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.
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.