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 Are we just hitting the lads who suck at scamming?

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WaxyMongrel
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:08 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

First of all let me say that I have no sympathy for scammers, and that being bad at it doesn't make you any less evil. Also, I apologize if this issue has been raised previously - I could not find it on the ethics page.

Now that I've said that: are we really being an effective deterrent to scammers? I've heard reports that only an astoundingly small percentage of ASEM's get picked up, and an even smaller percentage of these lead to exchanges in which the baiter is able to convince the scammer to expend significant amounts of time or money. So clearly a significant portion of the scammer's are too intelligent to be fooled.

Now doesn't it stand to reason that the ones we do hit are the one's who are having the least success as scammers? It takes a pretty desperate, and pretty stupid man to travel to Chad in the belief that a church is waiting for him there with $200,000. It seems to me that this type of bait is far more likely to entrap a scammer who, perhaps being none too intelligent, has not found any success and is growing increasingly desperate for a big break then a successful scammer who has the brains and the financial cushion to approach these decisions rationally.

You might be asking yourself why this matters. The reason is that we like to portray ourselves as being warriors in the fight against scamming. If we are not actually hitting the people who are causing the damage we are actually just screwing around with the amoral - you can decide for yourself whether this second rational is legitimate, but it's certainly not the same as the first.

Personally I think scam-baiting is legitimate, the targets are amoral and at the very least we distort the ratio of legitimate-to-illegitimate replies in the the in-boxes of the real threats, but I also believe it's important to examine the reasons why you are scambaiting.

Discussing the ethics of scam-baiting should be encouraged. It's what keeps us better then the scammers.


Edit:
There has been a lot of confusion about the point I'm trying to convey here. It's pretty complex and I am far from eloquent. If I had to boil it down to a couple of sentences they would be.

"Are flashy baits effective at stopping scam? If they are not, is it sufficient that the people who are being harmed have demonstrated themselves to be immoral"


Last edited by WaxyMongrel on Tue Oct 07, 2008 1:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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luckey
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I guess it depends on your definition of "hitting". I've never gotten a lad to Chad, but I like to think I've made a difference. While the outcome is substantially less entertaining, people here who straight bait for bank accounts and sites to kill make a world of difference. People who manage to bait for victim contact information which can lead to a warning make a huge difference, if only to the fortunate victim.

Assuming your notion is correct, even baits that aim for ambitious trophies that fail against intelligent lads probably serve to make them more likely to drop a real victim at the first sign of complications or noncompliance.

I'm not placing value on one style of baiting or another, I think it all adds up to an effective force.

Edit to add: I don't consider myself a warrior, or any similarly grandiose term. I have a hobby that does some good.

Baits like the Chad bait raise awareness in a way dry warnings on Craig's List or posters in Western Union offices simply can't do. Even if intelligent lads don't fall into such a net, potential victims are educated and will be less likely to fall prey to those lads.

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Last edited by luckey on Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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N.O.R.A
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Welcome to Eater, WM Very Happy

The awesome Chad bait isn't/wasn't very typical. If you want to waste a smart lad's time and resources, you just have to start from somewhere and see what happens. It isn't necessarily so funny and you may not have anything special to post but then you can always read and comment threads on Eater... and enjoy Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:25 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Welcome to eater!

You may have a point, but recently we send a lad (Stanley) to Lagos, and told him to spend the night in the house of one of the lads that is (still!) stranded in Chad.

The report we got back from Stanley was that this house was in a gated community, with a guard at the entrance that had keys to all of the houses. Stanley indicated that this was a very nice area. Too bad the owner of one of the houses has been in Chad for the past 100 days (I think we're up to 100 now).

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:27 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I think one reason ASEMs don't get answered in high percentages is that many lads change email addys like they change their underwear (or perhaps even more frequently Smile). A lot of lads are paranoid, and many are superstitious. And some get more responses than they can deal with, and so some are ignored. (Of course I could just be talking through my hat on that, but that's my impression.)

