The hot topic on the latest Street Soldiers episode hosted by Lisa Evers, “scamming vs. drug dealing” raised a lot of questions – is credit card scamming becoming the new trend in “trap life,” is drug dealing a thing of the past, and who gets more street credibility?
Lisa who reports exclusively for Hot97 and Fox5 led the discussion and her panelist included former NYPD Deputy Inspector, author of “Once A Cop” and motivational speaker Corey Pegues, radio cohost / actress Sophia Body who plays “China” on the hit street sensation Money and Violence and comedian Kai Alaska also known as, “Leon the Zoe God on Money and Violence.
Corey stated that scamming is rapidly becoming the new hood hustle. The street dudes are joining forces with the smart guys and together they are making and using fake credit cards. Corey pointed out that others ways scam artists are turning the plastic into profit are inside jobs – people who work with sensitive information are selling them. Bank fraud is another form of scamming that’s becoming popular. Hackers are also known for putting devices on ATM machines that can steal credit card information .
It becomes a challenge for cops to shut down scamming operations because there are so many new scams “policing can’t even catch up to it because it’s so many resources that you have to apply” Corey said. He went on to say that if law enforcement put their focus on scammers, it would take attention away from the crimes that are happening in the streets. But best believe, the NYPD is watching social media and that is how they are able to pin crimes to the perpetrators.
According to Corey, this new trend in making fast cash is a contributing factor to some of the violence that takes places in urban communities. As Lisa said, “where there’s money, there’s violence.” On the flip side, Leon the Zoe God who plays the role of a scammer on Money and Violence believes that the “swipe life” is less dangerous than hustling drugs. Leon says that scamming is bringing unity between the gangs. “Scamming saved everybody’s life” according to Kai. The hustle is behind closed doors and not on the block.
Supply and demand gets more street credibility than steal identity and commit fraud according to Sophia. She respects hustlers and doesn’t believing that scamming is hustling because there is no ground work and in reality you are just stealing from someone. “It’s the worse crime ever” … “I respect a drug dealer way more than a scammer, I just can’t respect someone that steals from somebody else” Sophia said.
Sophia discussed that there’s pressure on woman to look a certain way and this may be a reason why they get tangled into the swipe life. With this new digital hustle, you can quickly begin to live a lavish lifestyle if your pieces are hitting (a phrase that is used when your fake credit card works). Typically a chick, also known as the worker, will team up with a guy who is a scam artist and together like Bonnie and Clyde they live a life of fraud and schemes – until one of them gets caught and ends up behind bars.
At the end of the day, as Corey put it, a crime is a crime and neither drug dealing or scamming gets any respect.