Everybody I know has received scam emails. It can be from someone claiming to be from a Nigerian bank informing you that you have twenty-nine million in assets waiting for you to claim it. You may be offered a job that you never applied for or asked for. You simply have to send in a credit report. You may have been written that an important package has come from fed ex and all you have to do is open the virus laden attachment which will sit within your OS sending all your personal information back to the scam artist.
Then there is the common dating scam. As I stood in line at the local Safeway waiting to rent a carpet cleaner there was an somewhat overweight, and I must admit, less then attractive woman. She was overjoyed as she happily handed over $1,200 to the clerk after filling out the western union card. I must have looked taken aback as she then engaged me in conversation. “It’s for my boyfriend” she stated proudly, “He is in the army and stationed in Nigeria.” I wanted to scream at her and tell her it was a scam and please don’t send the money. I thought better of it as I wished her the best of luck as she giddily walked off with the receipt in hand
The clerk just looked at me and knew what I was thinking and told me that he wants to tell them to do something more productive with the money as opposed to fueling an organized crime ring in Nigeria.
I always had fun taunting the scammers and wasting as much of their time as possible (without wasting too much of my own.) I am a scambaiter; one of a group of many people who play a game with the scam artists. We try to waste their time, try to make fools of them and, hopefully, use up their valuable resources such as time and money. Hopefully preventing someone less savvy from falling for their games.
Please feel free to play on your own. I take no responsibility of others playing the game of scambaiting, but follow a few simple guidelines and you will be safe.
1.) Never use your real email address. Get a throwaway account from google, yahoo, hotmail etc.
2.) Never give any personal information. This includes the name of your dog.
3.) Never download an attached file from their emails. They can have serious spyware that can be impossible to detect (until, unfortunately, you receive your credit card statement.)
4.) Never go to any link they provide. Nowadays, websites can have viruses too.
5.) Do not believe a word they say. Most of them are goofy as hell. Some are very good at what they do. All of them are criminals. Some even rapists and murders. Just think of Silence of the Lambs when Dr. Chilton told Clarice what Hannibal Lector was.
6.) Have fun