Nigerian Scams and Scambaiting

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One of the first successes I’ve Tried That had was our series of pages on Nigerian scams. We played a very small scambait and had a little fun at the scammer’s expense. The series is worth a read, so if you’re new here or haven’t read it before, go check it out.

But when it comes to scambaiting and Nigerian or 411 scams, we are truly very, very small fish. Many people do it better than we did, making a full time hobby out of making fools out of scammers. One scambait is legendary. Three baiters turned the scam back on the scammer, sending him on a wild goose chase after money that never arrived.

What’s a Nigerian scam?

Hello dear friend. I am writing to you out of great distress. My father died last year in a terrorist atacks because he was a wealthy businessman who would not pay the jihadi protection fee. He left 12 millions of dollars in a bank account in London and I beg you to help me retrieve it. 25% of the account for your assistance. Your dear friend,
Miss Thabo Mbeki

Tens of thousands of emails like this go out every year. Maybe more. Surprisingly, many people fall for them. When you write back saying you’ll help, the scam is on and pretty soon you’re wiring money to Miss Mbeki for travel, for document fees, for bribery of officials, for whatever. Millions of dollars are lost every year to such scams.

What is Scambaiting?

That’s when someone pretends to go along with the scam in order to waste as much of the scammer’s time as possible. It’s a small way to get back at these petty crooks.

Enter ProfessorSoandSo, Jojobean, and Yeahwhatever. They turned the tables and tricked the scammer into going 1400 miles from home, to the least safe place they can send him: the border of Darfur.

Sweet revenge? Does it cross the line? The story was profiled by This American Life this month. Go listen to it now (or purchase the CD) to see how the big boys bait scams.

Have a Funny Scam Letter?

Have you received an email like this? Don’t be stingy, post it in the comments! We all need a laugh during election season.
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One Comment

  1. i always seem to get emails like this. its obviously a scam so i dont even bother reading it.

    From the Desk Of:
    REV FATHER CHRIS NDU
    Secretary To The Governor (CBN)
    IMMEDIATE PAYMENT
    REF: CBN/IRD/CBX/021/06
    [OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR]
    EMAIL ME TO: wwwrevfatherchrisndu@gmail.com

    IMMEDIATE CASH DELIVERY TO YOUR DOOR-STEP

    We have this on 16th of January 2009 received a payment credit instruction from the federal Government of Nigeria to credit your account with your full contract funds from the Nigerian reserve account with our bank.

    This is to notify you that your funds has been programmed for immediate release into your nominated account but we can not transfer this funds direct to your nominated bank account, because we are having a little problem with International Monetary Fund (IMF) so our method of payment is by Diplomatic Courier Service Be inform that every arrangement regarding your cash payment through diplomatic services has been made; note that your funds have been package like a consignment.

    Please be informed that the Diplomatic Agency has to move down to your country in order to deliver the consignment to your doorstep. Note that as soon as the Diplomatic Agency representative arrives in your country they will give you a call immediately to enable you help them to get the Yellow Tag Paper.

    You have to help the diplomats to get (Yellow Tag Paper) so that the customs and immigration will not stop them in Airport, for security reason you are advice to follow the rules and regulation of the diplomats for easy collection of the consignment, you have to welcome the diplomatic agent, to enable them deliver the Consignment to you immediately, be inform that as soon as the diplomatic obtain the above name certificate they will deliver the Consignment to your door step.

    To remind you that the diplomats has a transit to Poland and finally to arrive at your Country as the last destination on their diplomatic travel route this week, I want you to send your direct mobile phone and your home address to me immediately, so that as soon as the diplomatic arrivein State they will call you immediately to notify you.

    Your Full Name: ______________________________
    Your Complete Address (Physical Address with Zip Codenot
    P.O.BOX) : ______________________________
    Name of City of Residence:_______________________________
    Country:____________________________________
    Direct Telephone Number:____________________________________
    Mobile_____________________________________
    Number:____________________________________
    Number:___________________________________
    Occupation: __________________
    Marital Status M/F_______________________________
    Are you a property owner_________________________
    Are you an equity owner________________________
    Do you have credit card___________________________

    REV FATHER CHRIS NDU,
    SECRETRAY TO THE GOVERNOR, CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN)
    NOTE: RESPONSE SHOULD BE MADE IMMEDIATELY BEFORE IT WILL BE TOO LATE FOR YOU. EMAIL ME TO: wwwrevfatherchrisndu@gmail.com

    Reply

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