Well... now that you're reading this I gather you're interesting in scambaiting. You're either here to watch (and learn) or to do some baiting yourself. Either way, feel free to make a post in the "Introductions" section and shout out to the forum because we love new members, and the more the merrier.
Now, onto Scambaiting...
First of all, what exactly is scambaiting?
To start with I will put to you a very blunt definition, then I'll go on to make it sound a bit more appealing.
Right, the blunt, basic definition: "Replying to a fraudulent email pretending to be taken in by it before proceeding to lead the sender to improvise and thus waste his/her time"
Now, that sounds a bit useless - why would anyone want to waste their time doing that? Where's the benefit? And is wasting the sender's time even the right thing to do?
There is a reason - scammers are criminals. Ruthless, unscrupulous criminals. They don't care if you're a millionaire or a widowed pensioner left only with your tiny lifesavings, they want your money. And the more money you send the happier they are - they will try to coax every last penny out of you. Many work on the principle of greed, others on pity. Either way, they're criminals - some even dangerous.
But what does time-wasting have to do with that?
Now here's the clever bit - by replying to their scam and playing along they think "ah - a dumb, naive victim - I can drop the others because this one's loaded and will actually pay me". Do you see where this is going yet? No? Read on...
You waste their time - but when it comes to payment you're stuck. Or are you?
No, because what you do is you start making excuses. After excuses. After excuses. Oh, they don't believe them. (This is what forums like TheScambaiter do, more on them later)
No, no, HERE's what you do - to make your life easy and to add to the humour scambaiting creates (many Western phrases and slang words are lost on scammers, you'll see how this is humorous now) we have a tool called COCK and a tool called CUNT.
Err... what exactly are COCK and CUNT apart from reproductive organs?
The Church of Christian Kindness and The Church of the United New Testament
Churches... what's that got to do with baiting
We pretend to be Clergy from these so-called churches then what we do is we make demands when they ask for money. We will only send them money if they register and are baptised.
Registration means page after page after page of pointless forms which they have to print out, fill in, scan and email back. Lots of time and money spent in internet cafes, lots of time and money taken away from scamming others.
Baptism means yet more time and money wasted - yet this time on a photographer (well, in the good old days, now they all have camera-phones courtesy of money obtained through scamming). The photos still waste a huge amount of time and sometimes embarrass them (cross-dressing, the photos are often later used against them to get them alienated from the rest of their village - thus making them move out and stop scamming) and provide lots of fun for those looking at them on Scamtacular.
So, time wasted and money wasted - but they still scam don't they?
Scambaiters don't just ask for their bank details to pretend to send money to them - no, the scammers' accounts often get closed down.
How to scambait:
Well, it's quite simple really. Reply to scam emails trying to make scammers do whatever you want to do. Now, I assume as a new member you will want to start getting photos and videos in immediately but remember - patience is more important than anything else. Don't demand photos in the first email. Draw the scammer in, wait until (s)he seems much more at ease, trusting and agreeable, and off-script of course. Then very slowly introduce the reason behind your upcoming demands (but don't say you will ask for something later on). What I mean is - if church policy means they must submit photos then start talking about the church. When they sound interested in the church or whatever organisation/thing you have created to later demand photos, now is the time to submit your smallest form or demand (e.g. just a photo of them holding a simple sign or a 10 short question form or something). I have included links near the bottom you will need to look at to find out how to create scammer-safe PDFs they can't identify you with (for free). You may well get some resistance, very gently push until they accept. Then very slowly work your way up. Introduce other "characters" in the bait and use them as the excuse for needing more forms, photos or whatever. If you want to use other members' baiting names, PM them first to make sure they don't mind (in case the scammer wants to email them).
A more specific scenario is if you want to use the COCK or CUNT routine (http://www.churchofchristiankindness.org):
So you get a scam email, one begging for money (ones offering money, trunk boxes etc. are much harder to get much out of, see below) (if you don't have one, wait - they'll come. More on formats later). Wait - you aren't getting any scam emails. Register a catcher account (a GMail account (why? see below) you don't mind filling up with scam emails rapidly) with a fake name then post its address here: http://www.419baiter.com/guestbook/ so scammers can find your email address and spread it like wildfire. Remember, there are scam emails posted every day in the appropriate section (viewforum.php?f=28) for you to look at and every one posted includes a return address.
