Scambaiting

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What is scambaiting?[edit]

Scambaiting is about scamming the scammers. Usually most users avoid online scams, but there are out people who fall victims to different scam schemes every day. Sometimes the tables turns and people purposefully engaging the scams, while being fully aware of the real scam. (wisegeek) Scams have evolved from simple and easy untargeted email messages to more sophisticated and difficult scams targeted at users of classifieds, dating and other websites. Scambaiting is described as advance fee fraud, more known as Nigerian scams or 419 scams. It is called Advance Fee Fraud because the scammer will almost always require an advance payment of some sort in exchange for the money he promised to the victim. It is a scheme of online fraud that not only causes financial loss to individuals and businesses, but also can bring emotional or psychological damage to victims. (Park, Jones, McCoy etc., 2014)

We all have received unsolicited emails offering us a ’get rich quick’ opportunity by just paying amount of money upfront, also offerings to get cheap electronics, medicines without prescriptions or phishing mails asking us to update our banking information. Usual users just deletes letters like this but scam baiters will not do this. At this moment when the scam baiter receives the letter, the scam baiting starts. Users is fully aware that someone is trying to rip off them. The users who is going to do the scambaiting can firstly cost the scammers money and play go with the actions. Scambaiters play the roles of victims, they purposefully engage the scammers. The main point is to do everything to keep scammers from stealing money from innocent people. (wisegeek)

Scambaiter starts their own game. It is social engineering at it’s best form because it involves fake stories and a lot of interesting lies to make the scammers believe in them. The scambaiter uses the exact same manipulation on the scammer that scammers use on their victims. Scambaiters one point is to waste a scammers time and to finally get a payout. Scambaiters try to get information that can be reported and to help the victims. Today there are some communities that deals with scammers. Volunteers are working together to scam the scammers, share their tools and stories. One the most popular pages is 419Eater.com and it is active site since 2003. Scambaiters put a countless hours of their time to pay back the scammers. (Gerard, 2013)

Effects of scambaiting[edit]

Scambaiters use a variety of different techniques. Today this comparatively small but global community wastes their time and resources to gain different effects. Scambaiters gain the scammers trust and hook them for weeks, months or even years and have a totally another world of scamming. The main effects using scambaiting are (Phisher, 2014) :

  • Bait scammers and tie them up
  • Provide guidance to the public on recognising scams
  • Support victims
  • Alert scammers
  • Report scammers
  • Publish scammers information (e.g addresses, phone numbers, e-mails)
  • Provide law enforcement

Also scambaiters have their own personal motivation to do this and these motives can range from community service and status elevation to revenge for being victim in the past. Scambaiter can be everybody who wants. (Zingerle, 2014)

In one way the scambaiters are not doing anything wron, but still scam baiting raises some ethical questions. Scamming the scammers is also vigilante activism and some times scam baiter’s motives and mission is not always todo the right thing and support the victims. Some people are doing this for fun and this doesn’t sound very ethical. (wisegeek)

Scambaiting strategies[edit]

The strategy of scam baiting is to initiate a trap for the scammer by creating a fake email account untraceable back to the owner and then answer emails sent by scammers. The batter then pretends to be receptive to the financial hook that the scammer is using.

A popular method to accomplish the first goal is to ask the fraudster to fill the imaginary questionnaire that is very time-consuming. The idea here is that when the fraudster is occupied with Baiter, who had not the slightest intention of becoming a victim of fraud, it prevents the fraudster in the matter of cheat original victims out of their money. The activists can hunt fraudsters in long journeys, promote the use poorly done requisite, or the teaching in the English language idioms that secretly cast doubt on fraud.

Amusements that the Baiter can benefit from economies interaction includes fooling cheater in drop for the-the claims as absurd how those that scammers use to defraud its victims, or in case scammers supporting persecution technologies disappointment scammer obtains from any entrance of the Macintosh system falling down into a trap set by Baiter in order to get personal information swindler in or being a publicly humiliated by living flow of scam session in place. Batters often use the names of the jokes or links to a Western popular culture which, whereas apparently absurd to dear or fluent English speaker, remain an unnoticed fraud. Likewise, baiters may input characters, and even storylines of the films or TV shows for comedic effect. Moreover, It was known scammers shall themselves take bogus names in their-their own culture it would seem as absurd. This reflects the West fraud batters by using a Display name of-of Popular Culture; unlike the-the Westerners, would probably be are unlikely to to identify names of that would be unfamiliar with a Nigerian and another the West African popular culture.

