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419 Scammer Gets Scammed

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the breast-friends dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 295

johnduffell writes "There's a lot of awareness of 419 scams at the moment, including a report from the BBC of a baiter who managed to get $80 and a birthday card by courier! He did this by convincing the scammer that he was in the Church of the Painted Breast and there's even a photo of the scammer with his breast painted! Presumably the scammers are hoping that the scammees are as stupid as they are."

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Two wrongs don't make a right! (5, Insightful)

beh (4759) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688141)

The question now is just, whether the stupid idiot on the other hand might
actually sue those who tricked him for having been scammed for US$80.

There is not much chance he would get anything out of this, as he
tried to scam people himself, nevertheless - it might keep the guy
here quite busy for a while (because he might STILL have to appear
in front of a court).

Now - THAT would be interesting to see... ;-)

Always remember - they might be on the "safe side", since THEIR
judicial system doesn't care too much about them. But on the other
hand, by tricking the 419 scammer out of his money, we are breaking
OUR laws (be that in the US, Europe, or wherever you are - and our
courts look very different on these issues!). Or - in simple
terms: Two wrongs don't make a right!

Also - in comparison, the guy in Nigeria is guilty of ATTEMPTED
fraud, whereas the guy who tricked him out of his US$80 is guilty
of ACTUAL fraud...

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for making sure that this whole 419
scam thing stops. But I don't think we should simply skip the
principles of our 'western world' while doing it!

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (5, Funny)

sH4RD (749216) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688185)

Tell that to the P-P-P-Powerbook scammer [p-p-p-powerbook.com] .

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688201)

It's better than bombing the shit out of them, and frankly I don't see another way to make it stop.

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (1)

SHEENmaster (581283) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688204)

Would the USA extradite to Nigeria over such a matter?

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (4, Insightful)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688249)

I rather doubt the US would extradite to Nigeria over anything

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (2, Interesting)

beh (4759) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688367)

It doesn't matter - the 419scamee would only need extradition if we was after recovering his US$80 (and possible damanges).

BUT - fraud is a punishable offence, and in this case it was committed IN a western country, and as such, it would probably be sufficient to tip off the local authorities (district attorney, or similar) about the scam. In countries like Switzerland or Germany (and I would suspect in most western countries) the district attorney would be OBLIGED to follow up on this, since it is a CRIMINAL offence.

The Nigerian might probably not even have to come to the US as a witness (but just bear witness at an embassy) if he would face prosecution himself!

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (2, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688665)

If this 'reverse' scam was pulled off in the US.....I'd hope they'd put ME on the jury. No way I'd vote this guy guilty. In the US, the jury box is still the one place that any common citizen is as powerful as the President of the US.....at least as I understand it.

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (1)

TastyWords (640141) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688684)

The scammee would have gotten more than $80 if it had been a "she" with a painted breast. I'm guessing the reason it was only $80 was because they were looking at a fuzzy picture and were only hoping it was a lady.

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (0)

OmniVector (569062) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688214)

oh pullllease. scamming these people should be a pastime.

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688503)

How on earth does an "oh pullllease" comment get a +1, Interesting mod?

There's no way they could really press charges. (4, Insightful)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688246)

If they ever knocked on the 419 eater's door, all he'd have to say is, "Listen, I know what it looks like on the website, but it's all photoshopped and fake. I emailed the guy, but he never sent the money. It's my cash, a picture the guy sent, and a photoshopped photo of the envelope."

They'd never get a conviction.

I AM NOT A LAWYER, but if the guy ever gets that knock, the only thing he should say is, "I want a lawyer," over and over again until he gets one.

You're correct, though: two wrongs don't make a right. There's no point in having a Criminal Justice system if we don't uphold our laws and lead by example. Rather than punish the scammer by ripping him off, he should have used the information he gathered to get charges pressed against him in Nigeria.

Re:There's no way they could really press charges. (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688275)

What about if the government of nigeria doesn't give two dry rat turds about dealing with their scammer population?

Re:There's no way they could really press charges. (1, Troll)

king-manic (409855) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688360)

What about if the government of nigeria doesn't give two dry rat turds about dealing with their scammer population?

They actually do, since they represent a percentage of the GNP (no exact figures but a non 0 value), they want them to rbign in as much foreign currency as possibel. So they make it hard to extradite, hard to track, and support them so long as the heat is low and it costs nothing.

