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 Research paper

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CDawg
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Joined: 27 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:04 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hey guys, I've been on the site for awhile, did some scambaiting, but haven't posted anything as of yet. I'm actually reaching out to the community to see if they can provide some information and help on a project I am doing. I'm working on a sociology project that has tasked us with looking at a topic that raises a social issue in which we must identify issues being contested, arguments from both sides of the issue, as well as describe the essential background aspects, and explore the social/cultural environment that enables it. The professor also, attempting to guide me in the right direction wrote "Maybe look at it through the lens of Mcluhan's probes. For example, it makes obsolete the old snake oil salesman. How is this new scam enabled...what does it enhance? Of course you don't have to look at it through this lens but I would like to see you link it to a sociological theory or perspective of some sort."

What I'm coming to you guys for is because most of you have been involved in the community much longer than I have, and have much more knowledge about the ins and outs. What I'm seeking is to use this thread to accumulate as much information as possible about both the scambaiters themselves and the scammers, anything that would provide fuel to either side's arguments (such as how much money annually scamming earns). In addition to anything interesting that you may know, while I am going to scour the site for images that are appropriate and applicable to my paper, but if anyone has images that are funny or memorable (and can be used in an academic setting) feel free to post them here as well since I have an 8-10 minute presentation aspect for the project as well.

A huge thanks to everyone who lends a hand, it will be greatly appreciated.
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thefife
"Mercedes Dealer"


Joined: 13 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

If you can find a scammer who could remotely provide a cogent, articulate, well-reasoned explanation for scamming people I'd be shocked. If you found enough who could do that plus be willing to talk to you to constitute a representative sample, I'd literally sh*t my pants.

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BRUIN
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Joined: 10 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:24 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

All indications are that the amount of money involved is huge. The vast majority of victims never report losses, so calculating any figure is impossible. Keep in mind, however, that there are victims literally all over the world. The sheer number of scammers is some indication of their success. Just look at the index of received e-mails on 419baiter.com and you will be astonished how many come in during one month - and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

In terms of what enables this scam - well, like all con games down through history, it is a mixture of trust coupled with greed. I believe we all have an innate trust for a person in a position of authority, and the scammers maximize on that trust by portraying themselves as barristers, or bank managers, or whatever. Greed, of course, is a human characteristic which has enabled con men for centuries.

What is new about 419scams is the ability of a scammer to avoid the personal interaction with a victim that characterized the snake oil salesman of days gone by. The international nature of the internet has allowed a scammer in a cafe in (for example) Lagos to be simultaneously scamming people in every inhabited corner of the globe. The democratization of the internet has brought individuals with low levels of education and little awareness of scams into contact with scammers (I must hasten to point out that there are well educated victims to - who should have known better) and this has given the scammers a vast pool of potential victims.

Bruin

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CDawg
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Joined: 27 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

BRUIN that is definitely the best reasoning for why these scams have been so prolific that I have heard. I kind of figured that an exact amount of damages would be hard to come by, but at the same time, like you said based on how widespread it is (and especially the amounts that most scammers ask for initially, and then continue to reap as long as a person is on the hook) can lead one to surmise the amounts are astronomical. Thanks for the info man.
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Pastor Frank
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

CDawg wrote:
How is this new scam enabled...what does it enhance?


"The nature of people demands that most of them be engaged in the most
frivolous possible activities—like making money". -Marshall McLuhan

I am a Functionalist by nature, I wonder what Max Weber would have thought of the topic. His answer probably would have been very simple, It is fueled by greed, on both sides.

Edit: Bruin, your last paragraph hit the nail right on the head. Well done Sir!

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The Man
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:16 am Reply with quoteBack to top

CD:

Don't know if this will help at all, but here is a link to a criminal indictment of some scammers. They were in the Netherlands, by a joint investigation of the US Postal Service and the authorities in the Netherlands.

http://www.esnips.com/doc/bdfb7d01-eebf-4e51-b606-371a95630bd7/complaint

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GomerPyle
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:19 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
How is this new scam enabled ?