Then, decide on a baiter name. If you're using the COCK (soon to be CUNT) routine PM LordCo your baiting name so he can keep track of things.
Next register a GMail email address (don't just use the catcher account registered above, you'll lose track of replies to baits you choose to pursue amidst the sea of new scam emails). We're not on commission from them but it's the most suitable email service as it strips out your IP address (e.g. 192.168.0.1 (that's the internal IP address of a wireless router but standard external ones are of the same format)). That address could be used to find out where you live and services like Excite, Lycos, Yahoo amongst others include it with every email you send which exposes a huge security risk.
Now send a reply to the email you received. Click reply in the inbox you got the email in, then copy and paste everything into the compose page of your GMail account (do the same for the subject including "Re:") and modify the from/to as necessary to make it seem as if the email was originally sent to your GMail address. Some scammers get suspicious when you send them an email talking about one they supposedly sent you but without the original email being enclosed. CONTENT - say something along the lines of "Thank you for your email, our church handles donations to people in need, here are some documents on what we do as a church, please read them and get back to me". COCK documents are provided to a certain user level as are [email protected]
email addresses, if you don't have access to a section called "The Wizard's Lair" just PM me, or LordCo or indeed Michael Rotchburns and we will see if you should be allowed access (99.9% of the time the answer will be yes, just contribute to the forum and be chatty i.e. don't just register, post nothing and immediately ask for access). If you are allowed access, great! Browse through the selection of documents and attach what you think is relevant, just don't send the forms yet (you don't want to put the scammer off!)
You get a reply, the scammer is keen to join, great!
Now attach the form. If it's for a church send the appropriate form (which can be used for orphanages but is not ideal) otherwise use one of many gender-specific forms. The forms ask for, amongst other things, baptism photos (the famous burning-torch-and-fried-egg routine) and ask some random and seemingly pointless questions as well as some very personal ones (the latter being to make them feel more exposed, already uncomfortable with the idea of scamming)
And it should become obvious from there on. Ask for redos if the photos are bad quality, or if some questions are missed out, or if you just feel like it!
Ten common scam formats to look out for:
1 ) The lottery scam. One of the most common scams, you won the Spanish or Microsoft etc. lottery and need to contact a claims agent at a seperate email address. Avoid, there's nothing you can do with these except (very rarely) seriously p*** them off and sit back and watch the sparks fly in their curse replies.
2 ) The inheritance scam. Someone's died with no relatives so the money's heading your way. This usually involves contacting a fake courier company. Avoid, there's nothing you can do with these except (very rarely) seriously p*** them off and sit back and watch the sparks fly in their curse replies.
3 ) The orphanage/church scam. An orphanage or church is seriously short of money and needs more (donations of money, clothes etc. accepted). Bait these using the technique outlined earlier
4 ) The refund scam. The FBI, CIA or CBN amongst others have found you a victim of a scam and will refund you the money. This often involves the straightforward handing over of bank details. Avoid, there's nothing you can do with these except (very rarely) seriously p*** them off and sit back and watch the sparks fly in their curse replies.
5 ) The sweetheart scam. Someone emails you having fallen in love with you. They want to live with you and need money to do so. Bait these - as soon as they email you send a very brief reply (they tend to not read replies). Keep doing this until they acknowledge the content of your email. Start pretending to get annoyed until they pay attention to what you say. Then to get them on an online chat (but register a new account under your baiter name so they can't trace you). If they won't, email is fine but this type of scammer is better suited to proper chats. There is potential here to get the scammer to travel a distance to meet you - this is called a safari. Just find an excuse for not being able to go to wherever they are. There are fake airline ticket generators online for added credibility.
6 ) The trunk box scam. A trunk box has been found and it's soon going to be yours. This usually involves contacting a fake courier company. Avoid, there's nothing you can do with these except (very rarely) seriously p*** them off and sit back and watch the sparks fly in their curse replies.
7 ) The ATM card scam. You'll be receiving a bank card with money on it. This usually involves contacting a fake courier company. Avoid, there's nothing you can do with these except (very rarely) seriously p*** them off and sit back and watch the sparks fly in their curse replies.
