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 Legality of 419scambaiting

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diamondgeezer
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

A friend referred me to this site and I have just spent the last 3 hours or so reading some of the exchanges and roaring with laughter. They are brilliant!
What concerns me though is the legality of offering to pay a 419scammer for doing something. Doesn't this constitute a contract? Even though the other party is a suspected criminal, and may even have a long criminal record in his/her own country, wouldn't the offering, in an email, to pay $x to do x nonetheless still be a contract?
Also, isn't there a danger in setting up a website or using an 0870 number and then someone makes a mistake and supplies the 419scammer with the owner's real name/address?
What I would like to know are the legal implications of playing a 419scammer at his/her own game?
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Robert Heinrich der 1.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:36 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

this is quite a question.

the basic thing is, that the baiter is always a victim in the lads eyes. the baiter usually does not force the lad to do anything, and the lad has always the chance of leaving the bait. it's like you throw a box of money from the eiffel tower. are you responsible for any idiot who jumps after the money?

that makes baiting basically legal.

but there are a few methods which can be considered illegal depending on your location. you need to find out which methods could be illegal and avoid them.

and there is another thing: so far, no lad ever went to the police because of being baited. not even lads in europe or even america. because if they do so, they have to declare what they were doing. it's somehow like the drug-dealer, who goes to the police because someone stole his dope. the police will become quite interested in his business.

the only thing we try to avoid (sometimes it isn't possible): try to protect innocent third parties. that means:

1. don't use someone elses address, pictures or so (unless it's a celebrity)
2. don't request from the lad that he harms somebody (and here it becomes quite tricky).

point 2 is problematic, because the lad will harm ITPs like close relatives who lend him money for something the baiter asked him to do, or taxi-drivers whom he will cheat over the fair... which reminds me of rushforth, who got his leg broken by the taxi driver after he could not pay. having a broken leg is a bad thing, especially close to the sudanese border.

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Last edited by Robert Heinrich der 1. on Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tsnerd
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:42 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
Doesn't this constitute a contract?


No.

From my days as an insurance adjuster, and really, really simplified/dumbed down because I didn't feel like listing and explaining all of the elements that go into the legal definition of a contract - the lawyers here can certainly expand on it:

In any contract, the key element is 'consideration' - something of tangible value exchanged between parties. Policy premiums in exchange for coverage, for example.

When baiting, there is no consideration at all - baiters aren't going to pay the lad and the lad certainly isn't going to hand over that non-existent, gem-filled trunk box.

Eater has been around for well over a decade now. Our membership is wide and varied, including lawyers, judges, police officers and college professors.

I suspect that somebody would have said something by now, put a stop to the whole shebang and this would be a forum devoted only to the discussion of Canadian ice curling co-eds, including pictures of the same.

Alas, it isn't.

Sad

Quote:
What I would like to know are the legal implications of playing a 419scammer at his/her own game?


None, provided you don't break the laws of your region/country.

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bware419ers
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

First, welcome here and I'm glad you're enjoying! Read some more and take your time.

diamondgeezer wrote:
What concerns me though is the legality of offering to pay a 419scammer for doing something. Doesn't this constitute a contract?


I'm not an attorney, but have played one in baits. A contract between whom? My fake name and details or the lad's fake name and details? Can a contract be made between two fictitious entities? Can a contract be made on two fraudulent premises?

Also, for clarification, do you mean "pay(ing) a 419scammer" for sending a fund that doesn't exist?

An attorney or two should be through with a better reply soon. There may even be a metaphysicist or two on staff.

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Last edited by bware419ers on Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mugu_eater
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
Doesn't this constitute a contract?


Turn it around.
In that case i would target only rich lads and bring them to court.
So the answer is no.We not take any money do we?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:56 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

If the lad really does have that $7,900,000 over-invoiced contract payment which he has promised you, then you might have a contract.

Problem - the $7,900,00 is not real.

Second problem - no lad is ever going to contact any authorities (well, any non-fictitious authorities) to complain due to the fact that he is a scammer.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^^
I concur.

To answer the OP, formation of a contract differs depending on jurisdiction. But since the lad is promising you an entirely fictitious fund, any promise is void-the subject matter is, as the shysters say, illusory.

