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 Rethinking my position on scambaiting

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Jedi_Night
Master Baiter


Joined: 02 Aug 2006
Posts: 110
Location: South Carolina


PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:06 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hey, I don't know if any of you remember me, but this summer I posted a thread about how I don't scambait due to my Biblical beliefs about lying and such. But I have to admit, I have been rethinking my position because, sad to say, a scammer has hit at home.
I was in my father's room getting a vinyl record he had in his room (yeah, I listed to em! my dads got a whole record collection). I noticed a letter on his lampstand. I was curious and I saw the envelope was labeled from some girl in the Philippines (and yes, my dad/mom are divorced, BTW). My dad wasn't home, so I took it out and looked at it. Sure enough, after reading it for about two minutes, I saw it was a scam. The "girl" was asking for funds for college or some crud like that, but I could see it was a scam straight out. I thought that my dad could see that too, so I put the letter back in the envelope and didn't think too much about it.
Well, a day or so later, we (being my dad, sister, and I) were in the car with my dad, and he seemed upset at something my mom had done (she had used a credit card he loaned her for stupid things). He was venting in the car, and said "Anytime I help someone, they always stab me in the f***ing back!". A few minutes after he said that, I got to thinking about that letter I had seen, and I had a feeling he had sent money to the "girl", and she of course was just scamming my dad.
So there we go. A scammer has hit at home, and has attacked my dad, who I look up to as my hero. What ticks me off to no end is that my dad has a great heart, which is why he helps my mom (who, again, is divorced from my dad) and anyone else who needs it. It angers me that a scammer has possibly taken advantage of my dad.
Admittedly, I do not know for sure if my dad sent any money to the scammer, but due to how upset he was and by what he said that day in the car, I have a feeling he did indeed send the scammer money.

But anyway, because of this, I have been rethinking my position on scambaiting. I just want to try and stop others from falling into these traps, and if that means scambaiting a scammer, so be it. I am still praying to the Lord whether I should or not, but I am seriously considering to start scambaiting. Just the thought of one of these scammers taking advantage of my own father makes my blood curl. But that's a problem for me...I don't think God wants me to scambait to get revenge/vengeance for my dad.
What do you guys think?

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Ima Baeder
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:19 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Welcome back Jedi Night. Very Happy Yes, I remember you.
I also remember that the feedback you got on this discussion before was that you have to decide what is right for yourself. If baiting is going to cause a moral struggle for you, then it probably isn't right for you. If you decide that you can follow your faith, be true to yourself and still scambait, then hop in!
There are other ways to fight scammers other than baiting. You can learn to kill fake websites, take down phone lads, etc.

I hope you find what's right for you.

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Connie L. Gus
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:19 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Let me tell you what I had read to me today.
Proverbs 8:13 "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;
Want another quote from the Bible? Remember that all scripture is inspired by Him and useful for teaching, reproof and training in righteousness.
Amos 5:15 Hate evil, love good, and establish justice in the gate!

Don't bother to ask what we think. We are the choir. What matters most is what you think.

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Jedi_Night
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:22 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks, Ima. The whole thing is, ever since I have suspected that my dad was scammed, I have had an urge to scambait because, quite frankly, he has been scammed, and I want to have some part in taking these guys down.
What I need to do is see if he still has that letter, and get into a...ah, "correspondence" with that low life that scammed him. The Lord would have to restrain me there, though. I'd probably make that scammer's life a living hell, frankly.

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Jedi_Night
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:24 am Reply with quoteBack to top

And thanks for those Scriptures, Connie! It is thought provoking, because God DOES tell me to do justice, and this could be a small contribution to getting justice.
Like I stated in my previous post, though, if I ever got into a correspondence with that scammer that scammed my dad, I would need the Lord to restrain me from have full blown vengeance on the scammer.

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justicebdone
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:50 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Jedi,

In this verse I can always find my strenth, both in RL and my baiting.

Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans: 12-21


Lately in RL I have found myself grasping onto that verse tightly.

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rumbero
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:55 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Welcome back Jedi:

I remember your first post in the forum. Remember we are here to fight these scammers from doing harm to innocent people like your father.
You have to fallow your heart. If you feel that you need to scambait in order to prevent others from becoming victims, then your are welcome to fight the internet criminals.

As mentioned by Ima, there are a lot of ways you can help fight these scammers. We cannot decide for you what to do.

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viereinsneun
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:56 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Jedi_Night, I'm sorry that this "sting" was so close to home. That must be extra salt in the wounds. Crying or Very sad

As others have already said, do only what you feel comfortable with. If you need help baiting this scum, or don't feel you can safely do this yourself you're welcome to come back to these boards anytime
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Shiver Metimbers
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:30 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I've had a couple of PMs of pre-concern about this thread (religious content etc.) so just a heads-up to be careful where this discussion goes please Smile

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manbiteslion
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Your father sounds like a great guy, and you clearly love and respect him highly - what advice would he give if you asked him about baiting?

