The Beekeeper: Is United Data Group and Nine Star United a Real Scam Company?

Directed by David Ayer and starring Jason Statham as the titular character, ‘The Beekeeper’ follows the story of a man on a revenge path, ready to do anything to right the wrongs. The protagonist is a man named Adam Clay, who lives a solitary life in a barn he rents from an elderly lady, who is the only person who has ever shown him affection and taken care of him. One day, she loses all of her money (more than $2 million) to a phishing scam, and this leads to her suicide. Angered by what was done to his only friend, Clay, also known as the Beekeeper, decides to find the scammers and bring them to justice. His search for the culprits leads him to companies that seem all too realistic. SPOILERS AHEAD

The Fictional United Data Group and Nine Star United are Based on Real Scammers

‘The Beekeeper’ is a fictional film based on the script penned by Kurt Wimmer, previously known for his work on ‘Salt,’ ‘Total Recall’ and ‘Expendables 4.’ When he conceived the script, his focus was more on the Beekeeper and his mysterious background, but with the phishing scams, the writer tapped into a common crime that plagues the real world and affects hundreds of thousands of people every year in the US alone. He created the fictional scamming companies, but they are firmly rooted in reality.

One of the most common cybercrimes in today’s world, phishing scams have escalated over the years, with reportedly 500 million phishing attacks coming to light in 2022, double the numbers in 2021. According to an FBI report, 300,497 phishing attacks cost victims a total of $52,089,159. Of these, call center scams have been rather prevalent and are known for targeting the elderly, who have considerably lesser knowledge of tech, something that the attackers take advantage of. Reportedly, the call center scams have cost over $1 billion to the victims, half of whom have been reported to be over 60, racking up the losses to $724 million. But these are not the only kind of internet scams targeting people.

In 2022, a total of $10.3 billion was lost to internet scams, out of which the elderly victims’ losses were tallied up to $3.1 billion. The scams often take the form shown in ‘The Beekeeper.’ People report receiving a message flashing on their screens asking them to have their hard drives or phones fixed, and the helpline numbers lead them to scammers who fish out necessary details from the victims in the name of helping them. The FBI revealed that the success rate of getting the lost money back is 73%, and the situation gets dire each year.

Losing their hard-earned money, which is sometimes the entire life savings of a person, leads to a severe impact on the psyche of the victim, and suicide attempts are not unheard of. ‘The Beekeepers’ shines a light on this prevalent crime that drastically affects the lives of people, especially the elderly, who are the easiest targets and often don’t have anyone to turn to to ask for help.

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