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 Side effects of scambaiting: Talented people exploited?

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some_odd_chap
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:32 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I have browsed 419eater on and off for quite a few years now, and always find an amazing story... The one that resulted in a wood carving of a Commodore 64 was amazing.

Though one thing hits me whenever I see an amazing piece of artwork like this being produced:

Image

Does anyone else feel concerned that the talented people behind such work (obviously not the scammer him or herself) have been forced to do so outside of their own will? Now I've watched Fox news so my knowledge of Nigeria might be a little sensationalized, but is it not conceivable that such people are restrained without compensation and forced to do this work? It just seems a little unlikely to me that all such people were paid their due fees in a country like Nigeria.

I 'dunno. I just picture someone really talented with a potentially bright future being held at gun point in some scammer's hut when I see something like the above carving, though I'm not discounting the likelihood of them being treated properly...

What do you think?
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Stealth
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Anything is possible. I'm sure that they would have no compunction in proliferating their miserable crimes both at home and abroad.

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Nurse Nasty
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:58 am Reply with quoteBack to top

There are some amazingly talent people in Nigeria. The work we've seen here is testament to that. Not being wood carver myself I can only assume it would take awhile to make this bust. Personally my arm would have been tired after the first fifteen minutes and I would have put my gun back in my pocket.

Work like this would usually have a upfront fee to commission the work. I wouldn't do it without something in my pocket first. The scammer isn't going to stand behind him the whole time with his AK (which is a gross misconception. AK's are expensive in Nigeria). He would approach the carver, agree on a price, pay for the item once it's finish and he would leave to ship it off.

Now the scammer (the lad baited) is normally an individual who thinks he's hooked a maga (victim) - The baiter gets these lads off-script and onto their own, like this bust commissioned in one of Shiver's art baits. The scammer has forgotten his scam and is now attempting to get money through other means. He's no longer scamming, his time and resources are being used by the baiter.

Without being there I am just assuming this would be the process. Sometimes the lad will offer some payment and then promise to pay the carver for the remaining fee of his work. When the fee never comes the scammer still has to pay the carver. So that's his problem.

We're more concerned for the victims of these crimes. The people who lose their money, their homes, their families and sometimes their lives. We have literally tens of thousands of stories from victims worldwide who are scammed, manipulated and ruined due to these people. Most working these jobs are not the typical stereotype of evil, blood thirsty villains who kill indiscriminately. A vast majority see scamming and destroying lives as just a game and are not violent. We don't tell them they've been baited so most believe they screwed up somewhere and move on to the next victim.

I can see your point, and in a perfect world it would be fantastic to assume that everyone wins out. They don't. We'd like to think the carver is paid for his work, or the lad attempted it himself. Their resources are the the ones we waste. There is no definitive answer here. We do what we can with the tools we have, and limit the amount of innocent third party involvement as much as we can. The last thing any of us want is someone being hurt.

The title of your thread. Side effects of scambaiting: I would prefer a world with baiters than without.

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manbiteslion
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

That's a risk with trophies, some trophies (Est's creeping palsy pics for instance IIRC) were commissioned by the scammers, and I'm sure Wayne's Panty Claus pictures are paid for by Vlad scammers. However I'm sure there are also cases where bullying and exploitation come into play.

In the end, it's what you as a baiter feel comfortable with - if you're uneasy about your lad and trophies, then go for a safari instead - these cause lads to spend their own money and time (they're not going to let anyone else handle a suitcase of cash after all) and fewer opportunities for exploitation
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

NN is right. I often get complaints from lads saying they need money because the artist is asking for money first. Of course, lads are not the greatest source of truthful information but it does seem to be the case.

As a rule when I art bait, I try to make sure there is the greatest possibility the artist is at least paid half, or some sought of amount before. (E.g. demanding receipts from the artist). Most of the time these look legit (i.e scanned, poorly). I doubt these artists are that completely naive when dealing with some of their customers, especially if they've been around for a while and perhaps considering the neighbourhood.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:42 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Some Old Chap,

Welcome to our world,

The Nurse has summed it up nicely but if I may comment on some of your comments.

Quote:
being held at gun point in some scammer's hut when I see something like the above carving,

I dont come from Nigeria, I have never been there and most likely I have seen the same documentaries as you have, but I must point out that the vast majority of Africans who scam, do not live in huts, it is the wealthier Africans who can afford to get an education and use of the internet and many African scammers actually live quite well in the nicer parts of town and often funded by the proceeds of scams

Also, if a scammer was the type to hold somebody at gunpoint, I would presume they would be holding them at gun point for money rather than for them to carve a bust

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GomerPyle
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Being blunt. I have never seen a bank manager convicted of murder because a customer shot a person to get the money to repay a loan.

That's an unfair comparison, but if a scammer uses a gun to get what he wants, then that's what he's going to do whether a baiter is involved or not. Equally he would get the money to go on safari the same way, and without doubt even his money for internet access. Should we then leave scammers to get on with feasting on victims ? I know my answer to that question.

I don't take responsibility for a criminal's lifestyle or criminal behaviour. In law enforcement there are always innocent third parties - the criminals' family for instance. Ideally people should steer clear of scammers, and those who know him best, probably have a fair idea of what they're up to. The most likely outcome of a bait like this is that the scammer's credibility is trashed in the eyes of his colleagues and his influence is much less than it was before.

