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 Your views on how the scammers operate

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clara
Hello I'm New here!


Joined: 23 Jul 2009
Posts: 6


PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:18 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Greetings!
As you can see, I'm a brand new member here. I'm not in it for the baiting for the time being, what I'm looking for is your opinions on the scammers.

Basically, I'm working on my MSc dissertation right now, which is all based on trust and deception on the internet. I'm using 419 frauds as an example of how people manage to pull off confidence tricks online.

However, since I have no experience with the scammers, I'd really appreciate hearing about yours. I've done some poking around the letters archives, and I've read plenty of articles. But the personal experiences of real baiters is what I'm after.

So if you feel like sharing, here's a few things I'm looking to find out:


What methods have scammers typically used in an attempt to gain your confidence?

Do scammers readily volunteer information that humanises them (i.e. info about their lives, sob stories, pictures etc.)?

What is it about certain scammers that makes you think they're experienced at what they do?


(For the purposes of my dissertation, I'm looking at the scams where you supposedly stand to gain money, not the "I'm in love with you, give me money so I can fly out to meet you" type.)

Incidentally, if anyone thinks this is dodgy, I'll happily give info on my university and the thesis to a mod to prove I'm not actually a scammer looking for tips Very Happy
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Scammy Scameroo
419Eater is my life


Joined: 15 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:59 am Reply with quoteBack to top

clara wrote:
What methods have scammers typically used in an attempt to gain your confidence?

Do scammers readily volunteer information that humanises them (i.e. info about their lives, sob stories, pictures etc.)?

In my experience, all the personal touches, family info, details and general "flavour" of the scam are held in the script. Once the lad is off-script, or has simply run out of script, all this stuff tends to fall by the wayside and be replaced by constant demands for money. The thing is, at this point, it doesn't really matter- the victim has swallowed the bait, and now all that's left is the hook. Once the victim is personally- or worse, financially- invested in the "deal", it becomes extremely hard to admit their error and drop out, even if a change of style has given them some doubts.

It's the same psychology that baiters use themselves! Get the lad invested in your character, then start having some fun- once you know he's spent too much time on you to drop you.

clara wrote:
What is it about certain scammers that makes you think they're experienced at what they do?

I find it hard to tell whether a scammer is more experienced or simply better. I suppose this is where baiting differs from... er... being scammed. A scammer may have experience of baiters, and so would drop us more readily, but that doesn't mean he's necessarily a more experienced scammer, just that he's been burned in the past.


I find it interesting that most scammers are so easy to bait. Unless they're exceptional, they're usually so focussed on making their own story coherent that they don't really analyse the "big picture". You can scare them into doing just about anything by giving them the impression that you're about to uncover their lies- I had one lad who ended up as the CEO of Chevron (not his idea!) and then started getting lazy with his replies. I inferred that I'd being trying to contact him AT CHEVRON, and that I was getting weird responses, and he's been punctual and on-edge ever since- desperate to preserve the lie which wasn't even his idea in the first place.

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clara
Hello I'm New here!


Joined: 23 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:14 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Scammy Scameroo wrote:


In my experience, all the personal touches, family info, details and general "flavour" of the scam are held in the script. Once the lad is off-script, or has simply run out of script, all this stuff tends to fall by the wayside and be replaced by constant demands for money. The thing is, at this point, it doesn't really matter- the victim has swallowed the bait, and now all that's left is the hook. Once the victim is personally- or worse, financially- invested in the "deal", it becomes extremely hard to admit their error and drop out, even if a change of style has given them some doubts.


I can't imagine how much it must suck to be a victim. On the one hand, it's hard to understand how anyone can fall for those tricks anymore, but I can certainly understand the difficulty of getting out once they've copped something's wrong

Scammy Scameroo wrote:
It's the same psychology that baiters use themselves! Get the lad invested in your character, then start having some fun- once you know he's spent too much time on you to drop you.


And the next thing you know, they're on their way to Darfur in search of a fake ministry that's going to give them money Very Happy (I heard that story on some radio show, that was an impressive safari)

Scammy Scameroo wrote:
I find it hard to tell whether a scammer is more experienced or simply better. I suppose this is where baiting differs from... er... being scammed. A scammer may have experience of baiters, and so would drop us more readily, but that doesn't mean he's necessarily a more experienced scammer, just that he's been burned in the past.


Ok, so what makes them seem better at what they do?