Re:There's no way they could really press charges. (5, Informative)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688401)

Didn't they arrest 500 people last month for running these scams? Ah, yes, here's the link:

Scammers arrested. [news.com.au]

Re:There's no way they could really press charges. (1)

stm2 (141831) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688595)

I made myself called by one of them (just to make them waste money on Int'l calls). The funny of this was a background noise, that sounded like another operator making the same scam. So I think they even have a call center for 419 scam :)

Re:There's no way they could really press charges. (4, Funny)

WEFUNK (471506) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688490)

What about if the government of nigeria doesn't give two dry rat turds about dealing with their scammer population?

You've got a point. Especially considering that the Prince, Prime Minister, Sultanate, Head of State, Military Dictator, and Alien Overlord of Nigeria have each been killed, overthrown, or deposed in a series of bloody uprisings and coups that have apparently tied up millions and millions of that countries personal, palacial, and government assets in secret international banks! With such frequent turmoil I simply can't imagine the resulting state of their legal system...

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (1)

terraformer (617565) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688264)

Two wrongs don't make a right!
Oh yeah it does when you can get a guy to paint his breast, take a picture of it and send that along with a birthday card and $80 to you. Fraternities need to fuel their pledges up on cheap beer to come even close to this. The only one better I have heard of is the powerbook scam from a few months back.

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (3, Funny)

NoData (9132) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688285)

But, two wrongs do make a funny!

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688288)

Story of a successful scammer [419eater.com]

These people are worthless. They'll get no pity from me about being scammed.

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688324)

Why don't you pull your head out of your ass and laugh a little bit. It's funny.

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (3, Informative)

dcocos (128532) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688399)

A I learned from the book "50 Things You Aren't Supposed to Know" and the Fully Informed Jury Association. Juries, while using the law as a guide, they may choose not convict even though the person may be guilty by the letter and even the spirit of the law. Jury nullification would be well warrented. (Now the people mentioned in the article are British and I am not familiar with British law, though I believe this right was developed based on the model laid out in the Magna Carta.)

http://www.fija.org/

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (3, Insightful)

Phisbut (761268) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688410)

If the scammer decides to sue the scambait, he'd have to do it on US (or Europe) territory, therefore exposing himself to a counter-sue (probably for attempted fraud). Both for the original suit defense and for the counter-suit, the scambait's party could require some financial records of the scammer to be examined. Those examinations could reveal the actual fraud on thousands of victims, thus enabling a major class-action suit from all the victims against the original scammer...

I doubt the scammer will expose himself to that kind of risk...

But then again... IANAL...

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688450)

Two wrongs don't make a right!

You've obviously never seen any of the Chuck Norris flicks from the late 70's and early 80's...

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688471)

yeah, but three lefts do.

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (5, Interesting)

yog (19073) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688501)

But on the other hand, by tricking the 419 scammer out of his money, we are breaking OUR laws (be that in the US, Europe, or wherever you are...

That's fuzzy thinking.

What law did this fellow break, exactly? He asked someone to send him some money, they did, and he kept it. There was no legal, signed contract between them. There was no handshake or face-to-face meeting or phone call or anything. Just an unsolicited email requesting money that was answered with an equally unsolicited request for money.

If someone walks up to you on the street and says, "Please give me your bank account number so that I can share millions of dollars with you" and you say "OK, but it will cost you $80" and they hand you $80, have you stolen their money if you then don't share your bank account number with them, which they want for obviously nefarious purposes? I know of no law that covers this sort of behavior between two private individuals.

Morally speaking you have more of a point. The question is, is it immoral to steal from a thief, or rather in this case to trick a thief into giving you some of their ill-gotten gains? Questionable.

But three lefts do! (0, Offtopic)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688535)

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Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688541)

Two wrongs don't make a right, but sometimes two rights make a third right, and if you have three rights you've broken even and ended up in the same place you started. :-)

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688615)

Its not a scam if u scam a scammer. Thats totally legit to scam a scammer.

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right! (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688668)

I don;t think they'd sue. One of the issues is that these are usually headed by organized criminals, and I doubt that they would risk being charged with attempted fraud in a way which would require their financial records to be examined. Furthermore, since they use obvious subterfuge in their emails (fake identities, etc.) I think it would be pretty hard for them to gain any sort of sympathy from a jury.

In the end, I think that when you figure the risk involved to them and the cost even for small claims court, there is very little they could justify doing.

Come on, if you were in a crime syndicate, would YOU risk this sort of thing?

If they do, great :-) Maybe we can help make this problem go away by making a few arrests.

