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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. 

When To Hit Chargebacks


When To Perform Credit Card Chargebacks

When social engineering online retailers, with the Intention to deceive their representatives to perform actions that they're not supposed to do, namely credit accounts for the full cost of the purchase Item or dispatch a replacement product free of charge, It doesn't always go according to plan. Regardless of whether you're operating as an Intermediate SE'er, or perhaps an advanced refunder who's been In the scene for quite a number of years serving your client's needs, complications WILL be experienced at some point during your SEing activities - with many SEs resulting In a failed outcome.

Even If you've researched everything there Is to know about your target, as well as established the Ins and outs of the carriers that service their deliveries, and then flawlessly formulated your method based on the (researched) findings, the SE may still prematurely come to an end. For example, there are many SE'ers who've succeeded with the missing Item method on very lightweight goods, such as an Apple Watch Series 7 with a case weight of only 21 grams, however after being told the claim was approved, the rep/agent decided to reverse his decision and decline the refund for no apparent reason

And when the SE'er asked the claim be escalated and reviewed by someone on a senior level, much to his disappointment, the original decision remained firm and the case was closed thereafter. So what do you do when you've applied every manipulative tactic you can think of, but the company repeatedly refuses to budge, and keeps rejecting your request for a refund? That's where I come In, by Introducing you to what's called a "chargeback", whereby you'd ask your credit card provider to reimburse the funds back Into your account. 

However, a lot of social engineers either abuse chargebacks by filing one after the other, or they do It when It's absolutely not necessary under the circumstances of their SE. If you're part of that equation, then this tutorial Is for you, but even If you are familiar with how chargebacks are structured, I strongly suggest reading every topic - as there will be a few bits & pieces that's unbeknownst to you. Here's what you will learn today respectively.

  • What Is A Chargeback?
  • Eliminate Chargebacks On Fresh Accounts
  • Don't Hit Chargebacks When Actively SEing 
  • Predominantly Save Chargebacks For High Value Items
  • Using Chargebacks As A Backup

Okay, so let's kick off this article by having a clear understanding of what a chargeback entails, and the way It's used In the social engineering sector.

What Is A Chargeback?

Although a "chargeback" Is sometimes viewed as being directly related to PayPal, It Is In fact performed by contacting your credit card provider and asking for a refund. In other words, the buyer (you as the "social engineer") tells the credit card provider to reverse the charge on the account, and on the grounds the purchase was done through PayPal, Information will first be collected from them. The type of Info can Include (but not limited to) a proof of purchase, shipping documents, all communications between the buyer & seller, transaction records and so forth.

In order to help ensure the process runs smoothly, It's crucial to be well-prepared by having as much details as possible (Inclusive of fake credentials and more) at your disposal, prior to Initiating a chargeback - for the reason that everything that was asked of you Is gathered by PayPal, and they'll forward the details to the credit card provider for review. As a result, It's the "credit card provider" who makes the final decision as to whether the buyer (the SE'er) will receive a refund, Irrespective of what PayPal has to say!  

If you've formulated your method and executed the SE by leaving very little to no room for error, It significantly Increases the likelihood of a chargeback working In your favor, and when It happens, there's nothing the company or PayPal can do to dispute It. Be aware that chargebacks have a time frame of when they can be filed - which Is 180 days after the product was purchased, so to not exceed It, be sure to make a mental note of It. There's a lot more Involved with this topic, but It's way beyond the scope of this guide to cater for everything. All right, next we'll check out the Impact chargebacks may have on fresh accounts.  

Eliminate Chargebacks On Fresh Accounts

Each and every company you plan on SEing for the very first time, requires the need to create an online account by adding your email address, contact number, preferred payment system and the list goes on. When It's complete and you've effectively applied your method against the nature of the Item you'll be SEing, the attack vector can be launched, and the SE will travel towards achieving Its purpose - preferably a refund generated Into your bank account. However, this Is not as easy as It sounds - there's one element that's responsible for many failed SEs - specifically "a fresh online account".