Personally I'm not as comfortable directly baiting as many here, but I am very happy that there are so many intelligent baiters here and in the most part their considered motivations are to gum up the works of these thieves and heartbreakers to reduce their impact and dissuade some who think we owe their greed easy dollars. Instead I try to provide technical support to baiting friends, have closed a few websites, things I feel comfortable with. Revenge isn't the least morally ambiguous reason to start, so maybe think about it in terms of what you could do/set up in your community to spread the word and support others who have given freely and been taken advantage of. Letters to local newspapers will help spread the word amongst the scammers main prey groups more effectively than online. Maybe you can get your vicar or pastor or other community elder to consider the case (anonymously), show them evidence that this really is a massive industry and some of the hideous curses from these scammers - maybe they'll spread the word through local church groups too, maybe you could even offer to help by investigating any letters people receive they're unsure about...you get the idea!
It all helps, really, it all helps.
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Last Exile
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Joined: 23 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:07 am Reply with quoteBack to top

@Jedi

I'm also a newbie here, so I guess my advice will not amount to much.

If you do not feel comfortable setting the lads up and forcing them to do stupid and dangerous things, maybe you might simply do what a friend of mine does:

He simply follow the flow (so to speak) and makes them lose time with dumb questions. When he cannot get any further or when the lads get wise and start insulting him, he starts remembering what will be their doom should they die unrepented. His descriptions of Hell are simply, well, too much... I have copied them and used them sometimes.

Perhaps the Lord has called you to help these lads to see the light.

I know, I know, some might say that these are hardened criminals and some preaching, however graphic,will not do much good. But who knows...
Saul used to killed Christians, and he ended up being an Apostle.


Last edited by Last Exile on Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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Doctor X
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

shiver wrote:
I've had a couple of PMs of pre-concern about this thread (religious content etc.) so just a heads-up to be careful where this discussion goes please Smile


Apparently this was missed?

--J.D.

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Rodus
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Sorry to hear about your dad mate, these scumbags love to take advantage of someone with a good heart as they pay up out of concern. As has been said, only do what you feel comfortable with. As for baiting out of revenge, why not look on it as baiting to protect the innocent instead.

edit: kudos to jedi for starting a topic that could have been a big no-no on the board but actually doing it very sensitively.

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Pachanga
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:49 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@ Jedi, as a Christian, you aren't supposed to cause someone to stumble (sin), or return evil for evil. But you cannot turn a blind eye to evil, or it will prevail. If you engage a scammer in time-wasting chat, or have him complete countless forms, and/or obtain his bank account so it can be watched or closed, you will have prevented him from doing more evil.

In a law-abiding society, everyone must filter their choices through some standard. Look at the many things you can do in baiting. If they don't get through your filter, then don't do them.

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OxygenDeprived
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:58 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@Jedi

Don't forget as they like to hurt us financially, you can do the same to them without lying and feeling self conscious about it. Shutting down their websites or killing the phone lad email accounts is a great thing and you don't have to try to get them to do silly stuff to do it.

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mrsbean
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

As others have pointed out, you can give scambaiting a miss entirely and not only kill scammer websites and such, you can also find yourself a victim education/support site, educate yourself on scams and participate in that. Or you could volunteer to do a brief talk on avoiding scams at the local senior center or church group, or wherever a willing audience might hang out in your area, if that's your thing. Some baiters have done similar presentations for gathered groups. No sticky moral issues. All the hate of evil, all the love of good, none of the guilt.

And you can still read the Eater for educational purposes. I learned most of my facts about how scams usually work by scambaiting and reading posts here. You can easily be involved in fighting scammming without being involved in scambaiting.

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GomerPyle
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Jedi_Night - I think your major priority is not whether you scambait or not, but how you deal with the matter with your father, and that's going to be tricky enough, especially as you are going to be well occupied in the Marines I imagine.

There's no point scambaiting if it's possible your father is still at risk from this or any other scammers, and maybe you aren't in a position to raise the matter with him, especially as it may entail admitting that you peeked at his mail, but I have known cases where victims get taken once and keep on doing the same things that will get them taken again.

Maybe he's visiting chat rooms. I'm not suggesting anything salacious, but he could be putting himself at risk online through innocence and naievity, in places that could appear to be quite respectable. Not an easy matter to broach with your dad and maybe, some other close family member could try to discover what happened. I foresee it would probably create friction, but the alternative is to ignore the matter and risk it happening again, maybe with a worse outcome.