Scammy Scameroo wrote:
I find it interesting that most scammers are so easy to bait. Unless they're exceptional, they're usually so focussed on making their own story coherent that they don't really analyse the "big picture". You can scare them into doing just about anything by giving them the impression that you're about to uncover their lies- I had one lad who ended up as the CEO of Chevron (not his idea!) and then started getting lazy with his replies. I inferred that I'd being trying to contact him AT CHEVRON, and that I was getting weird responses, and he's been punctual and on-edge ever since- desperate to preserve the lie which wasn't even his idea in the first place.


Priceless Very Happy
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Scammy Scameroo
419Eater is my life


Joined: 15 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:36 am Reply with quoteBack to top

clara wrote:

Scammy Scameroo wrote:
I find it hard to tell whether a scammer is more experienced or simply better.


Ok, so what makes them seem better at what they do?

The thing you have to remember here is that I'm NOT a victim. Whilst I may think that better English, or a more cohesive story, or a better ability to adapt to problems that arise will make a lad "better", that's not a true assessment of the lad's abilities.

Actual victims are, on the whole, less comfortable with technology and with language than baiters. As their grasp of language is less sound, they are naturally not going to notice linguistic errors on the part of the lad. Similarly, explanations of strange procedures or fees may not seem outlandish to someone with no experience of that specific field and without the technical competence required to research it for themselves.

The lads that are actually better, ie more successful scammers, may simply be the ones who send out the highest volume of scripts and are most picky about who they reply to. So-called "lotto lads" are a perfect example, they rarely show up on a baiter's radar because they really aren't much fun, and they're not going to jump through any major hoops because they're only- initially- pursuing a small payoff. There's every chance, however, that these are the most successful lads- they're definitely the category that is least hindered by baiting.

So much of what makes a lad seem good or bad is down to the scripts they use. If a good lad is using a bad script, they're not going to have much success, and conversely if a semi-literate, tactically inept scammer is using a top-quality script they are, sadly, likely to be able to make money from it. I suppose the "good" lads are the ones who actually write the scripts- further up the scamming foodchain, they will be taking a percentage of other scammer's payouts or even being paid directly for their work, but are not likely to actually get involved with a victim or baiter unless there's a lot of money involved and things get too complicated for the first lad to handle.

clara wrote:

Scammy Scameroo wrote:
I had one lad who ended up as the CEO of Chevron (not his idea!) and then started getting lazy with his replies. I inferred that I'd being trying to contact him AT CHEVRON, and that I was getting weird responses, and he's been punctual and on-edge ever since- desperate to preserve the lie which wasn't even his idea in the first place.


Priceless Very Happy

He's now playing Barack Obama. That wasn't his idea either. Very Happy

_________________
"Being a president is like Controlling the whole america and making Good things Happen" - President Barack Obama

"YOU ARE FUCKING DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS PEOPLE AND HUMAN BEING." - International property tycoon

"Once again reset all your email informations in other to afford your box been stolen by the men of the underworld." - Chrissy, my phished friend
<br>
Chrissy's M7CN S3cur3 World Record is currently at: 167 + 1214 + 181 + 167 + 172 + 204 + 159 + 359 + 182 + 1 = 2806 clicks!
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clara
Hello I'm New here!


Joined: 23 Jul 2009
Posts: 6


PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:41 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Scammy Scameroo wrote:

The thing you have to remember here is that I'm NOT a victim. Whilst I may think that better English, or a more cohesive story, or a better ability to adapt to problems that arise will make a lad "better", that's not a true assessment of the lad's abilities.

Actual victims are, on the whole, less comfortable with technology and with language than baiters. As their grasp of language is less sound, they are naturally not going to notice linguistic errors on the part of the lad. Similarly, explanations of strange procedures or fees may not seem outlandish to someone with no experience of that specific field and without the technical competence required to research it for themselves.

The lads that are actually better, ie more successful scammers, may simply be the ones who send out the highest volume of scripts and are most picky about who they reply to. So-called "lotto lads" are a perfect example, they rarely show up on a baiter's radar because they really aren't much fun, and they're not going to jump through any major hoops because they're only- initially- pursuing a small payoff. There's every chance, however, that these are the most successful lads- they're definitely the category that is least hindered by baiting.