So no.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:34 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I posted my approach as a Baiter potentially making a verbal contract in UK here: https://forum.419eater.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2184517#2184517 It concerns the safari'ing Lads' taxi drivers. I apply the same principle to Safaris in other countries for ethical reasons, if not legal.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:19 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Welcome to Eater!

Nah, it's not a contract. Even if the criminal wanted to argue that it was he/she wouldn't have anywhere to bring a claim to court.

Every bait is different, and some things that we do are absolutely illegal. It depends on your jurisdiction. For example, some baiters live in states/countries where it is illegal to publish pronographic photos of an individual online without their consent so in those cases the baiters are violating the law if they post mugu nude selfies, even censored. In other jurisdictions there are no laws against it, so anything goes as long as it conforms to FORUM rules, which every new member should look over.

Don't stress too much over it. Read the forum rules and let common sense be your guide, and remember that at the end of the day the lads have no chance of ever seeing a court room where they are anything other than the defendant.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:18 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Lads have fictitious stories and money. We are fictitious people with fictitious money the lad wants to get. He goes after our fictitious money and we pretend to want his. He CHOOSES what he will do to get it.
It's all fantasy and fiction, just an online movie script, and the lad is the unknowing star of the show. There is nothing wrong or illegal about writing fiction, and no fictitious contract could ever be held as legal in any court in the World, except for maybe Wonderland and Narnia.

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Robert Heinrich der 1.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:18 am Reply with quoteBack to top

two other thing I try to avoid:

first, if you are not a citizen of the united states and ever plan to migrate over there, you should never have posed as a US-citizen (canada and other countries are fine). I don't know if that applies to obviously fictious characters, but that's something you should consider (although I think, that it just matters if you with your own RL-name act as a US-citizen, while you are not). (the only exception for me is playing , as I'm fluent in his type of accent).

and secondly: I don't pose as existing law enforcement-agencies, although I never ever heard of problems regarding this issue. and people played FBI-agents, CIA-agents, and so on. one of eaters most famous (and shortest) lads had extensive contact to the fake FBI and fake CIA (and fake hollywood).

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:15 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

To build on what the two attorney persons who got here ahead of me have already said:

Within the realm of a straight bait, there is no risk of forming a contract. We have a lad using a fake identity offering a non-existent box o'goodies to a baiter. No contract.

However, outside of straight-baiting, the area gets a little more gray. Asking a lad to send you something of value (money, gold dust, etc.) is called cash-baiting and could very well be construed as fraud, so we do not permit that here. End of story.

I could also make an argument that a contract may (unintentionally) be formed during an art bait, which is why such a bait needs to handled more carefully. Although I do agree that this point is likely moot since most lads wouldn't go anywhere near a real court or police officer, I would probably not recommend that any non-experienced baiters attempt such a bait.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

TheLoneHaranguer wrote:
wouldn't go anywhere near a real court or police officer


I can imagine the way the defence questioning would go when the lad took the stand.

"So Mr Scammer, how do you know Mr Baiter (AKA Dick Thruster)"

"He responded to an email that I sent him Sir"

"And this email you sent Mr Scammer, was it in your own name?"

"No, sir, I wrote it as President Obama from the USA"

"And are you actually Mr Obama?"

"No, sir"

"And what was the content of your email?"

"I asked him to help me get my trunkbox with $1 gazillion in it out of Syria, sir"

"and do you actually have a trunkbox in Syria Mr Scammer?"

"No, sir"

"So, you are then in fact, Mr Scammer, an Advance Fee Fraud scammer are you not?"

"No, sir I am not, and if you accuse me of that again, I will report you to the FBI and ask them to close your bank account".

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:48 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

But what if you play a "counter scam"?
I've recently read some of Shiver's baits where he performs the "Not interested but..." modalities. He offers the scammer a job and let him make a hand written copy of a Harry Potter book at $100 per page.
This looks like a contract to me. So not paying the scammer for the job is hilarious but maybe illegal

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:54 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^
Could be morally ambiguous, but the problem for lad legally speaking should still be that he is pretending to be someone else. A contract is a legally binding document between two people. If lad is playing Barrister John Smith without really being Barrister John Smith, then Barrister John Smith can't receive the payment promised for him for this work.

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diamondgeezer
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for the helpful replies above.

[1]
'In any contract, the key element is 'consideration' - something of tangible value exchanged between parties. Policy premiums in exchange for coverage, for example. When baiting, there is no consideration at all - baiters aren't going to pay the lad and the lad certainly isn't going to hand over that non-existent, gem-filled trunk box'.