8 ) The hit-man scam. You get an email blackmailing you into paying or dying. Bait these, the email exchanges can be very funny and you can practice your "I'm so scared" and "please don't kill me" email techniques to your heart's content. pretending to be a child is also fun, as is pretending the tape the hitman has contains some dirty or immoral video you don't want distributed (this gives the scammer the impression you have done something dirty you don't want spread which will give him a very different impression of you)
9 ) The payment scam. You list something on eBay or Gumtree or Craigslist and you get a message offering to send a cheque or money transfer to purchase the item. Avoid, there's nothing you can do with these except to report them
10 ) The mystery shopper scam. You get an email asking if you want to be a mystery shopper. You reply, further down the line you're given (stolen) card details, asked to buy items then made ship them to Nigeria (the items the scammer wants to buy are from sites/shops which refuse to ship to Nigeria as a high risk area). Avoid, there's nothing you can do with these
Receive a scam with a Word document attached? Open it, it's safe (save it and scan it with an antivirus if you're nervous). Scammers do this to stop spam filters reading what they send you and marking it as spam.
Receive an ecard with an attached exe file in your catcher or baiter account? DON'T Open it, it's a virus.
On the whole, don't open any attachment from a scammer that ends in .exe (or .html or htm etc. increasingly) as programs with these extensions (exe is a standard program, htm/html is a standard webpage and both have the potential to run scripts or execute commands that infect your computer. I've opened html files and haven't got infected - they're usually fake bank pages asking for credit card details but there's always a risk...)
You will need a good antivirus. I recommend Avira at http://www.free-av.com/
You will also need a very good malware remover in case anything does go wrong. I recommend MalwareBytes at http://www.malwarebytes.org/
You will need a GMail account as mentioned above, at http://www.gmail.com/, to hide your IP address. There are other providers but GMail has proven to be the most versatile
How to make your own PDF forms and remove all personal data from them:
I made a thread here - viewtopic.php?f=71&t=525
If you want to pretend you tried sending the scammer money online but kept getting an error, here's a thread on doing just that:
viewtopic.php?f=71&t=527 and a similar thread here - viewtopic.php?f=71&t=528
About Nigeria: viewtopic.php?f=72&t=737
A treat for registered new members: viewtopic.php?f=72&t=524
(if your computer can't open it you will need 7-zip at http://www.7-zip.org/. Install it then right click on the archive, select 7-zip then select "Extract files to..." and select a location)
Useful software: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=786
Tools/ideas to really annoy scammers: viewtopic.php?f=45&t=338
Codecs for playing videos scammers may send you (useful if you try playing them and there's no sound or if you just get an error): viewtopic.php?f=71&t=604
Make your emails "lost in translation" to annoy your scammer: viewtopic.php?f=71&t=769 or try my new discovery at http://tashian.com/multibabel/
Things that will make you laugh:
We have a gallery where we upload every photo or every form a scammer sends us, it's located here:
gallery/index.php (a link to it is at the top right of every page)
How to upload your photos to the gallery and include them in posts:
PM me, or an admin, to create your album (you can do it yourself through the user control panel if you understand how to do it that way) then go to the gallery page using the aforementioned link, you will see "Users Personal Albums" at the bottom of the list in bold, under the main title there will be a link to your album. Click on it then click on "upload" to upload your photos. Now, when the images are uploaded you can include them in posts. If you have just one or two images click on the one you want and under the photo is the code in the white box for you to copy and paste into your post. Easy as that! But if you uploaded 30 or so and clicking on each image will take too long just click on the first one and note down the number at the end of the web address in your address bar e.g. with gallery/image_page.php?album_id=152&image_id=3242 the number at the end is 3432. Do the same for the last you uploaded (IMPORTANT - make sure they ARE the first and last). Those numbers and each one in between are the codes for the images you have uploaded. To include them in your posts just type:
for each image.
There are other forums out there, but this forum is the best of the lot. Let me tell you why:
TheScamBaiter.com is possibly the most famous forum out there, the admins and mods can be very heavy-handed and keep demanding donations but there are some really great baits there and many members are very nice, some are also members here.
419eater.com is TheScamBaiter's rival and the two forums are not terribly fond of each other. 419eater is said to engage in rather unsavoury activities in the hidden sections (they choose who has access to those sections) though these claims are unsubstantiated and mainly propogated by TSB.
If you have any questions or issues we're here to help.
You can PM me (ucp.php?i=pm&mode=compose&u=27), or LordCo (the main admin, ucp.php?i=pm&mode=compose&u=31), or Michael Rotchburns (the other main admin, if that makes sense, ucp.php?i=pm&mode=compose&u=11)
Thanks for reading, and have fun!