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SlapHappy
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Welcome to Eater! Very Happy
Gomer is correct. The lad's reputation would be trashed if he did not pay the artist's bill. Even scammers do not like to be owing anyone money that they promise to pay, except for victims. It is deeply ingrained in their culture to make sure their day to day bills are paid. Kinda weird when you think about it, but true. You would think that they would scam everyone they deal with, but that's not true. The carvings I received from a lad of mine were fully paid for by the scammer before he sent them to me as wedding gifts to my characters.

edit: grammar

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@some_odd_chap

when i read the title of the thread i thought, somebody wants to point out, that very talented people are here in this forum at work. and maybe exploid themselfs.
and to that i fully agree.

to your point of view - as far as i see it, these people here watch carefully that no ITP (read innocent third party) is harmed/exploited in any way through their hand/mind/writings.

and regarding this piece of wood. i never been to nigeria, but in bali in some areas you can find work like that every 50 meters, in a dozend.


Last edited by frank.lester on Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Esq
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

with regards to banners

i have had a couple of lads ask me for payment because they cant afford to get an artist to make up the banners. i always refuse and they come through.

given that some of them are artistic i assume they are done by someone remotely professional.

however a great percentage of them are stenciled.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

And here are some words spoken just the other day from one of my lads, who has paid money to a t-shirt printer to send me 25 custom-made t-shirts. He told his "oga," who is played by another baiter here:

Quote:
Again yes. Why do I have to "use" my money for Emil's businesses when my money is tied somewhere and yet you are not helping get it. Whichever way you look at it, I am not happy at all.

Do you think it is fun to "use" my hard earned income for Emil's t-shirt businesses?
I see nothing wrong with wasting the scammers' hard earned income. If fact I try my best to see that it happens in all the trophies I ask for. Smile

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:43 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Although you can never trust what lads say, I do imagine if the artist isn't paid up front, that will cause a lot of trouble for the scammer. The artist is probably from the same general area and may know the scammer, and may come after him to collect the debt or give him a beating. Lads usually say that this is happening (usually just a ploy for pity, to expedite the payment)

Hopefully this actually happens. It sucks if the talent isn't paid for their hard work, but it'd be nice if the lad got a beating or thrown in jail for not paying.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:23 am Reply with quoteBack to top

If you really believe that a lad would hold a pro sculptor hostage for days on end for a bust of Mike, then I can only conclude that you have been watching one too many action movies.

Africa isn't quite as wild as you may think. Criminals can't just go around indiscriminately holding local people hostage to get their way. That would not only damage a lad's rep, as someone already pointed out, but it would also attract police attention.

You see, as ironic as this sounds, it is much easier for them to embezzle tens of thousands of dollars online or hold Greek businessmen hostage, than it is to kidnap the guy that carves wooden giraffes on the side of the road. I'm sure I needn't explain why.

So it is fair to assume that the people doing the work are getting a wage for it from the lad, albeit a very low one compared to what said lad though he was getting. In retrospect, we are actually creating jobs in impoverished countries and narrowing the gap between the poor and the rich (criminals).

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:33 am Reply with quoteBack to top

@Some Odd Chap, Welcome to Eater! Very Happy

Like frank.lester, I thought you were talking about the talent of so many baiters.

I looked at the picture you pasted in a different way. Just think of the exposure the artist has for his work. I doube taht he would have had so many people look at what he does if it were not posted on Eater. Yes I know that he is not given credit, but someone might look for such an artist because they saw the quality of work here in Eater. (Stranger things have happened.) Shocked

I was watching an old game show with my kids today and one of the answers was that Lagos Nigeria was the most expensive city in the world to live in. Second place (at that time) was Tokyo. The show was "Press Your Luck" and is from the 80s. I about fell off of my easy chair... Shocked

@ Odd Chap, I do encourage you to read more than the trophy baits and see all of what baiters do AND look for the damage that scammers do. I like Reaper's ethics (for reals) and I know that others here do all they can to protect ITPs and victims.


NB I hope you didn't post and run. Confused


okay, two shock emoticons in one post, I must be tired. Embarassed

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some_odd_chap
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:08 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I didn't post and run Smile

I've found everyone's comments really interesting. Particularly the comment about getting proof of payment in the form of a scanned receipt. Nigeria definitely works in funny ways.

Unrelated point:
I really like the idea of using scammers to produce something useful, like the audio book recordings (though I appreciate those kinds of trophies don't come up every day).

I wonder if the scammer's resources could be somehow funneled back into something productive in addition to all the hilarious stuff that comes up here. Hmm... [email protected] and ReCaptcha.net come to mind.
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Murry Guru
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:34 am Reply with quoteBack to top

There have been several cases where baiters have had the scammers help with the childrens school homework Wink

Also, as far as possible we do try to use their own tools and tricks against them Laughing

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I have ymca on my iPod. That was done by Scam Patroller and is an amazing piece of music. I am sure the lad in question paid for the recording, etc. For all the misery that lad may have been responsible for, that song is a service to humanity. And SP is great for sharing it.

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