So much of what makes a lad seem good or bad is down to the scripts they use. If a good lad is using a bad script, they're not going to have much success, and conversely if a semi-literate, tactically inept scammer is using a top-quality script they are, sadly, likely to be able to make money from it. I suppose the "good" lads are the ones who actually write the scripts- further up the scamming foodchain, they will be taking a percentage of other scammer's payouts or even being paid directly for their work, but are not likely to actually get involved with a victim or baiter unless there's a lot of money involved and things get too complicated for the first lad to handle.


All interesting stuff. It's alarming that these people seem to be making careers out of this


Scammy Scameroo wrote:

He's now playing Barack Obama. That wasn't his idea either. Very Happy


How did you get him to do that? Shocked
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Scammy Scameroo
419Eater is my life


Joined: 15 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:48 am Reply with quoteBack to top

clara wrote:

Scammy Scameroo wrote:

He's now playing Barack Obama. That wasn't his idea either. Very Happy


How did you get him to do that? Shocked


I've spent the whole bait gently pulling at threads. Whenever he mentions some fact, or describes a detail, I misinterpret it, and he's so desperate to make sure his story holds water that he goes along with my assumptions. Slowly, gradually, I've changed his initial scam from a land sale in West Africa to a job offer as Barack Obama's chief financial and economic advisor- which is my reward for sorting out the Iraqi peace process.

It's happened so gently that he thinks he's been making it all up himself, and that he's busily tricking the world's most gullible man. He's probably getting quite a kick out of how good a scammer he is. Very Happy

_________________
"Being a president is like Controlling the whole america and making Good things Happen" - President Barack Obama

"YOU ARE FUCKING DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS PEOPLE AND HUMAN BEING." - International property tycoon

"Once again reset all your email informations in other to afford your box been stolen by the men of the underworld." - Chrissy, my phished friend
<br>
Chrissy's M7CN S3cur3 World Record is currently at: 167 + 1214 + 181 + 167 + 172 + 204 + 159 + 359 + 182 + 1 = 2806 clicks!
<br>
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clara
Hello I'm New here!


Joined: 23 Jul 2009
Posts: 6


PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:53 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Scammy Scameroo wrote:

I've spent the whole bait gently pulling at threads. Whenever he mentions some fact, or describes a detail, I misinterpret it, and he's so desperate to make sure his story holds water that he goes along with my assumptions. Slowly, gradually, I've changed his initial scam from a land sale in West Africa to a job offer as Barack Obama's chief financial and economic advisor- which is my reward for sorting out the Iraqi peace process.

It's happened so gently that he thinks he's been making it all up himself, and that he's busily tricking the world's most gullible man. He's probably getting quite a kick out of how good a scammer he is. Very Happy


How long have you been working this guy? Nice to know he's being kept busy Laughing
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Wright B Hindyou
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Joined: 11 May 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Clara,

Quote:
On the one hand, it's hard to understand how anyone can fall for those tricks anymore


One thing you need to understand that not all scams are of the e-mail kind offering implausibly huge sums to a victim.

These scammers do other things, like:

* setting up fake websites aimed at diverting aid donations. They did this after the 2004 Asian Boxing Day tsunami, thus literally taking food out of the mouths of traumatized and starving orphans.

* threatening people directly with harm unless they send money (the so-called hitman scam)

* mass mailing addresses from hacked mailboxes, pretending to be stranded in another country after being robbed, and soliciting aid.

* abusing a US service set up to help deaf people communicate and trying to earn the confidence of deaf people so that they will part with sympathy money (the so-called deaf relay scam).

My point is, please do not harbour the idea that all these scams would fail if there weren't victims who were displaying some level of greed. That is not true, and you need to be aware of that from the outset.

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"bastard like you, I will kill you with my hand, son of nobody. May your soul rust in help." - Titi Andrew

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"THIS YOUR BEHAVIOR IS IRELEVANT AND CROSPOLOS CARACTER" - Madam Clarrise Keita.

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clara
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Joined: 23 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:50 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Wright B Hindyou wrote:

My point is, please do not harbour the idea that all these scams would fail if there weren't victims who were displaying some level of greed. That is not true, and you need to be aware of that from the outset.


