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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 Method Success


Missing Item Method With A Greater Than 95% Success Rate

Each and every method used In the capacity of exploiting companies, by deceiving their representatives to generate refunds and dispatch replacement Items at their expense, has Its pros and cons and Irrespective of how well a given method Is formulated, It Is susceptible to failure at some stage during one's social engineering activities. For example, the good ol' boxing method may have been flawlessly prepared by adding dry Ice to substitute the weight of the original product, as well as cutting & taping the package to make It look as though the goods were stolen In transit. However due to atmospheric conditions, the dry Ice didn't sublimate In time and the company noticed It when checking the return, hence the claim was Immediately declined.

The DNA (Did Not Arrive) method can also fail, whereby "the social engineer gave Instructions to leave the package at a safe place" within the boundaries of his home, with the Intention to say he didn't receive It. But because "he selected the safe place", It released the company/carrier from liability, therefore the SE'er was responsible for loss of goods - which ultimately resulted In an unsuccessful outcome. The same can be said for other traditional methods to the likes of the wrong Item received, the faulty Item, the sealed box method, leaking battery and many more - they all trigger one or more events that will complicate matters to the point of the SE ("at times") prematurely coming to an end.

While you cannot control the steps taken when reps/agents are assessing your claim, you can certainly help ensure It heads In the right direction with minimal disruptions and the way It's done, Is by covering every angle with your method and leaving nothing to chance, thereby allowing It to achieve the highest degree of success. Given It's beyond the scope of this article to cater for each method, I will focus on one that's commonly used by SE'ers of all shapes & sizes - namely "the missing Item method". To this day, I continue to come across social engineers who're (somewhat) Indecisive about Its usage - specifically how to effectively prepare It In readiness for the attack vector.

If you're part of that equation, then look no further than this tutorial. What you will learn from this article and as per Its title, Is "how to give the missing Item method a greater than 95% success rate". Yes, you read It right! I will show you the best methodologies to maximize the method's ability to operate to Its full potential, thus It'll succeed In almost every SE performed, but In order to do that, you must follow my examples, explanations and recommendations exactly as written. What you're about to read pertaining to the method's success, has proven to work with most major companies who do not have CCTV cameras up and running. Now the very first thing to do, Is to familiarize yourself with the missing Item method, so we'll check It out next.        

What Is The Missing Item Method?

As Its name Implies, the missing Item method Is used to say that the Item ordered from an online retailer, was missing when you "opened the package" after It was delivered by the carrier driver. For Instance, we'll pretend you've bought Apple AirPods from Amazon, and had It sent to your home by DHL. Upon "opening the box", there was nothing Inside, meaning each AirPod and the charging case was missing, so you've contacted the company and Informed the representative of the same. At this point your claim will make a start, and unless the rep Is half-asleep on the job and approves It on the spot, there will be a number of events (which I've covered further down the page) that will most likely take place before a decision Is made on the claim.  

Notice how I've quoted "opened the package" and "opening the box" In the paragraph above? That's because there are (basically) two ways the missing Item method Is used. The first Is a "warehouse error", whereby the storeman forgot to pick the entire goods (box & enclosed Item) from the shelf/racking, and the package was sealed without It. The second Is a "manufacturer error", that relates to the factory neglecting to put the Item In the box, hence It was shipped to the supplier as such, and you just happened to purchase It - only the box. In the scenario above with the AirPods, It was a "manufacturer error" - they did not put the AirPods In the box. Okay, given you comprehend all that, let's see how to prepare It to perfection.   

Formulating A > 95% Success Rate:

As simple as the missing Item method may sound, you cannot grab the first product that comes to mind and expect the SE to run smoothly - It will fail If the Item Is not compatible with the method Itself. For example, If you are planning to social engineer something that weights around "900 grams", don't expect a favorable outcome, particularly when reps/agents work strictly by the book and assess claims with a fine-tooth comb. How so, you ask? Well, If the company cross-checks the weight recorded at the carrier's depot and the package Is not 900 grams lighter, then the Item could not have been missing! I don't need to explain what happens thereafter.    

If you haven't already realized, "the weight of the Item" plays an Integral role In ensuring the missing Item method serves Its purpose, meaning It should not be detected when the package Is weighed at any stage during shipment. Essentially, the product must be extremely light to not register on any weighing facilities from the time of dispatch, to when the package Is travelling through the carrier's network and finally arriving at Its destination - your home, drop house or any other location used to accept the delivery.     

Now If you're a regular reader of this blog and have sifted through my guides highlighting the Ins and outs of the missing Item method, you'd see that I always suggest the Item not to exceed "120 grams" - which Is certainly correct. But this article Is all about giving the method a greater than 95% chance of success and to achieve that result, be sure the Item Is as light as a feather (so to speak) - "20 grams to an absolute maximum of 25 grams"

I've personally stuck to that weight range on many occasions and also advised other SE'ers to do the same, and I can confidently say that I can't remember the last time a given SE failed. In terms of formulating the missing Item method, It's crucial to understand the difference between the "shipping weight" and the "Item weight" - namely because the latter will (mostly) be used when selecting the product to SE. I've covered both In the topic below.   

Shipping Weight vs Item Weight:

Although It's blatantly obvious to differentiate the "shipping weight" and "Item weight", for one reason or another, SE'ers (particularly beginners) continue to find It somewhat confusing, and that's what prompted me to bring It to the attention of those who're experiencing such Issues. I'll elaborate on each one In a very simplistic manner, thereby every question and concern will be fully answered In the following subtopics.

What Is The Shipping Weight?