This is great! (-1, Redundant)

fildo (683072) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688153)

It just doesn't get any better than this! w00t!

simi-dupe? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688161)

This was on the page 419eater.com, which was linked by an artical about 419 scams step by step or something.

This is funny but, (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688162)

Isn't running a reverse scam like this one illegal? I mean, the nigerian scammer got what he deserved in every way, but isn't it kind of dangerous to do these kinds of reverse scams? I know the governments in the U.S. and UK might actually prosecute, which the nigerian scammers don't have to worry about from their govs.

Re:This is funny but, (-1, Offtopic)

Seth Finklestein (582901) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688237)

Frankly, I've never felt compelled to follow your so-called "laws." When Michael Sims took away my web site, he broke the law. I tried to call the cops, but they just laughed at me and refused to help. Cops, like jocks, are inherently prejudiced against their computer-literate superiors.

After Michael Sims wronged me, I made it up by wronging his car with a coathanger and a can of tuna. Was it legal? Hell, no. Was it justified? Yes.

Re:This is funny but, (0, Troll)

Seth Finklestein (582901) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688297)

Seth, you're a legend. Thank you for standing up to our fascist oppressors like Michael Sims.

Re:This is funny but, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688447)

forget to check the Post Anonymously box, asshat?

Re:This is funny but, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688678)

And it's not even the real Seth FINKELSTEIN either. Friggin' troll.

Who would pursue it? (2, Interesting)

phorm (591458) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688569)

Would the 419'er true and prosecute you for counterscamming? I think not.

It's the old "you can't con an honest man" (not entirely true, but often enough so). People will be hooked in on something that doesn't sound legit, but they're too greedy for sound big-bucks or quick-cash that they fall for it. When they get scammed, they don't go to the police because to do so would be basically admitting they were duped while trying to circumvent the law.

Of course, there are some notably stupid exceptions. I believe police once arrested a woman because she claimed she'd been sold sugar instead of cocaine. They arrested the dealer, and the woman (it was cocaine).

Where do I join? (4, Funny)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688167)

From the article:
If you're tempted, just remember Prince Joe who's still sending e-mails saying he's sticking to his promise and saying the daily prayer: "When all above seems a great test, Get on down with the Holy Red Breast."

w00t! Where do I join?

Membership (1)

mfh (56) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688270)

I want to join too. Maybe we should get a website together? It can be our very own -419 cult. :-)

"Now you have to drink this koolaid we're shipping to you and sing around a fire." (too subtle?)

Re:Membership (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688307)

joking:
You racist bastard! All black people don't like kooaid, ok?

Re:Membership (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688417)

Haha... the reference [religioustolerance.org] , in case you were wondering.

Re:Membership (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688639)

ya ya, I know.
I watched the movie Friday the other day though, and thought of when smokey was like "you people ain't never got 2 or anything. got koolaid but no sugar, cerial but no milk..."

I play the race card on EVERY hand. beat that.

Re:Where do I join? (4, Informative)

Gunfighter (1944) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688670)

You can join at the 419 Eater website [419eater.com] .

Little Old (2, Informative)

slashrogue (775436) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688172)

The story about the whole Church of the Painted Breast thing has been on 419eater.com for quite some time now. It's long, but certainly amusing.

Holy Church of Fish, Bread and Wine (2, Funny)

ajiva (156759) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688174)

Personally I like this one better:

http://www.419eater.com/html/kothapalli_rao.htm

Re:Holy Church of Fish, Bread and Wine (1)

Beolach (518512) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688613)

The best part -
Pastor Rao, I have had a request made to me by me brother-in-law. He is the owner of a very large chain of seafood suppliers. His company is called 419 Eater Seafood Supplies. You can see his site at www.419eater.co.uk. My brother was extremely impressed by the excellent work that you did with the sign and he wondered if you would be willing to make a similar sign for him to use for his company? He would like to use it as a flag outside his company headquarters.
Let's just tell him we know it's a 419 scam, think he'll get the clue?

You know... (2, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688178)

...the first time one of these smarmy nerds gets his ass handed to him by a pissed-off criminal, I'll definitely be feeling the urge to laugh a bit...

Re:You know... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688212)

...the first time one of these smarmy nerds gets his ass handed to him by a pissed-off criminal, I'll definitely be feeling the urge to laugh a bit...

From all the way over in Nigeria? Must have really long arms...?

Re:You know... (1)

gilgo_22 (460990) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688432)

What are the chances the scammer is not in Nigeria?