Examples of most popular scambaiting strategies[edit]

Scambaiting activites can be divided into different categories like:

  1. Straight bait – the most basic. Simple emailing
  2. Phone bait – getting scammers to call you
  3. Church bait – getting scammers to join your church
  4. Safari bait – to get scammers to travel
  5. Art bait – to do a piece of artwork
  6. Cash bait - illegal action to get money from scammers
  7. Freight bait – to pay for shipping something valuable to scambaiter.

Allover there are many strategies that scambaiters use to scam the scammers. For more, previous researches are brought out the interesting strategies of baiting :

  • The Scam Alerts- to report online scams in order to increase general awareness of Internet scams. Scambaiters platforms provides advices and FAQs.
  • A “big order” from China – Chinese companies showing big interest towards products. Also the perspective is the big profit.
  • The Trophy Hunters – Scambaiters who replies to scam e-mails and involves incredible story-plots, same time scamming the fraudster constantly.
  • Wasting their time – to keep the scammers wasting more time to deal with the scambaiter not usual people.
  • Documenting their practice – the point is to visualize the information about the scammers and to put this all online.
  • The website reporters – to indentify the fake websites and domains.
  • The Bank guards – all kind of bank related issues. Scambaiters target the scammers who use bank accounts .
  • Community driven reporting game - the game where the challenge is to gather as many accounts as possible. For more needful is to get more than one account information from one scammer.
  • The romance Scam Seekers – The scambaiters are trying to trick the scammers in social networking sites. They try to gain scammers attention and then to trick them
  • The Safari Agents – Scambaiters who try to persuade the scammers iinto leaving their working space and to get physical activities into actions.
  • Two scammers missing – scambaiters create a website to a hotel business that offers services to travellers in the region and then trick the scammers.
  • The inbox divers- social engineering tool. The point is to log into scammers email account and warn the victims

A lot of time and effort is used to fight against the scammers. Some of the strategies are more ethical then the others and the different scambaiting strategies shows relation of legality, humiliation and social activism. Scambaiting can be quite entertaining same time dangerous.

Real life example[edit]

One year ago, the anonymous girl from Belarus tried scam baiting the ‘Nigerian letters’ or ‘scam 419’. Once she’s got a letter sent by a quasi attorney of dead millionaire, the Belarusian decided to be in correspondence with this ‘lawyer’. As always scammer offered the collaboration in order to seize the whole inheritance of dead. Millionaire is supposedly her namesake that was to convince the bank to give them 13 million US dollars. First of all scammers sent her a lot of documents and photos to persuade to their reliability. The girl also received from ‘attorney’ licenses, own photos and photos with the family, etc. It was forgery for sure. By turn, lawyer asked the analogous guarantees from her side, so she sent fake documents and photos as well. As a general rule, for the successful completion of an operation they need the real phone number they can connect with you. Later the story moved ahead. Scammers have its verified scenarios, when bank supposedly begins asking the confirmation of blood relationship with the millionaire for what the attorney sent different documents and then girl also forwarded it to the fake bank. After few operations bank ‘confirmed’ the transaction of 13 million dollars on her account, but she had to pay the transaction activation in amount of 1350 dollars. So it was the culmination.

The girl has begun composing different stories that she can’t send money (scammers prefer instant payment systems), because in the bank in Minsk payment to Togo considered ‘undesirable’ and now require ‘verification’, so anybody from other side should send small sum, for example twenty dollars. The plan worked though. When the girl decided to transfer money, the attorney immediately wrote from another email address and asked not to send her emails on the old one no more, because it was ‘hacked’. But as revealed later, somebody from their gang decided to wheedle her into by itself, secretly for leaders. Thus girl communicated with two attorneys at the same moment, and finally every lawyer sent 20 bucks to her.