Any effort we encourage our lads to put forth on us is effort he is not putting forth for a real victim. Any de-education we can accomplish is increasing the chance of a scammer's communications being spotted as such by real potential victims. And as has been stated above, when we kill sites or bank accounts, that causes lad pain.

It would be lovely to think that mass-baiting a new scammer might make him think twice about scamming, but I hold out faint hope for that. Sad

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The DOS attacks prove that we're hurting them, that one or two feel left out, that's their problem Twisted Evil I'll get those later. Laughing

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:30 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

WaxyMongrel wrote:
are we really being an effective deterrent to scammers?


Welcome!

Can't say I have such lofty goals. I bait to waste the time and resources of any scammer. If I can deal a little vengeance and retribution along the way - EVEN BETTER. Twisted Evil

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:34 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I've got one right now that accuses me (almost daily) of being a "joker". He seems pretty hip to the game, but his greed is getting in the way of cutting me loose.

I'm sure many of the ones we deal with are lower ranks, but it is still all a numbers game, not only for them, but for us as well. The more they contact, the more chance of success. The more we contact, the more chance of success.

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WaxyMongrel
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:36 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

(Apparently my laptop computer can't create the up-point images Sad )
I agree - the Chad bait was just the first example that popped into my head, but there are countless other examples. (Getting them to get tattooed etc.)

I also agree that people who close down websites and bank-accounts are genuinely helping to fight scams, but they are by no means the majority of scambaiters.

I guess my hope is to get people to consider whether they are scam-baiting because they want to help scams or because they enjoy screwing around with people, and how effective they are being.

I'm certainly not passing judgment on anybody - I laughed as load as anyone at the Chad bait. I just feel that fighting scam has been established as a blanket excuse and that it is incumbent on us to decide the real reasons we do what we do, and whether we are having the effect we believe we are, before we can be sure that our actions are in fact moral.
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Firbuz
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:37 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

People have come here after they’ve been scammed; presumably these scammers have then been baited by local ’eaters. Has anyone noticed if proven-successful scammers bait differently from the run-of-the-mill sort?

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WaxyMongrel
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Ralph Wiggum wrote:
I'm sure many of the ones we deal with are lower ranks, but it is still all a numbers game, not only for them, but for us as well. The more they contact, the more chance of success. The more we contact, the more chance of success.


I was referring primarily to the elaborate baits, which I think we can agree are far more likely to entrap unsuccessful scammers then successful ones. Simple time-wasting hits good and bad (in terms of ability not morality) alike, but I don't think we see many baiters abandoning well-hooked idiots to free up their time to interfere with the genuine threats.

When you have multiple baiters, playing multiple roles, in the effort to tie up two scammers you are not doing it because you are trying to fight scams (although this may be your rational) you are doing it because you think it is funny. And in most cases, it is. You may still be in the right by f*cking with the immoral, but you should still confront this philosophical issue rather then dodging behind the screen of fighting scams.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:46 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The "spectaculars" are done by only a handful of the baiters here, and very talented they are too. They are, in a way, the pinnacle of baiting, the very cream. Certainly entertainment wise. They also provide an awesome service (as proven recently) of showing off what baiters can do and bringing new interest into the sport.
But for every abeche Safari, there are also hundreds (if not thousands) more baits that are less entertaining, but every bit as important.

I think that a downside (if there is one) of the famous Abeche bait is that some viewers think that it's the only kind of bait that matters. But lets not forget that at any one time:

Romamce baiters are YIMing and working their way through tons of script that is pumped out by Russian Vlads, wasting their time and more.
Fake bank killers are toiling away at reams of evidence, sorting it into an intelligible report that will eventually get the scammer's (paid for) site shut down.
So called "standard" or "straight" baiters are emailing lads and soaking up their internet cafe time in their hundreds, costing them time and money.
Bank account killers are baiting to grab hold of scammer's genuine bank accounts, that they will report to the authorities.