Re:You know... (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688438)

If you read the article and/or had ever read 419eater you'd know that this is an extensive international ring.

As it happens they have confederates in London and Mike can be assumed to be in England given that it's a BBC story. Holland is also a big center of the "Nigerian" scam. They can afford all of this because, I'm afraid, the scam actually works.

While the poor schlubs who actually work the scam in the initial phases are poor patsys the people actually working the scam are rich, powerful and often even Nigerian government and law enforcement officers, which is part of what makes prosecutions of the scammers a nonstarter in Nigeria.

KFG

Re:You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688227)

sorry i dont see much in the way of an international ass kicking.

and remember the criminals are just the same as the nerds in a lot of cases. they are not all huge buff guys with scares and tattoos. besides the person has a chance of picking on a nerd that also is a rabid gun enthusiast.

which i would find hilarious

Re:You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688571)

Keep in mind that these "people" are in most cases affiliated with international crime, drug and arms trafficking, prostitution, et c. It is not uncommon that they have affiliates in for example several European countries as well as have the financial means to travel most anywhere in the world to meet face to face with potential victims that they believe are worth the effort.

Re:You know... (1, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688269)

...the first time one of these smarmy nerds gets his ass handed to him by a pissed-off criminal, I'll definitely be feeling the urge to laugh a bit...

Firstly, the only way this will happen if said nerd went to the criminals country. Which would be incredibly stupid. Secondly, most of these scammers are of relativly modest means. they couldn't scrounge up the cash to get a visa and fly into the states to do anything, their also pretty dumb. They might be able to track down the person via email and ip look ups and so on, but generally their too dumb for that. Maybe 1 in 100 scamemr could do that. If they were wealthy enough, and smart enough to track them down, find them, they'd also be smart enough to realise ti'd be difficult to get away with it on us soil.

Customs: (5, Funny)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688357)

Customs Agent: Reason for entering the country?

Scammer: I'm here to beat the tar out of David Hyde Pierce of the Church of the Painted Breast, who stole $80 from me while I was trying to rip him off for $18,000.

Customs Agent: *puts on gloves* Step into this room, sir.

Vigilante... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688179)

Will we start seeing vigilante type people trying to get scammers?

Possible movie?
Death Wish 419 - The Face of Spam

Failure (5, Funny)

cloudkj (685320) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688186)

The scammer only got $80 and a birthday card? I've gotten Amazon.com gift certificates, iPods, $500 checks, and wedding invitations with my run of the good ol' church of Painted Breast scam!

Double ended Greed (3, Insightful)

Quirk (36086) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688191)

Greed is the common denominator whether it be the greed of the scamee or of the scamer. It goes way back to the old adage, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't. Couple greed to gulibility and you've got the wild west show that is the www.

Pit Nicking (4, Informative)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688332)

"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

Re:Double ended Greed (1)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688482)

right, it is true that most fraud scheme falls into the nature of human greed. however, although this is exploiting the bad side of human being, it doesn't meant that it should be done - it's just as if a server has a old copy of apache containg a root exploit you shouldn't make use of that...

btw... if it sounds too good to be true, it probably _is_.

Obligatory Letterman Quote (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688195)

"While you guys were down here talking, we were upstairs having hot buttered corn."

HeHe!

Finna keep ge'in paid (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688208)

Well, seeing how successful the 419 scammers are, I dont think $80 is really going to put a dent in their budget.

When they get counterscammed for a significant amount, let me know.

Re:Finna keep ge'in paid (1)

Unnngh! (731758) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688328)

Agreed...this has been done quite a bit. While it's impressive that they did get money out of the scammer, I'm assuming that lots of people do fall for these scams. If the only replies the scammers got were from other scammers, the scams would doubtfully continue.

Stupid.. (5, Funny)

SlashDread (38969) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688243)

"Presumably the scammers are hoping that the scammees are as stupid as they are."

Having met a decent slice of Human population, I can say that in fact that is the case.

"/Dread"

Re:Stupid.. (1)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688348)

quite often criminals are in fact geniuses - it is easy to kill, to batter or to make an assault, but to fraud, you need to be smart.

it is very simple logic, and from the rules of halves, that half of the people has less-than-average IQ and im sure that even if the 419eater.com crew try to fraud fellow citizens there would still be comparable success rate of being baited.....

