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The Deception of the Wallet: A Journey into the World of Scammers

Antonio Piovesan : 16 February 2024 20:45

Giorgio sat in the self-help circle, the dim candlelight dancing on the walls. The eyes of the other participants were fixed on him, waiting for him to speak. It was time to share his story, to unburden himself from the weight he had carried for too long.

“My name is Giorgio,” he began, his voice trembling. “And I was scammed.”

The faces around him leaned in. Giorgio recounted that summer day in Bristol when he found a wallet on the ground in a public park. Inside was a slip of paper with a web address, a username, and a password. Curiosity led him to visit that site, unaware of what awaited him.

“That site,” Giorgio said, “turned out to be a watering hole.”

The others squinted their eyes. Giorgio explained that watering holes were legitimate websites frequented by many people but infected with malware. Hackers used them as traps, waiting for victims to access them. And he, naively, had taken the bait.

“That site infected my work computer with crypto malware,” Giorgio continued. “My employer suffered significant financial losses. Now I’m under disciplinary investigation, risking dismissal for negligence and just cause.”

Lesson learned

The silence hung heavy. Giorgio had lost sleep, inner peace, and confidence in himself. But from that ugly experience, he had learned some lessons:

Don’t trust wallets found on the ground: That scam had started with an apparently innocent gesture. Now Giorgio knew that not everything that seemed good was.

Always verify information: Don’t blindly accept what you find. That slip of paper had been his downfall.

Be cautious with passwords: Never use the same credentials on multiple sites. A compromised password can open unwanted doors.

Update software and especially protection/anti-virus software: vulnerabilities can be exploited. Keep your system up-to-date to protect yourself. Also remember that the weakest link is us human beings.

Report scams: If something seems suspicious, report it. Prevention is our best defense.


Giorgio concluded his story, his eyes glistening. He was paying a high price for that lesson, but now he wanted to help others not to fall into the same deception. Awareness and sharing experiences are really important tools.

Antonio Piovesan
He graduated in Computer Engineering in 2002 and CISSP certified since 2023, entered the ICT world as an analyst/full stack developer. He continued his education by attending an executive Master in cybersecurity and data protection at 24ORE Business School. He now deals with cybersecurity governance issues in the large-scale retail sector. He has a strong passion for technology, innovation and cybersecurity, promoting the spread of digital risk awareness. He loves reading books on the history of mathematics and is a fan of science fiction literature and film.