When goods are picked & packed by each and every company, they need to make sure the products arrive to their buyers In the same condition as per their original/factory state. As such and In addition to the manufacturer's packaging, the warehouse workers place each Item In Its respective box/package, record the weight, and It's then ready to be collected by their carrier service. What you've just read pertaining to how the product was prepared and weighed, Is known as the "shipping weight". This consists of the Item and everything (box, package, etc) used to dispatch It, but In the case of the missing Item method (In this article), It's the "Item weight" that's of relevance - which brings me to my next point.     

What Is The Item Weight?  

It's pretty much self-explanatory as to what the "Item weight" relates to, thus I won't go Into any detail - that'll be a waste of my time and yours. With regard to Its association with the missing Item method based on the 25 gram limit, that's what you will be using when In search of a suitable product - "solely the weight of the Item Itself". Why? Well, due to working with Items that weigh next to nothing, they must remain that way for the SE to succeed, therefore anything that adds to their weight, like a box, padding, packaging and so forth, cannot be Included In the SE. I've already created a list of Items towards the end of this article, but before discussing It, It's Important to be well acquainted with a couple of "events" that're likely to be experienced with the missing Item method, so let's have a look at that now.           

Events Expected With The Missing Item Method:

When companies process claims from customers who request refunds or replacements, they have certain guidelines to follow, which ultimately determines whether the claim Is approved or declined. Naturally, I'm referring to representatives who comply with procedures, as opposed to those who're brain-dead and credit accounts on the spot. While some claims are pretty straightforward and do not require additional Information, there are times when reps need to collect specific details and that's when an "Investigation" Is opened to try and establish why there's a discrepancy with the Info the social engineer has said/provided to the company.

If you have yet to come across an Investigation, rest assured, there's no cause for concern. It's simply part of company protocol to move forward with the claim, and If your SE has been executed with a high degree of accuracy, you'll find that the majority will finalize In your favor. There are two types of Investigations -  "Internal" (within the company's environment) and "external" (carrier-related and other sources). It's common for the missing Item method to trigger both types, so I'll first cover an "Internal Investigation".  

Event One - An Internal Investigation Opened

As you are aware, an Internal Investigation takes place within the confines of the company and what they do (for example), Is check your order against their picking & packing records with the Intention to Identify why you didn't receive your Item. On some occasions, they may also do a stock count of their Inventory to see If there's any variances, however this can be quite difficult to pinpoint, especially If they operate In a fast-paced environment to the likes of Amazon. Imagine trying to locate your product amongst tens of thousands of Items picked and dispatched each day. It's virtually Impossible and moreover, they don't have the manpower and resources to do so.

Under those circumstances, there's no reason to worry, but the same cannot be said If they have "CCTV cameras" actively monitoring their movement of stock. If that's the case and you put In a claim saying your Item was missing (a "warehouse error"), they'll refer to their camera footage and view exactly what was packed with your order - both by description and quantity and as such, your SE will fail. Cameras don't lie, social engineers do! So prior to using the missing Item method ("warehouse error"), research the company to see If CCTV cameras are In place - hitting a practice run Is an effective approach. At the time of writing, ASOS, Very, EBuyer. Argos, MindFactory and John Lewis, are just a few stores that have cameras In operation.        

Event Two - An External Investigation Opened

As you've most likely realized, 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. Sure, the company does go through Its very own records but In order to clarify the shipping details, they need to gather other Information - In particular, "the weight of the package". Allow me to give an example  of what happens with an external Investigation. Every package the carrier collects, Is transported to their depot and weights & dimensions are calculated and stored In their systems - all done before the driver loads his van/truck for his scheduled delivery run.

The company (you're SEing) will get In touch with the carrier and ask for the "weight of the package taken at their depot" and they'll compare It against the "weight recorded when the company dispatched your package from their warehouse". If your Item was rather heavy and the company's dispatched weight matched with the carrier's weight, then your Item was not missing. This concludes their Investigation and as a result of the events above, your claim will be declined. Can you see why It's Imperative to select an Item that will not be detected when weighed? Good! Speaking of which, I've listed a handful of Items below that can be used as a general guide. 

Items Suited To The Missing Item Method:

There are countless Items that are compatible with this method, but obviously I cannot possibly provide a breakdown for each and every one, hence I've added those which most social engineers tend to target during their SEing activities. Just remember that It relates to a "manufacturer error", meaning the "Item weight" and not a warehouse error with the box & Item. That Is, the Item alone will be used to say that It's missing. As you'll see, a couple exceed the 25 gram limit but only by no more than 1.5 grams - which Is so minimal, that It will have no effect on the method's objective.           

  • Ray-Ban Justin Rectangular Sunglasses. Weight: 26.4 grams
  • Crucial 16 GB DDR4 Ram. Weight: 10.2 grams
  • Apple Watch Series 3. Weight: 26.5 grams
  • Apple Pencil 2nd Generation. Weight: 20.7 grams
  • 14K Gold Plated bracelet. Weight: 14.1 grams 

In Conclusion:

No method Is 100 per cent foolproof - they do fail due to a number of circumstances, unforeseen or otherwise - Inclusive of the missing Item method discussed In this article. However, If you've prepared and executed It precisely as stated, namely by choosing a product no greater than "25 grams" and also persevered with the SE from start to finish, the likelihood of a refund or replacement coming your way, Is almost guaranteed. Because the method Is capped at 25 grams, the only downside Is, the availability of Items are limited but If It's something you've always wanted to own, or a gold wedding ring valued at 2, 000$, then the SE Is well worth the effort.