We have all received unsolicited emails offering us a ’get rich quick’ opportunity. These are soften called 419 scams or Advance Fee scams. The scammer makes you believe there is a fortune for you to collect but you end up paying a small fee then another fee then another until eventually you realise it’s a con and give up.
You can just delete these messages or you can choose to play the scammers at their own game. They lie so why shouldn’t you. Make up your own persona and story.
The are various communities of scambaiters and the most famous is 419eater which you can find at 419eater.com with lots of examples of what they do.
It is very difficult to stop these people, but by wasting their time you are preventing their attention on scamming someone else. Plus an effective scambait may well give you personal information about the scammer – that can be passed on to the Authorities. Reporting the scambait online also warns others of how the scams work and what they can to tie up the scammers. If you can get their name, address and more then you can publish it on a scambaiter website.
Create yourself a fake persona with name, address, email addresses, back story etc. and you’re ready to go when a 419 scam lands in your email inbox.
The most common strategies used by scambaiters are:-
- just go with whatever comes up in the emails
- try to get the scammer to join your Church. Promise the payments he wants once he has joined you imaginary Church.
- get the scammer to pay the freight charge of delivering something entirely useless to him. Gives you an address to publish.
- get the scammer to travel to meet you (you wont be there of course) e.g. your false address
- make up characters to bring into the story e.g. Messrs Screw Hup and Ivor Itch solicitors or a fake Church Deacon or your neighbour Mac Donald
Keep those scammers busy and have some fun at their expense.