I can assure you, I don't believe that it all comes from greed. My thesis is all about trust and credibility and how scammers construct it without face-to-face contact (research indicates that people trust each other far less in the absence of face-to-face communication). The experiments I've run indicated that people behave in a surprisingly trusting manner on the internet when they're presented with enough details about the person. With the right circumstances, it's easy to manipulate people into wanting to help, but once they're in, the potential payoff seems to be one of the ways they justify not backing out when things aren't looking so rosy

When I was talking about trying to understand how people fell for these scams, I meant the standard "help me get my inheritance" or "help me get this money that isn't 100% mine" ones, the standard "There's a problem, if you send me money, everything will be ok, blahblahblah" scam. It's something that's in the media so often that one would think people would spot it as being bull straight away
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Wright B Hindyou
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
My thesis is all about trust and credibility and how scammers construct it without face-to-face contact

In that case, I would suggest that most Western societies are based on considerable levels of interpersonal trust, which is how we have built our complex and often cooperative ways of life.

Having lived for many years in the "Third World" I can tell you that nobody here trusts anybody outside their own family, and not always then. Unfortunately, lying and cheating are very prevalent in many of these societies as a way of life.

The Internet, however, has instantly globalized the world, so the people we are dealing with online come from all manner of societies. Thus our comfortable trusting ways have been rapidly exposed to many people who do not share our sense of ethics.

That is why education that the (online) world may not be such a nice place is urgently required.

_________________
"YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO HUMANITY" - Douglas Minning

"bastard like you, I will kill you with my hand, son of nobody. May your soul rust in help." - Titi Andrew

"I trusted you very much without knowing that you are a drug addit person" - Emma Bambara

"THIS YOUR BEHAVIOR IS IRELEVANT AND CROSPOLOS CARACTER" - Madam Clarrise Keita.

"you must speak beter because we dont train mad people in this company." - Incredible Self-Baiting Pastor Joe
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luckey
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:02 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The level of sophistication of the scams varies quite a bit. With inheritance scams, for example, the lowest level is probably the mail bomb scams where hundreds or thousands of emails are sent out with the hope of getting one or two good hits. The bombing is often done by low level gang members. Initial replies are sometimes not even read or understood because the job is to filter out the threats and insults that pour in, and pass the seemingly promising leads up the ladder. At the higher levels, inheritance scams may be researched and tailored to an individual, using family names and details to make it all the more convincing.

Through ScamWarners.com, I came across an interesting variation of an overpayment check scam the other day. Attorneys were/are being targeted by scammers posing as businessmen who needed help collecting a debt. The attorney makes an official request for payment on behalf of their client and they receive a very large check from the supposed debtor. They are then instructed to deduct their usual fees and send the balance to the scammers.

This is really no different than a Craig's List check scam where an item is supposedly purchased, but the seller is overpaid and asked to send the difference to a shipping company or some other nonsense. The bank "clears" the check and the victim wires off the money thinking they have no liability because they waited for the check to clear. Weeks or months later the check is returned by a clearing house or by the issuing bank and the seller is left holding the bag. One would think that most attorneys would be sharp enough to spot the creditor scam as a variation of an overpayment scam, and many probably are, but under the veil of a good back story, the scam can be very successful.

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thud419
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^ The attorney scam I saw, a year or two back was very complete. There were working phone numbers, email addresses, and probably street addresses for the two companies. Without independently researching the two companies involved there was no way to detect the scam. That would need a level of paranoia that I have never seen in any individual or company.

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clara
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Joined: 23 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:46 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Wright B Hindyou wrote:

In that case, I would suggest that most Western societies are based on considerable levels of interpersonal trust, which is how we have built our complex and often cooperative ways of life.

Having lived for many years in the "Third World" I can tell you that nobody here trusts anybody outside their own family, and not always then. Unfortunately, lying and cheating are very prevalent in many of these societies as a way of life.


Well the tendency towards reciprocal altruism is supposedly fairly well ingrained in our psyche, but that really only kicks in when there are enough resources available to sustain the all people involved (just not necessarily evenly distributed). If resources are severely limited, altruism becomes restricted to family-only and eventually self-only. If there's not enough to go around, it's every man (or family) for themselves. Screw everyone else, it's either take whatever you can get or die

That's just my interpretation anyway, given that I have no experience of developing countries, I may be completely wrong. It just seems that once it's not life or death, people are more inclined to play nice

Wright B Hindyou wrote:
The Internet, however, has instantly globalized the world, so the people we are dealing with online come from all manner of societies. Thus our comfortable trusting ways have been rapidly exposed to many people who do not share our sense of ethics.

That is why education that the (online) world may not be such a nice place is urgently required.


