shelves, draws, cabinets, etc In Its collapsed form. In order to put It together and complete your project, you'd need the "assembly Instructions" and If they're missing or belong to the wrong unit, you cannot get the job done. The same principle pertains to methods. In this case, the "assembly Instructions" Is the "method" and when social engineering a company, It's used to guide you In the right direction, and support the goal you've set to achieve - a refund or replacement Item. Put simply, for the SE to succeed, there must be a "plan" In place and the plan Is the "method". Understood? Good! Okay, time to check out the "missing Item method".

The Missing Item Method Introduction 

As Its name Implies, the "missing Item method", Is used to say that the Item you ordered from an online store, was missing from the box/package when the carrier driver delivered It to your home. Here's an example of how It works. You've purchased a CPU from a UK retailer named Currys PC World, and "upon opening the box", there was nothing Inside - the "CPU" Itself was missing. Alternatively, you can say that when "the package was opened", the entire contents were missing - "the box & the CPU" was not enclosed. You'd then call Currys and tell the representative that you didn't receive your goods, and he'll begin to evaluate your claim. 

For the missing Item method to work, It's paramount to select a product that's "extremely light and will not register a weight on consignment", thus the company will not have evidence to suggest that your Item was In the package/box when you accepted It from the carrier driver. I recommend not to exceed "120 grams" (for only the Item, or the box & Item) and that's actually pushing It to the absolute limit. Now I'm the type of SE'er who covers every angle with each SE, so for a greater than 95% success rate, stick with a weight between "40-60 grams".  

What To Expect With The Missing Item Method

Every traditional method such as the DNA (Did Not Arrive), boxing, serial number method and more, will Inevitably trigger one or more events to your disadvantage, regardless of how well you've prepared and executed the attack vector. And the missing Item method, Is certainly no exception - an event may be generated by the customer service rep at any given moment, and If you didn't "research" the company nor "formulate" the method accordingly, your SE may prematurely come to an end. As a result, It's vital to know what to expect with the missing Item method, so we'll have a look at three events that commonly take place when using the method, starting with an "Internal Investigation".

An Internal Investigation Opened

When companies process claims from customers requesting refund or replacement Items, they have protocols and guidelines that they must follow, which determines whether the claim Is approved or declined. While some are pretty straightforward and do not require additional Information, there are times when reps need to collect certain details, and that's when an "Internal Investigation" Is opened. This happens within the confines of the company, and what they do (for example) Is check your order against the picking & packing records In their warehouse to try and establish why It wasn't fulfilled.

If they have "CCTV cameras" actively monitoring their movement of stock, and you put In a claim saying your Item was missing, they'll refer to the camera footage and see exactly how your order was packed - both by description and quantity. It will conclude that the storemen did In fact pack your product, and the package was correctly dispatched thereafter and as such, your SE will fail. "Cameras don't lie, social engineers do!". So prior to using this method, do your "research" to see If the company you'll be SEing, has CCTV cameras up and running. Currently, ASOS, My Very, EBuyer, Argos and Mindfactory are just a few stores that have cameras Installed, hence If you're going to SE them, opt for another method. 

An External Investigation Opened

As you've most likely realized by the topic's title, this type of Investigation Is done by liaising with external sources - a commonality being the "carrier" who served the delivery at the time of your claim. What this means, Is they (the company) need specific Information to clarify the shipping details - In particular the "weight of your package". Allow me to briefly explain what goes on with external Investigations. Every package a carrier collects, Is transported to their depot and weights & dimensions are recorded and stored In their systems - all before the driver loads his van/truck for his scheduled delivery run.  

The representative will get In touch with the carrier, and cross-check the "weight of the package taken at their depot", against the "weight documented when the company dispatched your package from their warehouse". If your product was rather heavy and the "company's weight" matched the "carrier's weight", then your Item could not have been missing! That will finalize their external Investigation, and the rep/agent will Inform you that your claim was declined. Can you see why It's crucial to choose an Item that will not be detected when weighed? I'll reiterate the "120 gram" limit, and also the > 95% success rate of "40-60 grams".

A Request For A Police Report

What you're about to read pertaining to being "asked to file a police report" with the missing Item method Is quite ridiculous, namely because It has no relevance to the method, but for some stupid reason, many companies believe It's justified. Here's what I mean. When claiming the Item Is missing, It's either a "warehouse error" or a "manufacturer error". The former (warehouse error), Is when the storeman forgot to pick & pack the Item from the shelf/racking. The latter (manufacturer error), Is when the factory neglected to put the Item In the box. Just remember that none of that happened - It only appears that way for the purpose of your SE.

A police report Involves "Incidents that are theft-related", and given the circumstances above are nothing of the sort, how can a company possibly think otherwise? To this day, I'm at a loss as to why representatives lack common sense, and fail to see the logic behind something that's blatantly obvious. So what Is a police report, you ask? Well, "It's nothing more than a bit of paperwork to move forward with your claim" and when the company requests to file one, It's only used to confirm that what you've said about the SE, Is true and correct. The DNA method often triggers the report (and righty so), but If the rep keeps Insisting to provide one when using the missing Item method, comply with his stupidity and get It done - there's nothing to worry about.

Items Suited To The Missing Item Method

There are countless Items suited to this method but evidently I cannot cater for each and every one, so before I begin, do note that the list below Is relative to the "manufacturer error" being the "Item weight", and not the company error with the box & Item. That Is, "the Item alone" will be used to say that It's missing.  If you wish to claim that everything was missing (box & Item), you must take the "shipping weight" Into account. Okay, here's a few Items with their respective weights that you can use as a general guide when the time comes to perform your own SE.

  • AirPods Pro with charging case. Weight: 56.4 grams
  • AirPods (Previous Model) with charging case. Weight: 46 grams.
  • Versace Bright Crystal Toilette 10 ml. Weight: 45.1 grams.
  • Crucial 240 GB SSD (Solid State Drive). Weight: 60 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.
  • Giorgio Armani for men 100 ml. Weight: 95.2 grams.

In terms of your SE, It's not difficult to locate the weights If you know where to look. With regard to "only the Item", navigate to Amazon's website and when scrolling a little further down the page, the majority of Item weights are listed under "Product Information", but seldom does It Include the shipping weight. There Is one website that I've come across here, that has the "shipping weight" of every Item listed for sale, so use the search function to find what you're after. It doesn't have all products (no website does!), but those It contains, will definitely have the shipping weight description.  

In Conclusion 

There's no doubt that there Is a lot more to the missing Item method than what I've discussed In this article, but the objective of this tutorial, Is to give you (as a beginner SE'er) an Introduction Into what the method entails, how It's formulated within your local environment, and the events that're likely to take place during the assessment of your claim. When you've fully familiarized yourself with all that, you can advance to a higher level by sifting through this blog and reading my other missing Item method guides.