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 Did baiting really put a dent in 419?

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Shadow
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 8:51 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm new to this world, and it surely sounds like baiting is a lot of fun for most of you, but does it really help the cause?

From what stats I was able to gather browsing this and other 419 related websites, there are like 500 000 scamming lads out there by the very least estimation; and like maybe 5 000 active baiters max (likely much less than that). So the question is, does baiting really put a dent in 419 scam or is it just scratching the surface?

Also I wonder why almost all of them are using internet cafes? Is it for security or for some other reasons?

And the last question. Wouldn't you guys be very upset if all of your lads suddenly get arrested and none of them are out there anymore to have fun with? Very Happy
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kleindoofy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 8:54 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Shadow wrote:
... does it really help the cause?...


This was discussed a few days ago:

http://forum.419eater.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=97869

Shadow wrote:
... why almost all of them are using internet cafes? ...


Private computers at home aren't the rule in Nigeria.
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viereinsneun
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Shadow wrote:

And the last question. Wouldn't you guys be very upset if all of your lads suddenly get arrested and none of them are out there anymore to have fun with? Very Happy


I'll answer that - NO!
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persephone
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Shadow, welcome to Eater. Would I be upset if all my lads got arrested and I had to get a real social life? Hm, nice thought: all my lads arrested. I sure would miss baiting, but a world without scammers and therefore without 419 victims would be perfect. However, if you see how many scammers there are estimated, I don't think I need to find a new hobby any time soon Crying or Very sad

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Standard Procedure
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:11 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Shadow,

I think we can say that every lad has been baited in some way or another. It doesn't put a dent, but it brings a bit of discouragement and psychological fear to the scammer.

Shadow wrote:
Also I wonder why almost all of them are using internet cafes? Is it for security or for some other reasons?

It's not so much safety as it is the fact that the ones recruited to scambait don't have a computer of their own.

Shadow wrote:
And the last question. Wouldn't you guys be very upset if all of your lads suddenly get arrested and none of them are out there anymore to have fun with? Very Happy

Not really. This is something that I spend little time doing, since I usually send off a one word response and get an essay back from them. Also, if they are arrested and gone, that means that the internet can become a safer place Very Happy

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Scam Patroller
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Another reason lads don't like using computers at home, is that whilst internet cafe computers can be traced, there is little proof of who actually sent the scam email, on the other hand, if they scammed from home, the police and other agencies would have a damn good idea who was scamming by tracing the IP to his home.

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Shadow
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 2:03 am Reply with quoteBack to top

kleindoofy wrote:
This was discussed a few days ago:

http://forum.419eater.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=97869



Thanks for the link, interesting read. I agree with the idea of baiters being a "gadfly" or a "random factor" that upsets the balance; I'm just not sure if there are enough baiters around to really upset the balance.

Scammers outnumber baiters at least 1:100, will 1% probability to stumble upon a baiter be enough to change something in lads' patterns of behavior? For example, them start dropping real victims when asked for some kind of photo as one of the sticky threads suggests.

Also, I wonder what tactic is more advantageous - keeping lads unaware of baiters as a well organized group, or to the contrary after every successful bait letting them know they were baited. As long as lads are unaware of the extent of their problem, they might be an easier target to bait. But, since there's not enough baiters to really exhaust scammers logistically as suggested in plan A, maybe it's time to pull plan B and exaggerate their problem with baiters? Make them nervous, uneasy, let the horror stories about lads being lost in places like Darfour because of them evil jokers circulate among scammers, add 100K more members to members counter of this board and let them be horrified etc; wouldn't that have more impact on the whole thing rather than keeping lurking in the dark?
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remu
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 2:11 am Reply with quoteBack to top

On small scales, yes, we can make lads drop real victims. One easily noticable effect is there are now lads out there who will refuse to talk to anyone who uses a gmail address now because so many baiters use gmail.

It's just a small thing, but every little bit helps.