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Connie L. Gus
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@ All- I would like to apologize if my previous post in this thread offended anyone. That was not my intention and I realize that there are wonderful individuals with diverse backgrounds fighting the good fight on this board. That is one of the reasons I am here. My intention was to motivate J_N into shouting out "Semper Fi" and joining us. On further inspection I should have reminded him "Do or Not Do, there is no try."

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ChainYanker
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:03 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Jedi_Night wrote:
Hey, I don't know if any of you remember me, but this summer I posted a thread about how I don't scambait due to my Biblical beliefs about lying and such.


I had exactly the same hesitations. Then I asked my rabbi, and he said that if it's preventing crime, it's all right. When we bait, we're wasting scammers' time so that they can't target more people like your dad.

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The Man
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Jedi:

I would agree with the others in this thread. Whatever your moral issues are with baiting you need to resolve yourself. If based on that you cannot bait, there are so many other things you can do to assist people into not being scammed. Heck, closing phone lads or fake web sites is just telling the truth to someone in a position to do something about it (the ISP).

Also educating others is always good. Check out scamwarners.com. There are always people over there posting asking if something is a scam. You can check it out for them and advise them. That is one on one saving someone from becoming a victim, or being further victimized.

Your desire and energy is good... you must just channel it into something useful that you also find comports with your particular view of your religion. While many of us may agree or disagree with that view, it is ultimately you who needs to be satisfied that you are "right" with your God/supreme being/flying spaghetti monster or whatever you happen to believe in.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The intent of scambaiting is not selfish. It's to keep people from falling into scams and waste the time of the scammers.

Didn't Jonathan deceive Saul about the whereabouts of David?

I think that this scripture should really end the struggle you have. Take a look at Rahab who helped hide God's messengers.

Joshua 2:4-6
And the woman [Rahab] took the two men and hid them and said thus: There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were; and it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark that the men went out; whither the men went I wot not; pursue after them quickly, for ye shall overtake them. But she had brought them up to the roof of the house and hid them with the stalks of flax.

James 2:25
Was not Rahab, the harlot, justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?.

Connie- I don't think your post was at all offensive. Even though this topic has religious parts, the topic is not discussing religion. It is answering the question of the original poster. I think everyone (so far) has maintained good composure.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Wow, it's gettin' all scriptural up in here...

@Jedi:

I had similar hesitations when I was first introduced to scam baiting, and it sounds like those hesitations were due to the same reasons you listed, but I changed my mind when I thought more about what baiters are doing.

I don't think God (or any one else for that matter) minds when cops pretend to be 13 year old girls on the internet in order to catch child predators (I guess the predators would mind though!).

Granted, we may not be doing something quite so noble, and we might not have the full force of the governments of our various countries behind us, but we are doing our part to protect the innocent and ignorant.

I have been baiting for about a month now and I am feeling really good about it, especially when I get evidence of the time and effort that scammer spend dealing with me, which of course is time and effort NOT being targeted at others.

just my $0.02

-Newb

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LaBrea
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I don't really think I can add anything to the "Bait/Do not Bait" question that hasn't already been stated here.

What I would say is that I agree with Gomer's point on finding out what may be happening to your father.
Although you say you do not know for certain whether he has sent money to the "Love Scammer", it seems that you believe he has, thus justifying a rethink on your entire position.

I would encourage you to find out the truth, because that will be the best position to make a decision from. If your dad hasn't been scammed, will that change your position?
Will your involvement with scambaiting increase with the amount of money he may have lost?

Most important, is he about to send the first or the 30th WU payment? Until you find these things out, he may be at risk for losing a lot.
It will be a difficcult situation to put yourself in, but weigh both sides, and consider the alternatives.

Good luck.

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Jedi_Night
Master Baiter


Joined: 02 Aug 2006
Posts: 110
Location: South Carolina


PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:24 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@Jojobean: Great verses! Those really do make me think. I mean, Rahab was indeed JUSTIFIED by lying and hiding the spies! But she did it for good, which I believe scambaiting is.

I am still praying about wether I should scambait or not. The more and more I think about it, the more I think I should. I admit, it would give me something constructive to do with my extra time, and I will (hopefully) be stopping these scammers from scamming more innocent people like my father (just thinking about my dad being scammed angers me).
Thanks everyone for their words of encouragement here. Believe me, I read each response, and I love hearing what you guys/gals think. And thanks for welcoming me here amongst your crime fighting unit.
Don't be surprised if I join the fray before too much longer. Smile

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jojobean
Baiting Guru


Joined: 01 Dec 2005
Posts: 7586
Location: YOU WILL DRINK YOUR URINE IN A COMERCIAL BUS


PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

A side note... I would definitely mention the situation to your father. Even if you bring it up as a generic topic, something should be said. If he fell for it once, he might fall for it again. Confused

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