That's just a snapshot. 419eater members are a fantastic team. The "Spectacular" baiters are very famous here, but there are hundreds of others that are doing real damage, every day.

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WaxyMongrel
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:56 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Again, I am not arguing against the morality of scam-baiting as a whole. Those low-level actions are exactly what needs to be done in the war on scams.

I just think that it's imperative that when decide to mess with a lad, why we are really doing it. Just because the means of the bait's conception (wasting scammer's times) helped to fight scam, doesn't mean that the bait remains moral for the duration.

If we believe that fighting scams is justifiable, but that f*cking with the immoral is not (and I don't necessarily believe this is the case, but it's important to consider it) then certain scam-baits are moral and others are not.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I do it for shits and giggles.

Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

WaxyMongrel wrote:
then certain scam-baits are moral and others are not.


Ah, but then you're bringing morals into the mix.

I'd say that 99% are inarguably moral. If you want to discuss the morals of the (extraordianry) Abeche bait (and those few that are similar) then there is a seperate thread for that:
http://forum.419eater.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=148333&highlight=ethics

What the rest of us do is risky free (and morality discussion free for the most part). We bait to waste time, energy, money and resources. And IMHO you can never argue with that.

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Ima Baeder
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:48 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Let me save you some time: Luckey is a sadist vigilante, and I'm not. Laughing

Seriously though, to insinuate that any of us who spend a lot of time here are simply doing it for the joy of mental torture is quite insulting. Please do visit the fake bank forum, aa419, or Scamwarners and you'll find many of the same members doing all they can to fight internet fraud.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:05 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The more people enjoy themselves in their hobby, the more likely it is they will continue doing it and the more likely it is that they will encourage others to do it as well.

The most famous of baits have still wasted a lads time and who is to say that even the dumbest of lads does not enjoy some success.

There have been a few scam victims visit and ask us to bait their scammers who appear to be at the lower end of the scale in the brains department, if the yhave a good script and the right victim, even the dumber ones can steal money.

As for scammers being dumb, of course some are but think of it this way, a person sitting in an internet cafe armed only with a few scripts he has written or stolen is able to convince a person who doesn't speak his native language to send him money, enough to make a decent living and in many cases enough money to make an extremely good living.

That doesn't sound so dumb to me Wink

Going back to the Chad safari, the scammers involved may well be dumb but by all accounts they are certainly not unsuccessful at scamming, well they were not unsuccessful before meeting some talented baiters anyway

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I agree whole heartedly with Ima. You seem to be passing off generalizations that are not based on any facts or experience of your own. My suggestion to you is to hang out in all the forums, read lots of the threads, try your hand at all forms of baiting, get to know the people we are in this forum. Then next year, give us your opinion of whether or not we are making a difference, or baiting for the "right reasons."
I'm not trying to put you down or anything like that, I feel that you just don't know who we really are here. We're not as bad as you seem to make us out to be. Smile

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:22 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I tend to favor hitlads-if you havn't figured it out yet,they send death threats saying someone has paid to have you killed.What degree of imorality can I ever approach when dealing with scum like that?I havn't done it yet,but if I can ever manage to send someone like that into the middle of a war zone,so be it.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:22 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

You raise an interesting point and one which made me think about your point of view and I can definitley see what your saying.

What Mugatu did quite splendidly is detail exactly how we work.

Killers, Warners, you'll find that most of us have our snouts in one trough or another.

My impression of how to signify my contribution is that I have no idea what impact im making, but at least I know im making some.

A safari in my eyes are justified, dumb assed lad or not. If one dumb lad spends 8 hours on a packed bus with no air con to go to the next country along, then its 8 hours worth of time he isnt spending on the internet.

Extreme baiting like tha Chad bait is as far as anyone has taken any bait. As has been said, there is a thread dedicated to the ethics of it, so head there if you want to participate.