She made a lot of fun of this story. This scheme is very simple: you are willing to pay, then plead distrust (bank or wife), and ask to send little money in order to get a trust. If scammers are going to earn one thousand dollars or even more, they can send you this money due to small risk. It is theirs own scheme, but inside out. After receiving money she wrote a short mocking letter with advice to close their filthy business and become good people instead. Scammers fell into a rage and promised death within three days coming from ‘juju’ (their local equivalent of voodoo). But eventually she stayed alive.

Scambaiting Tips, Hints, and Suggestions[edit]

  • Prepare your scambaiting personna before you start the scambait (name, address, phone, etc.) - to prevent making mistakes
  • Use a free and fake email account for your scambaiting - Yahoo, gmail, Hotmail, Live.com, etc.
  • Don't give any real information!!!!
  • Use a fake addresses (in case the scammer trace your IP)
  • Use k7.net (for messages) or a fake cell phone
  • Make a fake ID to use
  • Convince a scammer that you are traveling (use Orbitz or Travelocity)
  • Most scambaiters suggest setting up a "catcher" account to receive scam emails, and a "baiter" account to carry on the bait.
  • Scambait with your eyes wide open - remember, these are criminals!!!

Advantages/ disadvantages of scam baiting[edit]

The advantages of scam baiting are that people are trying to make everything right and are confronting scammers on their own way and punishing them for doing bad thing to people, scamming and stealing money and other private or different information from the internet users who don't know how to defend themselves from the scammers. No doubt that there are many advantages in scam baiting according to studies, which could include on protection of innocent people against become victims of convincing scammers to change their attitudes, better customer and attitude of companies, reduce the list bound with damage to the images company and the advantage comprises all other assets associated with making the world best place to be.

Fatty letter? Well, if Jesus had not died for us, who else will be me? I definitely would not take. Most widely Drawback in scam baiting is the embodiment. Incarnation can generally be referred to as a means of presentation misinformation for other people with a view depicting the negative views about it. According to investigations (which is still going on), there is discovered that whereas 80 percent of the stories related to fraudulent persecution may be a real, 20 percent of those are actually an act of reincarnation. This was mainly due fact that scammers are inclined to only use the information of other people in order to avoid getting caught, this information can be in the range of conventional picture copied from your social network site on the website the phishing designed in order to replicate your own website, that all the other instruments of impersonation. Whereas major companies such as the Facebook, Blogger, Google and other social media sites make this problem a serious due to the consequences of companies could be affected in a legal system, Lesser (so-called virtual of companies) the company to operate from the sofa to the bedroom, perhaps does not accept that business seriously. This happens because they do not have material evidence.

If people have read other blogs you will understand what evidence means. It may be defined as the medium through which the of companies can be obtained in a personal assistance environment. E.g. you can find in Google, Blogger, eBay, Facebook in their headquarters, but the so-called organizations and some discussion boards do not have any material evidence (real location). thereby makes them practically unseen and not-useable (if one can use the word data), as they may not be identified. This allows them to brag from their rooms and fell down like a king but has been Who is a helping hand of at least, to find the place which houses Web sites.

Once impersonated, you could easily contact companies with material evidence and get they deleted the messages, for example if you provide them the evidence to demonstrate that you are currently depicted, and I am confident from the experience and scientific research (Facebook , Blogger, etc.) would be confident to do this when they Finally recognize that you are currently depicted. Yet that does not resolve the problem blogging Community Forums, websites of the thresholds or any other incriminating sort media. The best way is to "Hold your tongue and relax your mind" is still concentrated on themselves because I can guarantee you if you did is nothing bad, you will never be held responsible. A person might be depicted their identities, but your value is undamaged. The only person who could destroy your worth is yourself.

Yet best thing to do is be on the safe and keep away from any possible websites, phishing spyware and viruses that may hinder your online security measures.

Is scambaiting safe?[edit]

Some argue that scambaiting isn’t safe. It is said that it is perfectly safe, if its done correctly. Still it is important to remember that these people are criminals and they do not care about the victims. It is needful that you keep all of your real information fully separate from your scambaiting profiles. You should also have fake personas and fake information. Experienced baiters are very careful to ensure that no sensitive personal information is inadvertently leaked to their targets.

