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 Is scamming immoral?

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Pepsi
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 6:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

In many of the scam mail we recieve, there is no doubt that you are asked to pass on as another person in the attempt to cheat someone.
The mails do say that you tell the bank that you are the next of kin?
Then the 'victim' gets cheated himself while thinking he is cheating someone else.
Honest people will just throw these mail into the bin and dont loose any money on it.
My question is: Who is the crook here? The mugu or the crooked 'victim'?
According to the press articles here in Norway these cases are not reported because the money lost is mostly black money meaning untaxed cash that is hidden away outside the banks.
Is'nt the victim also a mugu for going along with the scam?
Why not bait these 'victims' too?

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Scam Patroller
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 6:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Immoral, whatever Shocked Rolling Eyes

The example you give is what scammers use to justify their scams, whilst their are scam mails like that, there are so many others that do not reply on victims greed, they prey on people in charity scams, scams involving cancer, children, elderley etc, those scams rely on people doing it out of the goodness of their hearts with NO greed involved.

We DON'T bait victims, the scammers are the problem, THEY send out their shit mails in the first place!

Scammers are scum, end of story.

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scamphisher
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 6:50 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
Why not bait these 'victims' too?


I, generally, don't like to kick people who are already lying on the ground

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Pepsi
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I can tell you of something that happened to me. My house was burgled about 14 years ago. Due to police blunder, I did not get any payment from my insurance company. I did my own investigations and found out who had done it.
The next few months were used on trailing this couple on and off and some family members of them.
One day I saw their car parked at the long term parking space at the airport and found out that the car had been there for 3 days and woul be fetched in 11 days.
I posted my ATM card to a friend 900 km away instructing him to take out small amounts everyday.
I broke into the house and retrieved some of my tools. I burnt up in the fireplace all the family pictures hanging on the wall. I collected all albums and valuable papers I could find and did the same. I found some money and jewels.
Same evening I broke into the service car of a plumber and picked up my toolbox and all his tools and the stereo in the car
I never managed to recover my loss but I can tell you that The satisfaction was unbelievable.
Who is immoral here?

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Chill
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:14 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
Is scamming immoral?


Yes

Quote:
Why not bait these 'victims' too?


How exactly would you bait them? Send a 419 mail to them? Wouldn't we have to bait you then? WTF Shocked Many people fall for these scams for a variety of different reasons, some for greed certainly, but in many cases this is not the primary motivation. It often depends on the type of scam. However these are one time victims, not professional criminals. Their uptake of a scam is not the same as living by scamming others. The difference should be so clear I am not sure why I am even answering this. Rolling Eyes

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Far_Cry
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well, I think you are! What if you got the wrong person? And still, a family picture is worth more than any toolbox in the world! What you did has something to do with ethics and I don't think it is right to take revenge like that. That IS immoral.

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kanshi_ng
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:21 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Pepsi,

The victims are NOT the problem. Even if what they're joining in with is illegal, it wouldn't be an issue if there were no scammers.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:24 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

How long have you been here Pepsi? Why are you asking such questions? Are you in any doubt about why we do what we do? What point are you trying to make?

Quote:
scam, Slang - n.
[+] A fraudulent business scheme; a swindle.
tr.v. scammed, scam·ming, scams
[+] To defraud; swindle.


It's illegal (for starters) and completely immoral. But ask a scammer the same question and you'll get a completely different answer.
Scam Patroller
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:30 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^^^ Spot on, ask any scammer why he scams, they even use a script for that answer because they all they say the same thing, usual bullshit about getting back at the west for raping their country of it's resources blah blah blah, it's all the white man's fault why they are in their current situation.

So why do they scam other African nationals then? Go on, answer that one? Not to mention Indians, Pakistanis, Chinese, Turkish etc etc, well it's blindingly obvious, it has nothing to do with the reasons they give for doing it, the only reason is that they are thieving scumbags who will scam ANY person regardless of age, religion, race, creed or any other name you care to apply.