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DrWho
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 2:15 am Reply with quoteBack to top

If they know they were baited, they would be able to formulate how to recognize one and make their life easier. By not knowing they can not make a connection and change their tactics.

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Stealth
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 2:16 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Don't forget that what people learn as baiters can be used to educate lots of potential victims. In my workplace people come to me for advice, they pass that advice to family members and so on and so on. Every little bit helps.
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Shadow
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 2:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Standard Procedure wrote:
I think we can say that every lad has been baited in some way or another. It doesn't put a dent, but it brings a bit of discouragement and psychological fear to the scammer.


From what numbers I was able to find so far your statement seems like an overestimation, but since all stats on the whole thing are rather unreliable, I'd rather agree with you that at least a good fraction of lads (anywhere from 30 to 100 percents) was baited in one way or the other. Which brings in the question I've already asked above - most baits end up in lads being unaware they were baited, and they most likely think it was an occasional joker(s). Wouldn't "discouragement and psychological fear to the scammer" be much worse if he knows he's facing an organized resistance, not just occasional jokes?
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MotherFelix
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 2:22 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Dont underestimate their greed.

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Shadow
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 2:27 am Reply with quoteBack to top

remu wrote:
On small scales, yes, we can make lads drop real victims. One easily noticable effect is there are now lads out there who will refuse to talk to anyone who uses a gmail address now because so many baiters use gmail.

It's just a small thing, but every little bit helps.


Well, it that's really the case, I'd not say that it is just a little bit of help. Aside from several thousands (probably) baiters, there are millions or dozens of millions of other people using gmail who never heard of neither baiters nor 419 scammers, if they're not in the list of potential victims anymore that is indeed a big and noticable effect.
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Norma Sardon
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 2:32 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Shadow

Go to your local boozer. Drink about eight pints. Shoot your mouth off and have a real fight. Come back when you're a bit witty.

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Shadow
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 2:50 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Stealth wrote:
Don't forget that what people learn as baiters can be used to educate lots of potential victims. In my workplace people come to me for advice, they pass that advice to family members and so on and so on. Every little bit helps.


I agree with that.

I also noticed that baiter stories serve much better to the educational purpose rather than usual "no it's not real" kind of answer. I'm considered most internet savvy among my friends and relatives and have been answering their questions "is this real" left and right for ages only to get the same question again when they see some scam that is new to them "they said I won in a lottery, is this real?".

After I told them several of the most interesting baits I found here they seem to finally grasp the concept fully - "anything that seems lucrative and comes from a person unknown to you is a scam".
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DrWho
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 2:54 am Reply with quoteBack to top

@Norma
So far this has been a reasonable discussion. Don't start going off track.

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Nurse Nasty
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:18 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Shadow, we wish there was some quick and easy fix to this problem. We do what we can with the resources and skills we have at hand.

Do we make a dent? Yes.

Will we ever stop it? No.

Once greed and ego has been eliminated from human nature I'm sure all other crimes, along with this one, will disappear.

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Shadow
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:20 am Reply with quoteBack to top

DrWho wrote:
If they know they were baited, they would be able to formulate how to recognize one and make their life easier. By not knowing they can not make a connection and change their tactics.


But wouldn't having to go through "baiter or not" check make their lives more difficult actually? It's not that easy to tell real victim from baiter I think. More security always means more costs, at least in the terms of time spent scrutinizing their contacts more carefully. If knowledge of baiters is widespread among lads, all of them will have to go through additional checks, not only those who have been seriously baited. This matches the original concept of exhausting scammers logistically. And probably many real victims will not pass this test.
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DrWho
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:41 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I believe what you say is already being accomplished. "Baiter or not" checks will only make it easier.

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Shadow
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Nurse Nasty wrote:
Shadow, we wish there was some quick and easy fix to this problem. We do what we can with the resources and skills we have at hand.


I perfectly understand that, and I sure never meant to sound like a smartarse who just wondered in there but already knows everything better than everybody (which I probably sounded like judging by reaction of some regulars here).