I'm working on a research proposal based on the evolving morality of the internet. I find the whole topic fascinating
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Wright B Hindyou
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:17 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^
Quote:
Well the tendency towards reciprocal altruism is supposedly fairly well ingrained in our psyche, but that really only kicks in when there are enough resources available to sustain the all people involved (just not necessarily evenly distributed). If resources are severely limited, altruism becomes restricted to family-only and eventually self-only.

I'd broadly agree, but also make the observation that changes in the psyche tend to lag changes in our economic fortunes. i.e. you can become rich in one year, but you don't become altruistic in such a short time-frame. Similarly, when someone's large income is suddenly removed, it takes a while for their mindset to adjust to the new circumstances.

_________________
"YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO HUMANITY" - Douglas Minning

"bastard like you, I will kill you with my hand, son of nobody. May your soul rust in help." - Titi Andrew

"I trusted you very much without knowing that you are a drug addit person" - Emma Bambara

"THIS YOUR BEHAVIOR IS IRELEVANT AND CROSPOLOS CARACTER" - Madam Clarrise Keita.

"you must speak beter because we dont train mad people in this company." - Incredible Self-Baiting Pastor Joe
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Ima Baeder
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 2:58 am Reply with quoteBack to top

clara wrote:

(For the purposes of my dissertation, I'm looking at the scams where you supposedly stand to gain money, not the "I'm in love with you, give me money so I can fly out to meet you" type.)


Are you defining "stand to gain money" as lottery wins, sale of an item, investment in a project, a loan . . . or are you only speaking of the large "stand in and claim this inheritance" scams?

As luckey said, there are many types of scams. I disagree with Scammy Scameroo that scammers are very easy to bait. I believe that the ones we're baiting are easy to bait. There are plenty of failed bait attempts and I have personally seen some very astute scammers.

One of the ways that the scammers get the victims to trust them is in developing more than one character. I know of a victim who paid 500,000 over the period of three years, trying to help with a fund for an orphan. (pretty standard scam format). In the execution of that scam, the scammer played many roles. In one of the roles he purported to be working with her and complained about the other characters. He claimed he had invested money as well and was in the same boat as the victim. At times when the victim cried scam and walked away, he lured her back by getting rid of that character . . . that character having been found out as a scammer and responsible for the hold ups and problems.
The stories the scammers weave can be very intricate.

I've also seen scam formats that weren't sent to "undisclosed recipients" but instead addressed specifically to the victim or times when the scammer had done a bit of research on the victim. The Debt Collection fraud that Luckey described has been specifically targeting attorneys and collection agencies.

I recommend that you do some reading at our sister site, www.ScamWarners.com to understand some of this further. There are victims stories posted there.

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bumsnacks
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:40 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I don't know whether or not this helps anything, but I think where you are born/raised can help/hinder you when you are approached by a scammer.
I was raised in the midwest USA. Raised in a small town, where literally, front doors where not locked during the day. When you passed people on the street, you waved. Not because you knew them, but because it was a friendly thing to do. You helped people out because they needed it, not because you were looking for a reward.
I work at a bank, still in the midwest. I see people being scammed very often. Sometimes repeatedly. They just don't believe that someone would actually lie to them.
Just my two cents.
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Wright B Hindyou
Elite Baiter


Joined: 11 May 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:48 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^
That's my point. You were raised in an atmosphere of benign trust.

Along comes the Internet, where it is just as easy to talk to someone halfway around the world as to your next-door neighbour.

And sometimes it is hard to remember that there are people out there in Internet-land who don't think like you do.

_________________
"YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO HUMANITY" - Douglas Minning

"bastard like you, I will kill you with my hand, son of nobody. May your soul rust in help." - Titi Andrew

"I trusted you very much without knowing that you are a drug addit person" - Emma Bambara

"THIS YOUR BEHAVIOR IS IRELEVANT AND CROSPOLOS CARACTER" - Madam Clarrise Keita.

"you must speak beter because we dont train mad people in this company." - Incredible Self-Baiting Pastor Joe
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McBait
Not quite a Newb


Joined: 22 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:46 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

clara:

Can I suggest you go talk to a real scammer? They are surprisingly easy to find, it won't cost you anything, follow the guidelines you'll find on this site and you'll be fine. You don't even need to engage in long or creative baits, just a few simple replies will do and they will provide a wealth of information about themselves and their methods.