But surely what the scambaiter offers *IS* a consideration. The fact that it does not exist does not make the contract invalid and will add to the problems caused to the scambaiter if the 419scammer decided to go to court to get his money - after all, large amounts are offered.
Admittedly there is a question of the jurisdiction as the parties are presumably) in two different countries, but this again could be settled by a court. I would imagine a 419scammer being scammed by an English person would opt for an English court. As I say, large amounts of money are sometimes offered in the scams listed here.

[2]
'it's somehow like the drug-dealer, who goes to the police because someone stole his dope. the police will become quite interested in his business'.

Yes, but a 419scam is often eclipsed by the new scam introduced by the scambaiter. It would be this scam that wouild be judged in a court. Sure, the scammer's criminal antics would certainly be taken into account (although I am sure it would not be possible to establish a history of scamming but only the current one that led to the scambaiter's response).
Surely if the scambaiter says 'I will give you $100,000 if you do x', and the scammer accepts this offer (and a contract is this effected?) and then does x, the scambaiter is surely thus obliged to fulfil his part of the contract?

The question of both parties using 'false names' is also relevant but another name is not necessarily a 'false' name (the word is loaded to denote dishonesty). Consider all the actors who use different (not 'false') names.
Business people also use different names, e.g., they wish to anglicize themselves. Also the 419scammer could be using his real name or argue the name he used in the email is simply a name that he prefers to use.
If he lives in a corrupt country, he might be able to go to a crooked lawyer and get an affidavit showing a change of name to what he used in the email, which is backdated to before he sent his first email to the scambaiter.
I take the point about the ludicrous names used, but this is not always the case and again, a court case brought about by the 419 scammer would be centered on the scambaiter's claims (and the names used!).

[3]
What concerns me though is the legality of offering to pay a 419scammer for doing something. Doesn't this constitute a contract?
Also, for clarification, do you mean "pay(ing) a 419scammer" for sending a fund that doesn't exist?


I mean that if I say to a scammer 'I will pay you $10,000 for making a recording of you singing all of the songs that Cilla Black sang that reached the top 50 in the UK' and he accepts this offer, a contract is effected and when he sends me MP3s of all these songs, he has fulfilled his obligationsd to a binding contract.

[4]
If a 419scamnmer is told he will get $10,000 if he joins the Hackney Plumbers' Guild which the scambaiter claims necessitates having a large tattoo of a low-level loo on his chest, What if he went ahead and was poisoned by the tattoo? It could - and would - of course be argued that it was entirely his choice and he should have first thoroughly checked the hygiene of the tattooist, but considering the lowlife that 419scammers are, a good sob story could no doubt be created by them for the Media (e.g., he did this to feed his starving family or look after his severely disabled amputee blind/deaf/senile granny). And of course when it was established the Guild or tattoo claims are both entirely fiction, then I wonder where this could or would lead?

I personally think scammers (and come to that, spammers also) are the lowest form of life and deserve everything that can be thrown at them (sadly, their use of the internet is currently heavily weighed in their favour). However, on reading some of the scam letters sent to 419scammers, I was concerned at whether baiters ever make themselves vulnerable. After all, 419scammers are 100% amoral and will take victims for every penny if given the chance.

With scambaiters in the legal profession, I would be intrigued to hear
their views on the above.

Regards

D
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bware419ers
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

diamondgeezer wrote:
With scambaiters in the legal profession, I would be intrigued to hear
their views on the above.


Three have already chimed in with their opinions. For their privacy, I won't list which members are barristers, shysters, attorneys, or lawyers, but they find your argument fatally flawed.

A point of clarification: we do not like to be referred to as "scamming the scammer." We bait and do not receive money from them. That would be illegal.

I'll let someone else address the other issues in the argument, but a lad won't be taking a baiter to court. As posted above, how is he going to explain his initial contact with the baiter?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

diamondgeezer wrote:
Also the 419scammer could be using his real name or argue the name he used in the email is simply a name that he prefers to use. If he lives in a corrupt country, he might be able to go to a crooked lawyer and get an affidavit showing a change of name to what he used in the email, which is backdated to before he sent his first email to the scambaiter.


And if horses had wings, they could fly. I.e. this no longer deals with the question of whether what baiters do is legal or not but stretches too far into what-ifs to be relevant for the topic.