I just wanted to talk about strategy and tactics of baiting because that is what's most interesting to me in the whole thing. Meaning, how to achieve more with the same resources. For example what I offered to discuss - letting lads know they were baited - does not require any more resources than already available, but probably will lead to better results.
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DrWho
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:58 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
probably will lead to better results.
We don't believe it will. Many psychological studies have soon that random, uncertain reward patterns will teach a subject the desired response faster than knowledge of consistent results. Psychology 101. Unless that has changed since I was in school.

For example, not implying anything, just for discussion.
We are unsure of your point in this and your goal. We therefore have to react as though you are serious and honest. Wasting our time reacting to you. If we knew most people from your IP address were trolls, we could just test you quickly and either decide you are a troll and ban you or continue. End of story. Very little time wasted. Our job would be much easier. It would be no difference for the scammers.

The gmail example demonstrates the same thing.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:59 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The discussion is academic. Whilst there are people with money others will try and take it. For every lad we stop, another pops up. If they were all arrested and 419 stopped?
We'd bait each other. It's in the blood.

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Shadow
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:05 am Reply with quoteBack to top

DrWho wrote:
We don't believe it will. Many psychological studies have soon that random, uncertain reward patterns will teach a subject the desired response faster than knowledge of consistent results. Psychology 101. Unless that has changed since I was in school.


Hm... "Uncertain" reward meaning of uncertain origin, or of certain origin but uncertain in terms of delivery? Or both? I'm a bit confused as to what will teach lads the desired response (i.e. stop scamming and get legit jobs) better according to those studies Smile

Or can you post a link to some of those studies? I'll look for myself. Common logic tells me that that will work only under certain conditions, and will not under another set of circumstances. For example, I think the more certain is the "reward pattern" for a criminal, the less likely he will be to commit a crime (though probably that is the standard argument of those who do not know much about psychology Smile).

Quote:
For example, not implying anything, just for discussion.
We are unsure of your point in this and your goal. We therefore have to react as though you are serious and honest. Wasting our time reacting to you. If we knew most people from your IP address were trolls, we could just test you quickly and either decide you are a troll and ban you or continue. End of story. Very little time wasted. Our job would be much easier. It would be no difference for the scammers.

The gmail example demonstrates the same thing.


Let's say 10 or 20% of newcomers to this board are from the same IP as me. What will have stronger impact on your logistics - wasting a time on one occasional troll (only 1% of newcomers are trolls), or having to do though maybe a quick but absolutely necessary check on all newcomers from this IP?

Now what if trolls confused you and started using random IPs and you do not know anymore where to expect them from? You'll have to do a "troll or not" check on 100% of newcomers, while trolls are still only 1% of them. If you waste say 3 hours monthly on trolls, but have to spend 6 hours/month on "troll or not" checks, knowledge about trolls will have more devastating effect on your logistics.

For example, If all lads had to spend 30 mins a day reading this board to see what fresh baits are going on, that alone will reduce scam by 5% (if they work 10 hours/day, which I doubt they do). If currently, when majority of lads are unaware of baiters (even those who were baited do not with rare exceptions know what hit them), baiters reduce scam by 1% (hardly more than that), going from 1 to 5% of scam reduction will be worth a subtle change in tactic. Or maybe even mass mailing all of the baiting sites URLs to lads. Reading them will surely consume much of lad's time.
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Tsnerd
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:42 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Interesting thread.

Educating lads doesn't accomplish anything other than make them wiser to the tactics we use- that leads to them dumping a baiter quicker, which leaves the lad with more time to screw with a real victim.

Basically, telling a lad that he's been baited is the internet equivilant of sticking your fingers in your ears, wiggling them, and saying, "Nanny, nanny, poo-poo head!"

There isn't any need for the mod team to waste time digging through IP's- give a troll enough rope and it will do our job for us.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:49 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I don't care too much. I just like having a target on which to spew my hatred. LOL
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