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Last edited by Scam Patroller on Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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sillietillie
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:32 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

We're getting to the question of does one wrong justify another wrong. I won't put my personal value system on you, I'll just explain what I do.

1- Waste their time. This is my main priority. Now, if they spend money trying to drag me down that is their problem but I don't attempt to get money from them. I have caused several to make trips around Nigeria and even cross the border and cross Benin to "pick me up in Togo". I've managed to make them waste time getting photo's, creating documents, filling out forms, etc.

I don't worry about their victims because the greedy ones will continue to lose whatever they have chasing "get rich schemes" the rest of their lives. The guillable ones have my sympathy because they will lose what they have through bad decisions also.
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Old Coaster
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:38 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Pepsi What I want to know is why you felt obliged to post this here. Do you feel guilty, or do you want us to tell you how clever you are?

If you really did this, then that is a matter for your own conscience. Two wrongs do not make a right. I just hope you got the right person.

What I would say is that most of us have little respect for the greedy lying victims you describe, but we have even less respect for the scammers and rule 2 of scambaiting is that "the scammer shall not profit from his activities." That is why we interfere whenever possible.

OC

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bond-007
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@Pepsi
Did you ever hear anything from the police after your adventure? Did you need your alibi afterwards?
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Captain Igloo
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:56 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

OC: I thinks that's straight to the point.

And to answer the topic-question: yes scamming is immoral, especially if it involves tempting other people to do illegal things too.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 8:01 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

As pointed out above, many of the scam letters are not ones involving illegal/immoral activity. There are fake charities, fake lotteries, reverse 419 scams, and many others.

I've noticed that most of the "gray area" letters, like next of kin formats, have a notice in the introductory mail. They usually say something to the effect of, "This is a completely legitimate transaction. It will be carried out legally, and you will be protected from any breach of the law."

I see a disclaimer like that and laugh, thinking anything that needs to say that must be legitimate Rolling Eyes . However, somebody who is gullible enough to fall for the scam in the first place will probably be greatly reassured by it. That potential victim will think, "He says it's legal, so I won't be breaking the law. There is no next of kin, so I won't be hurting anybody. This sounds good."

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 8:08 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

O.k., in my eyes, it's not the question, if scamming is immoral. Scamming others means to lie only for ones own advantage regardless of others. Thats immoral, isn't it? That's why we're doing what we're doing, right?
Now the question is: is going along with the scam as immoral and should you also do something against this?
Tell me why you should bait them. If you think, it is immoral... don't care at all, cause the scammers will provide enough "punishment".
If you think, scamming and going along with a scam, it's both immoral... than just do nothing.
But in my opinion, it's not the victim, thats immoral - for all the reasons the others said.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 8:14 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Pepsi wrote:
The next few months were used on trailing this couple on and off and some family members of them.
That's called stalking, and I believe it's illegal in many countries.
Pepsi wrote:
I posted my ATM card to a friend 900 km away instructing him to take out small amounts everyday.
That's deception. Could be rendered illegal depending on the circumstances I think.
Pepsi wrote:
I broke into the house and retrieved some of my tools. I burnt up in the fireplace all the family pictures hanging on the wall. I collected all albums and valuable papers I could find and did the same. I found some money and jewels.

You committed a criminal act out of vengence. Destruction of private property is a malicious and quite horrific act.
Pepsi wrote:
Same evening I broke into the service car of a plumber and picked up my toolbox and all his tools and the stereo in the car.
You committed another illegal act.
Pepsi wrote:
The satisfaction was unbelievable.
You enjoyed it.
Quote:
Who is immoral here?
YOU ARE.
Pepsi
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 8:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
As pointed out above, many of the scam letters are not ones involving illegal/immoral activity. There are fake charities, fake lotteries, reverse 419 scams, and many others.


