Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The con is on

If spam is the dark side of advertising, then the dark side of spam has to be scamming.

We’ve all gotten the emails. Some guy in Nigeria is in a fix, and he is willing to share millions with us if we would only send him a measly $10,000 or so.

Believe it or not, this type of scam is big business, and many people are ripped-off every year. (The average loss is $30,000.) Police all over the world are working hard to catch these criminals and put an end to their con.

But until that day, there are the Scambaiters. This is a group of determined (crazy) people who answer the scam emails. But they don’t send money. What they do is lure the criminal into a con of their own. Promising a huge financial reward, they get the thieves to do all sorts of strange things, like posing for photographs, copying entire novels by hand and even sending wooded statues halfway around the world. The goal is to waste as much of criminal’s time, energy and money as possible.

Want to know more? Then head over to 419eater.com (419 is the Nigerian penal code that relates to these crimes.) You could probably waste an entire day of work just reading the stories.

Finally, a word of advice. Do not try this yourself. On the 419eater site you will see many warnings about how dangerous scambaiting is. These people are toying with dangerous criminals. They have been threatened with violence and even death.

1 comment:

Joker said...

I hate spam but I'm not about to lose my life or my genitals over it.