Quote:
If a 419scamnmer is told he will get $10,000 if he joins the Hackney Plumbers' Guild which the scambaiter claims necessitates having a large tattoo of a low-level loo on his chest, What if he went ahead and was poisoned by the tattoo?


Then I think he should take it to the tattooist. He/she would be entirely the responsible party for poisoning the customer.


Quote:
a good sob story could no doubt be created by them for the Media (e.g., he did this to feed his starving family or look after his severely disabled amputee blind/deaf/senile granny).


Again, if horses had wings...
The media will create sob stories regardless if they are so inclined. That's what the media does.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
a 419scam is often eclipsed by the new scam introduced by the scambaiter. It would be this scam that wouild be judged in a court.


We could spend hours (or months...) parsing the endless "what ifs" of contract law but the fundamental truth is that no scammer will EVER try to take a baiter to court for non-payment, tattoo infection, or whatever. Trying to argue the minutiae of something so wildly improbable is really a waste of time.

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bware419ers
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:55 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^said an original signer of the U.S. Constitution.

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TheLoneHaranguer
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:05 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

In general, a good rule of thumb for baiting (as with most other activities) is "If you're not comfortable with something, don't do it."

You don't want to ask a lad to permanently mutilate his body by getting a tattoo? Don't do it.

You think it's sacrilegious to set up a fake church and play a fake priest? Don't do it.

You think it's wrong to ask a lad to put an apple on his head and take a picture of him holding a sign? Don't do it.

You think you might get in trouble by playing along with a lad who is offering to give you a bundle o'cash in exchange for the payment of a very small courier fee? Don't do it.

We are all doing this on a volunteer basis and, aside from a very few restrictions (all of which have been put in place for our safety), we are given a great deal of leeway to do our own thing. As long as we don't fall afoul of those restrictions, it's really up to us as to how far we want to take our baits.

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Father Moleman
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:13 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

TheLoneHaranguer wrote:
You think it's sacrilegious to set up a fake church and play a fake priest? Don't do it..
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Big Al
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:21 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The only thing I can think of would be if there is a law against "Catfishing" in your jurisdiction. Technically we use Catfish tactics to achieve our goals.

To me Catfishing is the use of all false information to achieve the goal of deceiving someone into believing that you are a real and legitimate person.

Personally, if there was a law against it in my jurisdiction I would Bait anyway believing that not a good person in the world would send me to jail for helping countless victims avoid internet scams.

(yup, another two cents please)
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Fryer
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:43 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

What a fun thread:


Tsnerd wrote:
and this would be a forum devoted only to the discussion of Canadian ice curling co-eds, including pictures of the same.

Where's the "join now" button?


Capone wrote:
any promise is void-the subject matter is, as the shysters say, illusory.

God I love it when Pugs speak legalize!


B8er wrote:
"No, sir I am not, and if you accuse me of that again, I will report you to the <b>FIB</b> and ask them to close your bank account".

FTFY

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Robert Heinrich der 1.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:48 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

just as a note, because I reread the first posting:

usually baits don't run like this: "lad demands money, baiter offers money for something else to do, lad agrees" but "lad demands money, baiter has an excuse why that is not possible and tries to find a solution for it... which requires the lad to do something tedious".

for example a typical element of baiting: the baiter tells the lad, that he can send the requested money, but the transmitting agent has some forms to fill out. and bam, he is working. it is a bit time consuming and printing and scanning costs money, but it's the first step for something larger, because the lad now invested something into his modality.

the same thing goes for other modalities. for example: you are wealthy and excentric, and yet frustrated because the deal you were working on together with the lad didn't work out (money got frozen by some authority, or chopped by other lads), so you decided to visit him by plane. for lads, that is like christmas and easter together. oh, your plane had to land in accra instead of lagos. and now your lad is on tour to acrra because he knows very well that you don't want to stay there too long and that others might steal that money. if necessary, lads can be really quick at going to foreign places, the connections between accra and lagos are quite good, yet there are three international borders, and they all like to have some sort of bribe.

regarding tattoos: they are usually the cherry on the icing on the cake. lads need to be convinced that it is an important step. they do know that tattoos are permanent and connected to health risks (and sometimes they find out that it is a ridiculous idea to go to the tattoo scratcher... there are pictures on eater of tattoos which were infected or went horribly wrong).

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