We all have them, we all see them, it is what comes next that matters. For me it was a visit to the introduction of a cyber course. There were so many red flags it was weird. The first flags came two days before the presentation, two emails to set the stage, one with the option to delay payment to six months after the course was done, the first sales pitch. Now there is nothing wrong with sales pitches, but here it seems misplaced, cyber space os pedantic to say the least. So I went to that presentation, even though there were already red flags going up. Then there was the event. To be honest, it wasn’t all their fault. There were IT issues and IT couldn’t figure out what was wrong. This happens, the moment sucks, but that is part of the game.
Then there was the space, 2 attendants, the rest via zoom. I was one of the two, no drinks, not even water. If it is a sales pitch, you want people relaxed, so how does a thirsty presentation go? They had bought water for themselves. Then there were no handouts, in case of a training you want people have the information, hand outs are a great option for them to have the slides and make notes. The presentation was not updated and was still saying November 2021, remember I stated pedantic? Then the presentation, so much mention of “You do not need to be from IT” and then all the examples of people who were from another education, there were good parts, but so much a sales-pitch. The number of red flags were passed and I left.
So was I wrong?
There is no indication that they weren’t what they said they were, they were in a decent place, they did this with a well known University, so this was all on the up and up, but the hairs on my neck were up, it was about revenue, it was about sales and the approach was wrong. You see the article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-60387324) gives some of the goods. It was titled ‘the con that tricked dozens into working for a fake design agency’, the BBC gave it two days ago and there we have the problem. The BBC gave us “those who had turned on their cameras didn’t know was that some of the others in the meeting weren’t real people. Yes, they were listed as participants. Some even had active email accounts and LinkedIn profiles. But their names were made up and their headshots belonged to other people.” The enforcing of a sales pitch. As such we see “the real employees had been “jobfished”. The BBC has spent a year investigating what happened.” You still think that being pedantic is something else than a virtue? Yes, we get “the job represented more than just a pay cheque – but a UK visa too. If they passed their six-month probation period, and met their sales targets, their contracts said Madbird would sponsor them to move to the UK” and there is the real pitch, exploitative slavery, hiding behind a piece of shit hiding behind “I have put 16 hours every single day for months and done the best that I could to make this work. I should’ve known better and for that I’m truly sorry.” No he isn’t and I feel that people like that should get one bullet through the back of their heads. We get “By February 2021, not a single client contract had been signed. None of the Madbird staff had been paid a penny”, we are given “Some recruits ended up leaving after a few weeks, but many stayed. Many had been there for almost six months – forced to take out credit cards and borrow money from family to keep on top of bills” that should have been a big red flag but in this world of pandemics, too many feel the pinch of desperation, but an agency that cannot pay you? That is an agency that has no real clients, no revenue and no real future at that point. We are given “a photo showing an open issue of GQ magazine, with Ali Ayad modelling a blazer in a full-page ad for Spanish fashion brand Massimo Dutti. “Hustle in silence, let your success make the noise,” read the caption.” As well as “a post claiming he had modelled for Massimo Dutti in British GQ which received 4,000 ‘likes’”, “Ali Ayad has over 90,000 followers on his Instagram – in his bio he describes himself as an “influencer”” as well as the stolen identities, I personally see a clear case for targeted killing. You see this world is changing and if State players can do the games they play, going after created leaks on Credit Suisse, hack and spell the goods through Pandora Papers, I can make a clear case that some of these exploitative nut-jobs are in the market for targeted killing. It is time that we clean the streets on both sides of the isle but not merely on red flags, that does not constitute evidence and for the Cyber setting I might be wrong, it is more than a gut feeling, it is more then small pressure point, it is more than a sales-pitch (which was never invalid) and the half dozen red flags I do not mention here is because they are personal, they are based on the corporate and university world I have faced over decades, and based on what THEIR bosses see as proper etiquette. The red flags does not mean wrong, it means that the pedantic levels I have seen in the cyber world does not constitute evidence, it does not and I know that. The BBC shows a different version, a version that it takes a year to get to a piece of shit like that. So when we see “We contacted all 42 brands Madbird had listed as former clients – including Nike, Tate, and Toni & Guy. None of those that responded had ever worked with Madbird.” We also see that this is becoming a much larger problem. And I have over 50 people for my case, some who lost thousands. I feel decently certain that the image he used is optionally not him, the stage of “Whilst Madbird and Ayad have seemingly vanished”, as I personally see it, the NSA/GCHQ better get fucking active, if players like this can play their tax the rich approach, they can also hunt down people like Ali Ayad and prove that they are serious about stopping certain crimes. The 50 people have rights and their rights were trampled upon. It was not mischief, it wasn’t some prank and it was not to do “the best that I could to make this work” it was exploitation, it was mislabeled slavery and it needs to stop. We cannot blame some of the social media on how people like this do what they do, but we can execute them. I prefer long term prison but so far Ali Ayad has vanished, and making him run in fear is better than him walking away to restart the scam somewhere else.
That is how I see it but here too is the problem. I am the problem on the relying of red flags, the setting of expectation regarding a pedantic setting, I get that, but between the two events is a borderline, I am not certain where it is, or where it should be, but that border needs to be created, governments have sat on their asses for too long and the wrong people are left with the bill of scammers, that is not completely on social media and more on governments, but that is merely how I see it and I admit, I could be wrong.