Revenge is a dish best served electronically, Ron Rosenbaum reports in an Atlantic expose on scam-baiting. A community of e-vigilantes has developed elaborate schemes to thwart the ruses of fake Nigerian princes with equally creative faux dupes. Scammers are punished by coaxing them into laborious and embarrassing tasks, like holding humiliating signs or copying out entire novels.
Rosenbaum discusses the moral implications of a virtual eye for an eye: What was once "rough justice" has become "a theater of cruelty." He ponders, "Are we getting a new, somewhat bleaker vision of human nature as we’re freed from . . . face-to-face contact?" One anti-scammer site boasts a membership of 20,000.