As for nigerian scam... (1)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688252)

I always think that these sort of people should be punished for making use of people's greed. Granted, we all know that without the greedy evil mind of the mark they would never succeed and this would also serve as a good rule for natural selection, but then these kind of fraud should not be tolerated and should be terminated.

as for how we should terminate these people - the easiest thing to do is to do a ye olde IP class BAN, which imposes ban on all IP that send nigerian 419 scams through - it is true that this would hurt more people than it should, but then this is far nicer than declaring nigeria as 'terrorist' nation and battering them with bombs.

If we can make block list due to open relay, why can't we do the same for nigerian scam? they are readily identifiable even for computers and they are all from several country, if not one or two.

Re:As for nigerian scam... (1)

ROOK*CA (703602) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688322)

The problem with using IP blocking is that

A.) Most of these scammers utilize cyber cafes to do their dirty work (thus you'd be cutting off net access to people who aren't scammers).
B.) These scammers aren't exclusively in Nigeria, many specimens have been posted originating in various African and European countries.
C.) Who would administer the blocks ? I would imagine ISP's don't want to get into this game, nor would the regional registries.

Re:As for nigerian scam... (1)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688382)

right, but then
(A) if enough people get banned, they will be angry at those who are sending out nigerian spam - this is exactly how banning open relay works (open relay get banned, users complain, isp switch to closed mail service) and so on.
(B) deny their whole domains altogether, as reasoned in (A)
(C) or just do it as other block-lists, privately held.

Re:As for nigerian scam... (1)

man_ls (248470) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688575)

I wrote but never submitted an RFC for administering blocks....it was to be done at the backbone level, on the ordered authority of IANA or the IETF. (Explicitly *not* ICANN)

That way the traffic never gets out of their continent. If they want to cross oceans, they're going to be doing it over leased lines, and those lines can have blacklists applied.

One word (-1, Flamebait)

ad0gg (594412) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688272)

0wn3d!!!

Ah, he beat me to it. (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688276)

I have responded to the nigerian scams. Pretending to be a spy. I sighted specific locations and recent events that took place in the country. Never heard back from them.

Re:Ah, he beat me to it. (1)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688309)

it would be better if you noted down the bank account they are using and notify the bank that these accounts are being used for fraud.

this would help fellows that unfortunately falled into their trap.

Re:Ah, he beat me to it. (1)

southpolesammy (150094) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688492)

What needs to be done is a concerted effort with the US Treasury to create $100 bills with RFID tags inserted into them, and tell the 419'ers that you will pay in cash only. After the transaction is complete, literally follow the money trail. Should uncover a huge amount of the crime underworld that way.

Re:Ah, he beat me to it. (1)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688521)

heh, standard /. joke? :p

i personally think that it's usually not worth it to get to the touch. If it were for tracking, a neurotoxin-impregnated fake $100 bill that costs around $1 would do better.

You may say i'm overaggressive, but that's the way people should do towards these scammers, who targets people's savings - these may be life or dead stuff...

Re:Ah, he beat me to it. (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688545)

What needs to be done is a concerted effort with the US Treasury to create $100 bills with RFID tags inserted into them, and tell the 419'ers that you will pay in cash only. After the transaction is complete, literally follow the money trail. Should uncover a huge amount of the crime underworld that way.

You would more then likly only find some dumb nigerian colledge student who's scamming his way to tuition or a small time crime ring consiting of 4 guys and their computer savy brother(ie he can turn it on and type). RFID tags are also short range so you are going to have to run around Africa with a reciever. Betetr idea, Don't give any info, or money and waste as much of their tiem as possible.

It's a reverse scam, but not for personal gain (5, Interesting)

cryptor3 (572787) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688336)

Several commenters have expressed concern that what this guy is doing is equally wrong, and that he could risk getting sued.

Besides the previously mentioned unlikeliness of any sort of extradition, the article made clear that all proceeds from these reverse scams go to a children's charity. Therefore he's clearly not doing this for personal gain.

I'm would guess that as long as this type of thing doesn't become a serious epidemic, there's no reason the reverse scammers would receive an adverse judgement. Besides, someone has to lodge a complaint against this activity, and who's gonna do that?

Re:It's a reverse scam, but not for personal gain (3, Insightful)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688441)

Therefore he's clearly not doing this for personal gain.

Seems to me there is a fairy tale about this...

Oh yes, Robin Hood!

Still, it does not make it right. Committing a crime is committing a crime. The ends do NOT justify the means, or else our society becomes lawless.

Think of the terrorists. They commit crimes for their "justice". Your point of view may differ.

