Scambaiting sounds bad for you until you realize it is a small movement by very crafty, computer-savvy citizens out to scam the scammers. They take pride in messing with the nefarious minds that cook up these scams and I am all for it.
By now you have heard about one of the many internet scams such as those that tend to propagate from the region of Lagos, Nigeria (419 is the Nigerian penal code number for fraudulent schemes such as these Advance Fee Frauds or AFF). You know, some guy is dying or has an uncle in the ministry that is trying to get millions of dollars out of the country but only if you act now by sending them thousands of dollars first.
Well, apparently there have been some crafty folks who have been fighting fire with fire or in this case electrons against electrons streamed over the internet bit against bit.
One of these crafty souls is Michael Berry (aka Shiver Metimbers) who has written a book about his scambaiting exploits called “Greetings in Jesus Name! The Scambaiter Letters”.
He has even created a website (www.419eater.com) to help answer FAQs about scamming and scambaiting and how to have fun with these malicious persons yourself (tackle at your own risk folks as you will be dealing with hardened criminals and that ain’t a joke). He even has a trophy room of his email strings with several of his exploits and others as well as video!
One of the priceless ones on this site is this one. Read as Shiver Metimbers gets a scammer to build a wooden bust for him and then regale with laughter as the scammer tries to deal with the shipping company set up by Metimbers called Klingon Trading who shipped it (all made up of course).
Seriously, I haven’t laughed out loud from reading something online in a long time. Well worth the time imo. Be aware that some of the photos submitted by scambaiters are nsfw.
There are other sites cataloging their achievements such these:
The entire point being to waste as much of the scammers time and energy so they get the message to stop trying to entice poor souls into their nets. Enjoy!