So what exactly Is a fresh online account, and why does It have a negative Influence on your social engineering activities? I'm glad you asked! In simple terms, It's a newly created account that has a poor transaction history and no credibility, therefore until It matures over time with many legit purchases and a good track record, It will attract attention (to some degree) when SEing In any capacity. For example, If you've been social engineering the same company, you'd evidently try and refund or replace every purchase made. 

That's the point of SEing - to obtain goods without paying a single dime. But as you're aware, claims are declined even In the most favorable circumstances and as such, SE'ers tend to perform "multiple chargebacks", which has a high chance of capturing the Interest of representatives - who will then Investigate the account and sift through every payment, Incident and activity. Consequently, It'll Immediately raise suspicion, and will very likely lead to the account being flagged or closed. The message Is loud and clear - eliminate chargebacks on "fresh accounts".

Don't Hit Chargebacks When Actively SEing 

The moment the SE leaves your local environment and Is In the hands of the company's reps/agents, you have very little to no control of the steps taken while the claim Is being assessed. Things like Investigations opened, police reports requested, or perhaps asked to sign documents, will come your way at some stage when hitting companies of all shapes and sizes. If you're reading this from an advanced standpoint, you'd well and truly know that all those events are simply part of company protocol to move forward with the claim, hence there's no cause for concern.  

However, there are countless SE'ers who are either Ill-Informed about what the above Incidents entail, or have no Idea how to handle them and as a result, they decide to "hit a chargeback while the SE Is still up and running". This Is bad practice, and should never be done when the claim Is In motion. Why? Well, If the representative approves It, you've wasted a chargeback that could've been used for a more valuable and beneficial purpose, as discussed In the next topic below. In closing, the aim of every SE Is to obviously achieve a successful outcome, so wait for It to finalize. If It doesn't work as Intended, that's when a chargeback Is worth considering.    

Predominantly Save Chargebacks For High Value Items

If you're registered with an online social engineering community, to the likes of an Internet forum or a Discord server, you'll find that there are many discussions targeting "high value Items", a lot of which are very different In how they're worded and Interpreted. Because of that, It can be rather confusing and misleading but rest assured, I'll clear It all up for you as follows. There Is not a set figure on what defines a high value Item, but to be honest, much of It comes down to using common sense and good judgement.

As a rule of thumb, anything with a "minimum cost of around 800$", Is considered a high value Item. Of course, If a product Is over and above that figure, It also falls In the same category. Now you're probably wondering why I'm recommending to "save chargebacks specifically for high value Items", but If you look carefully at the title of this topic, you'll notice It begins with "predominantly" - meaning for the most part, thus any value Is fine. However, given Items worth thousands of dollars are more susceptible to failure, It's best to dedicate most of your chargebacks for such occasions. In doing so, you're utilizing It as a "backup", which brings me to the final topic of this article.      

Using Chargebacks As A Backup

After you've performed your Information gathering session, by Identifying how the company operates and the type of carriers they use to dispatch their consignments, an Informed decision can be made with your "Item and method formulation" - by selecting a method that's fully compatible with the nature of the product you wish to refund or replace. As a result, you've prepared the perfect Ingredients to give the SE the best opportunity to succeed, but social engineering Isn't all sunshine and rainbows - It does fail, even when everything was done right on your end.

Sure, you can ask your claim be escalated and re-assessed by a team member who was not Involved with the original decision that declined It, but what happens when you're told the escalation was also rejected? You guessed It, "hit a chargeback" by contacting your credit card provider. This Is a prime example of why I always suggest to reserve your chargebacks, and use It as a "backup" when all else fails. Put simply, when your claim has been terminated and nothing more can be done about It, "resort to a chargeback"

In Conclusion

If you've read and absorbed every detail In each topic, there's no doubt that you now have an In depth understanding of how chargebacks are structured, Inclusive of what stage of your SE they should be used, and the advantage of having It as a backup when your SE does not go according to plan. As a closing note, I'd like to reiterate that It's good practice to be selective with the Item value when deciding whether to pursue a chargeback.

For Instance, If It's a Micro SD card costing only 6.50$, logic has It, It's not worth the time and effort running back and forth with your bank to recover a measly few dollars. Launch your chargebacks for goods that're worthy of going through the process - laptops, cell phones, Apple Smart Watches, and basically any product which has a very decent price tag.