phone scam edmonton heart to heart

Call between Canadian man and phone scammer turns into heart-to-heart

Phone scams have become all too common in Canada in recent months, but these calls don't often end the way one particular conversation between an Edmonton man and a scammer in Bangladesh did last month. 

Lukas Zapata was taking a nap when he was woken up by a phone call from a woman who claimed to be from the federal government.

Knowing the call was a scam, Zapata decided to give her a fake name and play along. 

"I decided to play along [and waste] their time, that way less people will get scammed," Zapata wrote on YouTube

The call lasted a total of 19 minutes, all of which he posted online, and what began as an attempt to scam Zapata out of money quickly turned into a heart-to-heart. 

About five minutes into the call, once Zapata had been transferred to another person, he managed to get the scammer to identify himself and confess that he was actually located in Bangladesh. 

Still, the scammer did his best to maintain an aggressive persona — even threatening to kill Zapata at one point — though it's clear he was in no way taking the scammer seriously.

After much back and forth, about 13 minutes into the call, the scammer changed his tune and began to open up to Zapata. 

The Bangaldeshi man explained how difficult it is to find a well-paying job where he lives, and that sometimes people are put in situations where they do unethical things in order to survive. 

"I know I am doing something bad but I think this is good for me because this work is feeding me" he said. 

Later in the call, Zapata asked the man if he has a family, to which he responded that he does but they don't know about the work he's doing.

"Just pray for me," the scammer asked of Zapata toward the end of the call. "Just hope something better for me, OK? That will be very appreciated."

Zapata gave the man plenty of life advice throughout the call, telling him to try and maintain a positive attitude and to work hard in hopes that life will bring better things. 

At one point the man on the phone even mentioned suicide, saying that his life is simply unfair and he would better off ending it.

"Don't say that. Life is precious. You have a family that loves you and cares about you. Sometimes we get ourselves in places that seem bad but I can sense that you're a good person and I can sense that you want to change but you haven't had the opportunity to change," Zapata said to the man.

"Don't be so hard on yourself. Sometimes we have to do things to survive in life but don't let that define you.You can find something else where you won't cause damage to people."

"I will try my hardest and best," the man replied. "I am going to find my happiness and I will report back to you if I find something better."

Lead photo by

Lukas Zapata

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