Sunday, May 17, 2009

Baiting Nigerian scammers for fun (not so much for profit)

When your hobby is baiting 419 scammers (also known as Nigerian scammers or advance-fee fraudsters), a death threat isn't cause for concern—it's a trophy worth bragging about to your friends.

Scam baiters are the vigilante enforcers who come together to waste hours, weeks, or months of 419 scammers' lives for nothing more than the satisfaction of knowing that they are distracting them from real victims. Though the world of 419 scams has existed since long before the Internet, people continue to fall for scammers in droves—certainly, scammers are making millions of dollars every year by promising money, goods, and romance that they never deliver on. That's part of why scam baiting has actually become a somewhat popular pastime online, with thousands of users flocking to scam baiting forums to share stories and ideas on how to string along more scammers. And hey, why not? Most of us end up spending too much time screwing around on the Internet anyway—these folks just use that time to make scammers miserable.

But when you hear stories like this, it makes you wonder. "I get death threats on regular basis," a student who goes by -C- told Ars. "Death threats are not uncommon and are actually considered achievements: they are a testament to the fact that the baiter managed to annoy his/her scammer nicely."

"After I joined 419eater, I realized that we actually do make an impact on the entire scamming business by running interference and wasting these scammer's time."

read more | digg story

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

See also: