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PhD ‘Brainiac’ Is Defrauded While Brother, Conspiracy Theorist ‘Nut,’ Identifies Scheme


MAINE – Fraud prevention isn’t always about intelligence or book smarts. In a sleepy Maine town live two brothers. Peter is witty, outgoing, and smarter than most people. He has a PhD from Harvard and works as an astrophysicist. Contrasting to that is his brother Patrick, an avid comic book collector and conspiracy theorist. Patrick, who also goes by ‘Nut’ believes in every conspiracy theory under the sun. While his brother Peter moved out years ago, Patrick, lives in his parents’ garage and has an array of tin foil hats.


When it came to fraud, however, one brother was more equipped to identify and address danger. Both brothers were faced with the same phishing campaign. Despite Peter’s brainiac nature, he didn’t realize the risks, giving out his information and falling victim to an account takeover scheme. Meanwhile, Patrick’s conspiracy nut nature kicked in, and he keep his information safe from the perpetrators.


“I’ve got that fraud spidey-sense,” claims Nut. “Mom and dad are always like, ‘why can’t you be like your brother? Why can’t you get a good job and buy a house?’ Then this happened; instant parental respect!” It turns out that Nut isn’t too far off about his fraud spidey-sense. Some people are naturally more suspicious or cautious when it comes to life.


“It isn’t necessarily about whether someone is intelligent or not,” claims victimologist Nancy Clemens. “This is a perfect example. ‘Brainiac’ Peter has an IQ of 179; he is very smart. ‘Nut’ Patrick, not so much with an IQ of 73. But what Patrick lacks in book smarts, he more than makes up for in recognizing risk. His personality as a conspiracy theorist is perfect for questioning these things, he just goes a little too far sometimes. Peter doesn’t have the same personality; not everything is a red flag to him. But with the help of his brother, he can learn. This isn’t at all to say that smart people lack risk recognition; it is just to emphasize that intelligence isn’t necessarily a contributing factor to deterring fraud.”


“I don’t often have a lot of respect for Nut,” starts Brainiac Peter. “But I have to admit that he was better at spotting the phishing. It is something I should be more aware of. I’m still dealing with the aftereffects of the exposure. There are many things that Nut says to me that go in one ear and out the other. Like how we never landed on the moon, aliens abducted our pet dog growing up, or how breakfast cereal has nanobots that control our mind. When it comes to fraud though, I’ll listen.”

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