As for your notion of whether we are flaming the thick lads while the clever ones profit - they all steal, so whats the difference ?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:25 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

WaxyMongrel wrote:
So clearly a significant portion of the scammer's are too intelligent to be fooled. Now doesn't it stand to reason that the ones we do hit are the one's who are having the least success as scammers?

...

Discussing the ethics of scam-baiting should be encouraged. It's what keeps us better then the scammers.


I've thought about this too - and I'm not sure it's really an ethical question, it's an effectiveness question.

It stands to reason that the scammers who respond to baits, especially the spectacular ones, are a little more gullible or less experienced in dealing with "jokers." The stronger, smarter, more experienced scammers might be a little less willing to participate in a conversation where things might seem a little off. Or they may be better at detecting conversations that are a bit off.

If that's true - and I don't know that it is, since there are some very skilled straight baiters here that read virtually identically to real victims - then I think this could actually be a good thing. Others have already made these points, but I don't have a problem with the dumber or more desperate scammers building pyramids or heading off on safari. Even if the smarter scammers can avoid baiters, is that such a bad thing? If they're turning up their "baiter filter" they're probably filtering out a lot of victims too.

I might be in the minority here, but I think the real wins in scamming aren't in wasting time, or getting cool trophies or safaris, it's undermining scammers' confidence in what they do. They lose confidence in their victims, in Money Gram, in Western Union, etc. If a scammer identifies a Gmail account, corrupted attachments, too many questions, bad money transfers, etc. as the mark of a "joker" then any real victim who happens to do any of these things gets ignored. And the less effective scamming becomes, the more victims are protected and the less lucrative the scamming lifestyle becomes.

Going back to your quote, though, I'm not sure why baiting the less effective scammers would be an ethical question. Is baiting C- scammers less moral than baiting A+ scammers? I just don't see why it would be. After all, the dumber criminals tend to be the ones more easily caught.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Welcome Waxy! Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I actively target scammers that I know to be more effective against regular victims. Many others here do that too.

The ones that target the "Dumber" lads here are in a very skilled minority that make those lads an "advert" for what we do.

Does that answer this in short?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:43 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I think even the "smartest" lad can't easily escape the site killing baiters. Even the lads with the most experience dealing with us are paranoid that their newest, seemingly compliant victim could be another baiter ready to screw with them.

_________________
Safari = Rev. JB Johnson. Lome to Parakou "i thought it will just be a day jouney. unknowingly to me that it will last up to one week."
Safari2 = Harrison: Owerri, Nigeria to Cotonou, Benin and Accra, Ghana "i know ive been a sucker for twat "
Safari = (Group safari) Oy3nka Ch1dinma: Lagos to Cotonou: "Thank you so much for the embrassment."
Safari = Group safari - Dan Nkwerre: Port Harcourt to Abeche, Chad
Safari2 = Barr. Mustapha Marlick: Lome, Togo to Abuja Nigeria and Accra, Ghana.
pony Mortar x15 (some survived) Closed lad accounts x280 T.W.A.T Nurse Nastys Audi TT United States
<b>Have you kicked your lad today?<b>
Over $1 million USD in fake checks/money orders confiscated Easter Egg
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Catcher In The Lie
Master of Master Baiters


Joined: 22 Sep 2008
Posts: 877
Location: 404 Yellow Brick Road


PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:03 am Reply with quoteBack to top

"I'm certainly not passing judgment on anybody - I laughed as load as anyone at the Chad bait. I just feel that fighting scam has been established as a blanket excuse and that it is incumbent on us to decide the real reasons we do what we do, and whether we are having the effect we believe we are, before we can be sure that our actions are in fact moral."

Lord.... help me pleeeasse. What you are saying basically is this:
Let's ALL look to our 'inner selves' and examine why screwing the 'screwer' is, or is not appropriate/moral....right?

I've been reading this forum since March (..yes. like many, the great evil wicked safari)

'Blanket excuse'??? are you a politician? I'm runnin' now......as it seems you speak out of 'both' sides of 'ya' mouth. no?
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