They Make a Living Scamming Scammers

'Rest of World' profiles the duo behind Trilogy Media of YouTube fame
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2023 8:00 AM CST
They Make a Living Scamming Scammers
Ashton Bingham and Artsiom “Art” Kulik of Trilogy Media.   (YouTube/Trilogy Media)

In the jargon of their chosen field, Artsiom “Art” Kulik and Ashton Bingham are "scambaiters." Which means, as a profile at Rest of World explains, that the popular YouTubers make it their mission to flip the tables on workers at call centers who try to scam unsuspecting victims by phone. Kulik and Bingham are not the only scambaiters operating, but they are arguably the most famous. The pair have 800,000 subscribers on YouTube through their Trilogy Media company, which is based in Los Angeles, and they have grand ambitions to branch out. “We want scam awareness to be much bigger than it is,” says Bingham. “But we’d also love to have more opportunities on mainstream networks.”

Typically, scambaiters film themselves playing dumb and deliberately wasting the time of a scam caller, and their first popular video is a prime example. But Kulik and Bingham have gone next level, including a road trip to India in which they pranked a call center with cockroaches, mice, a glitter bomb, etc., all caught on camera for their fans. The profile, however, includes the view of critics who say the pair often publicly villainize and humiliate low-wage workers at such centers, who perhaps don't know the nature of their work (calls are often handed off to "closers" who do the actual scamming) or are desperate for their meager paychecks. The duo also is accused of perpetuating stereotypes about India. Read the full story, which covers both sides of the debate. (More Longform stories.)

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