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 How successful is an average scammer?

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wasname
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:08 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It's clear there are some scammers who have made a lot of money by conning people, but there must be a lot of them who are spotted very easily and make little or no money from it.

The lad I'm baiting at the minute seems a bit green, and I doubt he could con money out of anyone with more than a dozen brain cells.

Has anyone ever done any scientific analysis of this? Are the scammers quite rich, or are they doing a lot of work for very little return?

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N N N
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:40 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Getting a victim on the hook for a scammer is a matter of numbers, the more people you can get your script to the more chance you have of getting someone to take the bait. The rate of return can be very low but the rewards once you've got them hooked can be well worth it.

When you think "no idiot would fall for that scam" you're forgetting how idiotic idiots (or gullible, greedy, forlorn, desperate, naive, trusting) can be. If it pushes all the right buttons and doesn't set the alarms ringing for you the lad's on his way to hooking you and getting your money.
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Mortal
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:12 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^ Not idiots. Lads are using all kinds of things. Lack of knowledge, language barriers etc.

Well, you said it, some are succesful, some are not, it all depends on the script they're using. For example, I've noticed that romance scammers tend to be a bit more succesful (judging from the news, most the time I read about vics, it's romance scam) because they use the "in love" factor

Few people are going to believe that nigerian royal family has a bussines offer for you, that's why you don't see those emails anymore Wink Once the lad finds out that certain script is not succesful, they switch to different one. That's why it is good to reply to the worst scripts you can find, because it will make the lad think it's succesful one Very Happy

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buried under 419 emails
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:50 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I am not sure but the TV show dateline showed one that made over two million.

Scripts are important to a scammer, this is why I feel posting scammers scripts help.

Also when the vic is on the hook, causing scamers domains to implode, and other things, can help make the vic question things. I have had more than a few vics have this happen and google the scammers email and find one of my posts on scamwarners. They have lost hundreds but these vics stood to lose a lot more.

We may not completely eliminate loses, but we can help reduce total loses.

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Gimli
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:54 am Reply with quoteBack to top

@Mortal: Lack of knowledge is a huge factor, I agree. I know that I will never win a lottery by randomly getting an email, but an elderly person who has for years received those letters from Publishers Clearing House about how they could be winners and who have little computer knowledge might think it's possible. That same factor plays into things like job scams, where people might not know the Au Pair laws for a country, or know about things like work from home scams.

I also don't generally like to think of lads as idiots. Certainly there are lots who are, but they can't all be or 419 wouldn't be as lucrative as it is.

Edited because I was ninja'd by buried.

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GreyAmadeus
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:16 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I have to agree with Buried. Lads rely on their scripts and posting them online (scamwarners) can really make a difference.

If you take a look at the forum on scamwarners where scripts are stored, the 'read' figure shows just how many times people have come across it. I like to see those numbers as potential victims that have been helped.

Whilst lads can come across stupid, this doesn't negate how gullible/desperate/capricious/uninformed some people can be - so scammers keep on scamming (to varying degrees of success) - and baiters gotta keep on baiting, site killing, warning and informing

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wasname
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:58 am Reply with quoteBack to top

N N N wrote:
Getting a victim on the hook for a scammer is a matter of numbers, the more people you can get your script to the more chance you have of getting someone to take the bait. The rate of return can be very low but the rewards once you've got them hooked can be well worth it.

When you think "no idiot would fall for that scam" you're forgetting how idiotic idiots (or gullible, greedy, forlorn, desperate, naive, trusting) can be. If it pushes all the right buttons and doesn't set the alarms ringing for you the lad's on his way to hooking you and getting your money.


Thanks for your comments, and everyone else.

But nobody has actually come up with a figure of the average earnings of a scammer. I appreciate it is very difficult to estimate. II doubt the Nigerian government would publish the records of the income tax paid by their scammers, who declare their "earnings" as taxable income!

But I was wondering if anyone had an order of magnitude estimate of the average (mean) earnings - $100/year, $1000/year, $10,000/year, $100,000/year ?

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TheDane
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:23 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^ I think it's because it's impossible. We have no way of knowing. We do know that some lads/oga's are very successfull and owns 2 houses and 3 cars, while others most likely get a 150 dollar payout once in a while - which can be quite a sum in, say, Nigeria, where the average annual income was 640 $ in 2006 (Source: World Bank). But as it is, we have no way of making a good estimate, since we simply know too little about the numbers.

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Rooted
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:36 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Figures for returns to scammers will always be wildly inaccurate as a lot of victims will never report their losses.

Have a look at http://www.consumerfraudreporting.org/internet_scam_statistics.htm for some stats from 2008.

Seems that the average reported 419 victim loss was about $1650, and the number of reported victims is increasing at about 20% per year, so the returns to scammers is very lucrative. Scammers only need to have a small number of 'hits' per year to earn a comfortable living.

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N N N
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:58 am Reply with quoteBack to top

We surveyed 100 internet cafe users in Lagos and asked them "How much money do you make in a year from scamming?" Top 1 answer on the board .... play or pass? Laughing
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bigdaddy
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:27 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

not to get too off topic but if anyone remembers the [email protected] bait, we put that gang through so much pain that I dont think they scam anymore. Ive tried numerous times to get them to bite again. although I suppose they could have just changed emails. times were rough for them though. Twisted Evil

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manbiteslion
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

There is no simple answer as
1) they don't tell us
2) if they do, they lie wildly
3) there is no 'average', there are some part time students trying it on for 3 months, and full time gang bosses who roll it in with their guns and crack businesses, and everything in between. The mean average is not terribly meaningful as the spread is so massive, so unless you narrow it down, answers will be very hand-wavey.

Averages are crude and sometimes misleading - on average, the average American has slightly less than 2 legs.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:43 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

As far as an average salary of a lad who knows as said earlier too many unknowns to ascertain a figure.

After working with victims at Scamwarners I can say all formats have a chance to hook a victim. There are some like the job, rental, craigslist/gumtree and romance scams have a much higher success rate. The thing that all these scams have in common is victims are already warm to them. It's not like anyone is searching the Internet to inherit millions from a long lost relative but they are looking for a job or selling an item on craigslist. They are posting profiles on dating sites looking for love or looking to rent a flat. So the victim is what we call in the sales profession a warm lead. The more experienced lads are always going to exploit this.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:49 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
II doubt the Nigerian government would publish the records of the income tax paid by their scammers, who declare their "earnings" as taxable income!


And I highly doubt the scammers would be paying taxes or reporting money they have earned by scamming. Heck many Americans, it is known, cheat on reporting their income on federal/state income taxes! Why would the scammers be honest about taxes?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:51 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Let's suppose it were possible to determine the average "take" per scammer. What would be the value of such information? It would be an interesting number but it tells you very little about the "industry". That number would only be useful if you could tie it to an estimate of the number of scammers - which is another unobtainable number.

Gimli wrote:
I also don't generally like to think of lads as idiots.

I think it is wise to assume the lads are reasonably intelligent (until they prove themselves otherwise, of course! Very Happy ). If you start a bait on the assumption the lad is a total moron, you will probably lose a lot of lads very quickly. However, if you assume the opposite, I believe you stand a better chance of keeping the lad on the hook a lot longer. Besides, I assume the smarter lads are more successful scammers and, therefore, the more of their time a baiter can waste, the fewer victims he will fleece.

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