The early scam letters were the classic 419-letters, asking victims to pose as next of kins. Mr Johnson should have known that he is abetting fraud when asked to pose as Mr Hansen. The charity scams I think came later. I started to get them only late last year.
The mugu who tries to cheat by sending fake cheques for laptops is clearly trying to cheat an innocent party. This is a genuine victim of fraud as he is just trying to sell his laptop in good faith and even sending some money back to the scammers because the cheque was written for a higher sum. An innocent victim.
I dont think that many of these victims pay their money after taking them out from his account. He has them stashed somewhere, money that is not taxed.
At least this was the case of a Norwegian businessman found dead in south Africa 2 years ago.

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The Cheshire Cat
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 8:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The last time this old topic got dug up and paraded around I went away and did some research and thinking. I also spoke to someone trained in Christian ethics. The conclusion I came to is that scambainting is NOT immoral.

Morally speaking (and under normal circumstances) you have an obligation to the truth to your spouse & kids, your employer, your minister (religious not political), the police and courts etc. You do NOT have an obligation to the truth to someone who sends you a letter soliciting your assistance and claiming to be someone who you are certain they are not.

Therefore replying as someone else and pretending to be interested is not morally wrong. Furthermore, there are added benefits to the moral goods of justice and charity when you waste their time and make them suspicious of everyone who replies to them so they can't hurt others, and (the ultimate trophy - kudos to those who have achieved it and those who are working towards it) get them arrested.

The strong must protect the weak. Those with knowledge must use it for the good of those who are ignorant and foolish. Definitely not Darwinism but certainly not inconsistent with good Christian ethics and morality.

Kat
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Pepsi
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 8:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This businessman had already paid out some hundred thousands of dollars.
He went on a business trip with more money. He lied to his wife and family. He lied to his employees and friends. His family did not react at all to a caucasuian man, most probably scandinavian, found dead in a ditch in South Africa. This because nobody knew he was travelling to South africa and he was reported missing.
Was he doing all this in an honest business transaction?
I must also say that I am not trying to justify scamming in any way but just asking some questions.

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Osborne Fruman Hess
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 9:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The Cheshire Cat wrote:
The conclusion I came to is that scambainting is NOT immoral.


I think the question here is if scamming is immoral, not scambaiting...

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 9:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

To say that the victims of scammers are somehow responsible for being scammed because of their greed is akin to saying rape victims are responsible for their rape because she was a prostitute or wearing revealing clothing or walking in a dark place alone. The scammer is the guilty one. He is the one knowingly forcing himself on the victim using e-mails and tactics designed to lead the victim into financial loss. If the scammer did not send out that first e-mail, there would be no fraud.

As to whether baiting is moral, it most certainly is. We know that scamming is a multi-million dollar industry, we know that innocent victims are being taken each and every day we know that, with one notable exception, police forces worldwide do next to nothing to protect victims of scamming. So we do what we are entitled to do in those circumstances, we protect ourselves. Scambaiting is, IMO, self defence against these criminals. It is not vigilanteism, as I have seen some police sources claiming. Vigilante acts are those where the due process of law is ignored by a mob, scambaiting, at least in this community as anyone here found breaking laws would soon be removed, goes no further than wasting the time and resources of criminals in the hope that they will be unable to target innocent victims. This is self defence, totally moral and acceptable.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 9:37 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Osborne Fruman Hess wrote:
I think the question here is if scamming is immoral, not scambaiting...

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 9:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Some of the 419 mails I get say that the money would go to help dishonest governments do bad things, thus taking the funds is part of the greater good.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 9:50 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I should have posted my red flag earlier when I had the chance.
Pepsi
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 10:02 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This might seem like which came first. the chicken or the egg. Lets look at the junkies who have to steal and rob to maintain their costly habit. Without buyer they wont be able to sell the stolen goods and without dealers they wont need to steal because there is no heroin. An evil circle but in my opinion all 3 are equally guilty

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