It isn't new.

If I ask you "Would you like me to give you $1million, what do you reply ? (This is a sweeping generalisation). Surely you would be foolish to respond "No".

In replying "Yes" then the door is opened for the scammer to ask for some small token, relatively small in comparison to the sum offered, in advance. The only modern slant is being able to weave this round the internet, using its anonymity as mentioned, and taking adantage of the modern phenomena of things like Lotteries and international payment systems.

If the scammer 'hooks' his victim by means of a plausible transaction, what keeps it continuing, is the relationship formed between them, which is what will often make the victim overlook common sense and advice from family and even the police. In baiting that relationship aspect is what will carry a bait into the realms of the most bizarre and hilarious escapades - not a cold clinical argument.

The scammer's advantage is that though the victim may know unconsciously that it's not true - he/she wants it to be true. What is more palatable to face, the realisation that you have squandered $100,000, or the prospect that just one more payment of $10,000 will reap the millions promised. It works for Las Vegas. Just one more bet will take away the pain.

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Chibuike
Master of Master Baiters


Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:08 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Actually if you find a copy of "Cyber Love's Illusion: exposing the romance scams of internet dating" by Anna Alden-Tirrill, (White Cottage Publishing, 2006), there is an interview in there with a scammer. This scammer was brought into the industry by an organized group and the FBI followed their activities.

Sorry the librarian in me came out.

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Nelsonsbattle
419Eater is my life


Joined: 16 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:57 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The most common form of scam, the "I am the solicitor of ..." has one specific hook that serves to prevent the victim contacting police or seeking advice.

The proposal is tainted with illegality. Thew scammer asks the victim to help move this money from it's rightful place - presumably the bank account of some dead dictator or foreign traveller of the Sumbayo (?) Expressway. Not only will the suggestion of illegality prevent contact with police, but there is also the thrill of doing something forbidden. Then there is greed.

But the structure of the scams is quite cleverly crafted. There is a first request for payment, probably only $US30 or 40 to have some document witnessed or copied. Then once the victim has made one payment they are then reluctant to pull out of the scam because they stand to lose all of their previous investment. So the victim comes to trust the scammer, despite how imposterous the scam becomes, because if they admit to themselves that it is a scam them they lose all the money they have passed to the scammer so far. These scams have been set up with a very strong psychological basis.

So there is a strong self motivation for the victim to believe the scam is for real and to continue, despite obvious signs that it is a scam.

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Goldry Bluszco
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:50 am Reply with quoteBack to top

@ Pastor Frank - there was an article in the Time recently about a pensioner in the UK who gave away £100,000 to a scammer in return for a suitcase full of newspaper. The ultimate greed scenario, i.e. that victims are driven by greed too, was met with some scorn!!

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packman
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

wow i learned somthing here myself. the best i could come up with is "419 scams bad, baiters good" ( you see why i sell car parts?)

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Rodus
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@CDawg, if you want to know more about 419 scams then get 419 Scam by Charles Tive, it goes pretty in depth about it and the background and socio-economic aspects.
Also have a look at The Spanish Prisoner Scam as this is where the 419 has evolved from.

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CDawg
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks a lot guys, all of this is going to be a huge help on getting this paper written.
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Nelsonsbattle
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Joined: 16 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 11:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

There's a number of shite excuses that the lads come out with, such as:

Its payback for the abuses of colonisation of Nigeria by the western world

They're so poor that any means of earning a living is legitimate

The victims greed is to blame for them participating in 419 scams

Do not accept any reasoning given by a 419 scammer![/b]

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�This is quite unfortanate you have basterdise every thing we have been working for a long time.
�the photo you send to me ..... i am have six with you in dreem here� Lad after he got a topless photo of my baiting character.
"I have just came out from the bank with the most humiliation of my life." Dissapointed Lad after a trip to the MG agency.
"tell you die, fuck you,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ooooooo" Samull the scammer on being burned
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