Interesting Terms in scambaiting field[edit]

  • Mugu / Lad: A scammer. Mugu means "idiot" in Igbo, a language spoken in Nigeria. Scammers refer to their victims as Mugus.
  • Oga: The boss of a group of scammers. The one who has to deal with the mugus that got hooked in by scambaiters.
  • Burn: Letting a scammer know he was baited. Never recommended, as they will usually learn from this and continue scamming more carefully. Always leave him in the dark.
  • Trophy: Proof that the baiter has wasted the scammer's time / resources. Usually a funny photo or a recorded call.
  • Bucket of Trust / Torch of Trust: Made popular by the owner of a great scambaiting forum that shut down. It consists of getting a scammer to take a photo of himself wearing a bucket on his head while holding a lit torch (usually accompanied by an explanation that a bucket in the head means hard work and the fire means strength, thus the scammer would be proving to the baiter that he was a real businessman). This is difficult to get, since most scammers will find it very weird and back off. (wotlabsforum, 2013).

www.419eater.com[edit]

Welcome to the world of Scambaiting!

419 Eater is a website where you can find a lots of information about how to scambait. You can find the latest news and information about the scammers. Also you can find important link and scambaiting tips. 419 Eater has a very active forum with the latest threads, for more you can find videos and pictures.

419 Eater slogan:

  • Does somebody want to transfer millions of dollars into your account?
  • Does someone want to pay you to cash cheques and send them the money?
  • Met a new friend/penpal on a friendship/dating site who's asking you for money?
  • Has a dying person contacted you wanting your help to give his money to charity?
  • Have you sold an item and are asked to accept a payment larger than the item amount?

IT'S A SCAM!

Don't fall for common scams like this - fight them!

Conclusion[edit]

The point of scambaiting is to scam the scammer or somehow “troll” him. Most scammers use the advance fee tactic, where they request an advance payment. Goal of scambaiting is to try to scam the scammer, by trying to get information about scammers and get some sort of revenge.  Scambaiters use different strategies such as: baiting, providing public awareness, reporting, supporting victims, trying to get the scammers information or reporting to the law enforcements.

Strategies are mostly based on trying to answer an e-mail or a phone call made by the scammer and try to extract some sort of information or other dividends. Strategies can be divided into many categories, like getting scammers to call you, to join some sort of organization, to travel, to do a piece of artwork, to pay for shipping or to get money from the scammers.

A lot of advantages related to scambaiting are mostly related to some sort of social justice and trying to punish the scammers. The disadvantage is that the information that you get from a scammer could be from other innocent person, so the innocent person might be harassed for nothing.

While scambaiting is generally safe, people have to use fake accounts for everything, including a fake phone number, fake address, fake ID and generally only fake information unless there are important reasons not to.. There are a lot of communities dedicated to scambaiting, such as 419eater.com or the r/scambait on reddit. 

References[edit]

De’ Disadvantages Advantages. (2011) De’ Disadvantages Advantages. Retrieved April 27, 2016 from http://impactoftechnologyinservicemarketing.blogspot.com.ee/2011/01/scam-baiting-some-great-job-gone-ugly.html

Скамбайтинг. Как проучить мошенников и немного заработать?, (2015). Форум onliner.by. [online] Available at: https://forum.onliner.by/viewtopic.php?t=13073798 [Accessed 4 May 2016]

Gerard. J. (2013). What is Scambaiting? Retrieved April 27, 2016 from http://www.antifraudnews.com/what-is-scambaiting/

Park. Y., Jones. J., McCoy. D., Shi. E., Jakobsson. M. (2014). Scambaiter: Understanding Targeted Nigerian Scams on Craigslist. Maryland.

Phiser. J. (2014). Does Scambaiting Make A Difference? How? Retrieved April 28, 2016 from http://www.antifraudnews.com/scambaiting-make-difference/

wiseGEEK. What is Scam Baiting? Retrieved May 2, 2016 from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-scam-baiting.htm

wotlabsFORUM. (2013). The Art of Scambaiting. Retrieved April 28, 2016 from http://forum.wotlabs.net/index.php?/topic/2402-the-art-of-scambaiting/

Zingerle. A. (2014). Towards a categorization of scambaiting strategies against online advance free fraud. http://www.andreaszingerle.com/publication-towards-a-categorization-of-scambaiting-strategies/

http://www.419eater.com/

http://macsbaitstore.com/tips.html