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What is a scam?

Scam emails come in all shapes and sizes. Basically they are emails pretending to offer you something that does not exist, maybe a lottery prize or an inheritance or some cheap gold. Here are the most common types

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Why care?

Scam victims lose a lot of money, but there's more to it than that. Scams often leave people depressed, maybe even traumatised; losing so much money can ruin their lives.

Blackmail and romance scams even lead people to suicide.

So, what is scambaiting?

Scambaiting is, literally, baiting a scammer. Like someone fishing, using bait to lure the fish. People, like you, reply to scam emails pretending to believe them and pretending that they will happily send the scammer money.

Why bait?

Scambaiting wastes the scammer's time. If you pretend to be rich, and gullible, the scammer will prioritise you over other victims. If you ask lots of questions, the scammer will spend more time replying to you and less time emailing other victims.

But there's more

Scambaiting also covers other activities. Scambaiters report scam websites, they also ask scammers for their bank account details and get those bank accounts closed by the bank. This has a devastating effect on scammers.

What can a bait involve?

  • Lots of emails, to waste the scammer's time
  • Refusing to pay by money transfer and asking for bank details, to report the account to the bank
  • Getting the scammer to send fun photos, or to travel to another country - this wastes the scammer's resources and is good for a laugh but most baiters don't bother. Many new baiters instantly try to make a scammer send photos (trophies) or travel (safaris), fail, and give up. It takes time and practice, start by 'straight-baiting' (either of the above) and you'll quickly get the hang of it.
  • Or you could specialise in getting scam sites closed!

So, how do I start?

Click here for some useful articles

In a rush? If you only read one guide before baiting it should be this one, you can read it in under 30 seconds and it is so important

Is it difficult

In a word, no. Emailing a scammer is like emailing anyone else, just be natural (but don't email them from a personal email account). Imagine you really believe their scam, what would you say? What would you ask? What do you want from the bait?


If you want bank accounts to report, refuse to use Western Union or Moneygram when you're asked for money.

If you want phone numbers and email addresses to post online, think of an excuse to ask for them.

If you want to know what country they're in (here's how to find out) but they use Gmail etc, think of an excuse for them to get a Yahoo account instead.

Just use your imagination, take it nice and slow.

Is it time-consuming?

Baiting can take up a minute of each day, some scammers take a few days to reply, some spend all day doing this but most don't. Remember, it's only as difficult as writing an email!

What about victims?

ScamSurvivors is a website specifically for victims, click here to visit them


Get started!