Baiting 419ers Is Pretty Amusing, But Doesn't Do A Whole Lot To Solve The Problem

from the bereft-of-life dept

The continuing battle with 419ers and other internet scammers lives on, as police around the world make periodic busts — including one that recently ensnared the singer of the 419er anthem “I Go Chop Your Dollar”. But the scam lives on, as the internet provides a nearly endless supply of victims who really should have known better. Meanwhile, scambaiting — the act of scamming the scammers — thrives, too, as people look to waste the time and money of scammers, and amuse themselves in the process. While some of the tales are certainly amusing — like such classics as the P-P-P-Powerbook, or the more recent video of some 419ers recreating the Dead Parrot sketch of Monty Python fame at the behest of a scambaiter — they’re hardly making a dent in the overall problem. Like with spam, it’s really the victims themselves that are keeping 419s and other scams alive. If people would stop falling for their ridiculous claims, they’d eliminate the market for the scams. Of course, as the old adage says, there’s a sucker born every minute, so it seems that the scams will live on for a while yet.

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Comments on “Baiting 419ers Is Pretty Amusing, But Doesn't Do A Whole Lot To Solve The Problem”

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gustopher says:

I’ve done my fair share of scam-baiting and yes, it is never going to solve the overall problem.

However, it does make a difference. Every email, photo, ridiculous challenge, road trip or whatever we manage to make the 419’er do at our behest, it is less time available for them to scam some innocent. It uses up their time, their precious internet cafe slot, their photocopying facilities etc etc. It may be a drop in the ocean, but it helps.

We also have managed to warn countless people being scammed as to what’s going on – that, in itself, is a victory.

European & US authorities are underfunded, under-resourced, or just plain don’t care enough to genuinely chase these people up – many baiters can confirm from experience this is the case.

The biggest problem of all, however, is the dumb, stupid public. Not only those that fall for these scams, but particularly those who we, as baiters, warn that they are being scammed who refuse to accept the fact (and then warn the scammers that WE are the bad guys). No sympathy for these people and hope they get fleeced.

Anyway, for me it was just a laugh – if it was doing good at the same time, then so much the better.

Lik Mybum
Ansmellmyfarts PLC
(part-time baiter)

dotlizard (user link) says:

Re: Reward anyone???

i’m in for twenty.

it’s a given that for every scambaiter who takes the time to waste the scammers’ time and resources, there is that much less left to scam with. And if enough people do it, it becomes more of a deterrent — as the scammers become increasingly jumpy and suspicious, they’re going to be less effective. And if offering a reward for the most creative practitioner of the art of scambaiting motivates more people to jump in, so much the better.

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