Scam baiting – the act of leading scammers on a wild goose chase – has been raised to a new art form with the advent of the Internet, and Internet scammers. And none more so (or more deservingly) than the so-called 419 scammers. You know the ones: “I am Mariam Abacha…“, and someone has always died with a lot of money hidden away, and they want you to help them get the money out of the country. But first you have to send them some earnest money.
While some do it on their own, for the sheer joy of baiting a scammer, groups and even complete websites have sprung up, all dedicated to scamming 419 scammers. And unlike the controversial Mugu Marauder, which encourages untargeted users to churn bandwidth of websites which may themselves be innocent, the individuals involved with the 419 scam baiting sites are responding directly to 419 scammers who have targeted them.
One of the more prolific, and certainly amusing, sites is the 419 Eater site.
The 419 Eater site starts out with this warning: “Please remember that these people are CRIMINALS and should be treated as such. Under no circumstances must you enter into any communications with these people unless you feel you are adequately prepared to deal with them.”
Good advice, that.
Clearly the people running 419 Eater feel adequately prepared, and indeed they seem to be. The 419 Eaters regularly send their pet 419 scammers on goose chases which involve filling out and returning bogus forms (” the bank said you must first fill out a Money Laundering and Fraud Suppression Certificate”), and even taking and returning photos of their scammy selves holding up hand-lettered signs for the camera (“Ohwa Tafu Kwit Iam”).
Ok, so maybe it isn’t getting these guys arrested, but hey, it’s keeping them busy, and exposing them (in more ways than one!)
And it’s darned funny.
Check out 419 Eater at 419Eater.com.