E-Vigilantes Punk Scammers, Just for the Fun of It

Baiters delight in wasting crooks' time
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2009 8:20 AM CDT
Scam baiters are vigilante enforcers who come together to waste 419 scammers' lives for nothing more than the satisfaction of knowing that they are distracting them from real victims.   (Shutter Stock)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Bait scammers are turning predators into prey, Ars Technica reports. “419 scammers” are crooks who demand upfront payment in return for money or services they never provide, but vigilantes are turning the tables by sending them on wild safaris or furtively coaching them into foolish practices—some spending as much as 10 hours daily on the schemes. Scammers have been:

  • Praised for devising shoddy-looking passports.
  • Tricked into loitering at an airport with a black backpack clutched to his chest—arousing the suspicions of security.
  • Hoodwinked into traveling to Darfur to pick up a nonexistent $500,000.
“Every minute the scammer I'm communicating with is spending on me is a minute he is not scamming a real potential victim,” reasoned one baiter.