March 13, 2009

Scambaiting: 419 Eater

Now that I use Gmail, I rarely see the spam and Nigerian money scammer emails that I know are pouring in and getting tucked neatly into the trash. I'm sure you know the emails I'm talking about. They start with a formal and vague introduction to "Sir/Madam", and go straight into a grammatically incorrect tear-jerker tale of woe that often involves royalty, a dead relative and an inheritence that can only be reached WITH YOUR HELP. It's hard to believe that anyone would fall for this kind of scam, but innocent people are taken advantage of all the time by these criminals (and it's just plain annoying).

From the site:

So what is scambaiting? Well, put simply, you enter into a dialogue with scammers, simply to waste their time and resources. Whilst you are doing this, you will be helping to keep the scammers away from real potential victims and screwing around with the minds of deserving thieves.

Although this site concentrates mainly on the Nigerian 419 scam, we are happy to deal with other types of scams if and when the opportunity arises. We also have a large team of experts dedicated to the removal and closure of fake scammer banks and sites.

This is why I'm in love with the 419 Eater website. It not only gives you ideas for getting back at scammers on your own, but it's completely entertaining to read through what others are doing. One seasoned veteran scambaiter even managed to convince a scammer to record himself reading the entire Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book aloud (the audio files are about halfway down the second page, but it's entertaining to see how he got there).


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