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luckey
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:37 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^I've tried that before. I contacted hundreds of scammers under the pretense of writing a paper for a college class. I'm not sure I got a wealth of information, though I did have some success. Most denied they were scammers and kept pushing their scripts. Of those that were willing to come clean, most wanted me to pay them first... which I was more than happy to do. Twisted Evil

Of the few who were willing to answer my questions, the answers were short and lazy, and eventually they all tried to scam me. I held on to one and have been baiting him ever since. Going on 17 months now. Laughing

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McBait
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:50 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

That's just funny...

I didn't suggest being honest with lads, just pretend, simple replies "wow that sounds like a great deal..." This will fill up your catcher inbox in short order with plenty of material to study methods and the "psychology" they attempt to use.

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RayAdverb
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:55 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Wright B Hindyou wrote:
Clara,

Quote:
On the one hand, it's hard to understand how anyone can fall for those tricks anymore


* setting up fake websites aimed at diverting aid donations. They did this after the 2004 Asian Boxing Day tsunami, thus literally taking food out of the mouths of traumatized and starving orphans.


Wouldn't that mean they physically went to Asian countries affected by the tsunami, reached into the mouths of orphans, and pulled the partially chewed food out?

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Dorothy
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
What methods have scammers typically used in an attempt to gain your confidence?

Not all scammers are alike, and they use a variety of social engineering techniques. I often find myself comparing scammers to cults--they form a relationship with the victims, while at the same time isolating victims from anyone who cares and might step in. The most "successful" scams almost always have evolved into a "victim and scammer against the world" scenario.

- As Ima stated, often they introduce additional characters in the position of "officials" or "barristers". These characters will often be dominant and condescending, and will play on victims' trust and submission to authority figures.
-Many insert some true verifiable facts into their scripts. For example, they may use the name of someone who really did die in a major plane crash, or they use the name of a real bank official or a real attorney or company. Some victims see this verifiable information as proof the scammer is honest--somehow it never occurs to them that just because X really did die in a major plane crash, that doesn't mean that the scammer really had anything to do with X.
-Some will use contradictory characters to elicit sympathy--the "poor orphan" may be a sympathetic character while the "banker" is overbearing and condescending, causing the victim to sympathize with the "poor orphan".
-Some use guilt or play up to the victim's need to feel attached and important, by making the victim feel like they are entirely dependent on them, even calling the victim "mummy" or "daddy".
-Some use a combination of greed and justification. For example, in the "dying widow" scenario, the victim is getting a large sum of money, but since they are also helping to get an even larger sum to charity, he can convince himself that he is benevolent, not greedy.
-As a couple of people above stated, they often use fake websites, documents, even photoshopped passports to make their scam seem more authentic.

Quote:
Do scammers readily volunteer information that humanises them (i.e. info about their lives, sob stories, pictures etc.)?

Quite often, but it really depends on the scammer's character. They frequently play on chivalry and/or sex, and often the line between straight 419 and romance bait is very blurred. For example, the refugee inheritance scam will involve a 20-something year old girl who looks remarkably like a porn star, and conveniently, she is going to join you in your country once you get her inheritance straightened out. Or the male scammer character will fall in love with the victim during the course of business.

What is it about certain scammers that makes you think they're experienced at what they do?

I would have to say that the more experienced scammers are better at identifying the signs of a good potential victim up front. They also will generally do a better job of creating a relationship and isolating their victims from their loved ones, and they are able to provide more plausible answers when victims start to ask real questions. However, in many cases, the quality of the answers may simply be related to the scammer's grasp of English, so there is not a 100% correlation between better answer and more experienced scammer.

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Titania
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:11 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^ They might as well have done so, considering the effect their scamming had on the situation. Evil or Very Mad

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RayAdverb
419Eater is my life


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well Titania, I assume you're addressing me but Dorothy's reply got in just a minute ahead of yours.

Maybe it was inappropriate, but I was taking up a semantic quibble, because RightBehindYou and you have hit upon one of my pet peeves; misuse of the word "literally" to describe obviously figurative situations. You can't literally take the food out of a starving orphan's mouth unless you physically approach the orphan and remove the food from its mouth by force.

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"How can a Microsoft worker be using gmail account? are you so doll?" -- Clement Morgan
"call back your money if there is and wait for a cock sucker to answer you. Your mannal/fraud will place you in jail as soon as you arrive." --Clement Morgan

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rageofthehippos
Not quite a Newb


Joined: 27 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Has anyone noticed an increase in the number of lads using gmail recently? I have only just returned to baiting but there seems to be a lot more than there was a few months ago.
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