The moral difference: con vs countercon (3, Insightful)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688590)

Con artists target the greedy and gulible... They target you and try to convince you that you can scam them.

Conning a con artist is NOT equivalent - you're scamming a person who deliberately targeted you in hopes of stealing from you.

As far as I'm concerned, conning a con artist is like beating the crap out of someone who tries to mug you - something that should be applauded.

Re:It's a reverse scam, but not for personal gain (1)

iii_rjm (551978) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688597)

So it's ok to rob the bank as long as long as I give the money to charity?

Artists Against 419 (5, Interesting)

Spazholio (314843) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688359)

If you don't want to directly engage the scammers, but still want to hurt their cause, check out this [aa419.org] site. All the images there are taken from the fake banking sites that the scammers set up. The pages refresh every 2 minutes to keep the bandwidth usage going. If you REALLY want to hurt them, and have bandwidth to spare, try going to this [aa419.org] page. It will load 12 images, all from the aforementioned fake banking sites as fast as your connection will allow.

Re:Artists Against 419 (2, Interesting)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688427)

this would work wonder if you post it as a slashdot story. im not sure if it would go through the editor though - nice piece for signature anyway.

hurting the scammers in this way (presumably slightly illegal) is good imho - make them costly. (just as spams)

Re:Artists Against 419 (1)

yarblek (179844) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688606)

after visiting a couple of the fake bank sites on this site, i am now convinced that whoever is dumb enough to mistake http://www.intercontbank.com/ for a real bank's site, or worse "One of UK's leading banking and financial services organization." deserve to be departed from his money for the good of society.

Similiar site on 419 emails (3, Interesting)

Digital Mage (124845) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688363)

The story reminded me of this site [geocities.com] . I'm not sure if the responses are real but I particularly enjoyed reading the Cthulhu response to a 419.

Now, meet the Nigerian death squad (5, Interesting)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688365)

There's a very good reason that Mike didn't want to give the BBC his real name. These guys are like the mafia, I don't think they appreciate being made fools of. Many Nigerians believe in "Sharia" - or the death penalty for all kinds of transgressions. Source link [pbs.org]

Probably not good people to have your home address and phone.

Re:Now, meet the Nigerian death squad (0)

king-manic (409855) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688506)


There's a very good reason that Mike didn't want to give the BBC his real name. These guys are like the mafia, I don't think they appreciate being made fools of. Many Nigerians believe in "Sharia" - or the death penalty for all kinds of transgressions. Source link

Probably not good people to have your home address and phone.


Their like the cambodian mofia in a small city in canada. Dumb, Absurd and only dangerous in their turf. They problably couldn't hurt mike, but they could harass mike. So it's still prudent to keep low. But their hardly like the triads or the Yakusa. Sharia law doesn't apply in Canada.(unless the liberals are serious about letting Sharia law rule in Islamic families in civil law.... Thats rather regresive. Lets a oppressive cutural law have any sway in canada. Our politicians must be on crack.)

It's exstremely unlikly any western nation will exstradite one of it's citizens to a foreign country to face persucution by a infintile set of degenerate laws.

Re:Now, meet the Nigerian death squad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688605)

Haven't you taken a look at the trophy pictures? Ever notice the scar on the forehead or on the cheeks. These scammers are criminals! They have been punished, under Sharia, for other crimes. Somehow I doubt Nigerians are going to get upset about these convicted criminals getting their due.

Re:Now, meet the Nigerian death squad (1)

gcaseye6677 (694805) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688653)

I don't think someone with mob connections is running these scams. Anyone with proper connections would be into money laundering, drug dealing, arms trade, etc. which would all be more lucrative then sending out spam and hoping to find some stupid person willing to send them a few thousand $.

Is it just me? (3, Insightful)

hsoft (742011) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688414)

Or these successful counter-scams (this one and the p-p-p-powerbook thing) sound too funny to be real? The more I think about it, the more I think these counter-scams are just hoax posted by some guys looking for cyber-attention. Well, the p-p-powerbook thing seemd to involve too many people not to be real, but this breast painting thing definately sounds like a hoax to me.

If you think that it's fake... (3, Interesting)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688677)

...try it yourself. Study the posted scam baiter correspondence and try to mimic it with a few pet mugus. You'll find that while some of them are wise, many of them will fall for quite a bit of bullshit.

I've not yet conned money from anyone, but I have managed to get two scammers to be 'baptized' in the name of my church (the Church of the Golden Shower), and you can see the pics linked in a previous posting of mine [slashdot.org] (the pics are also in the 419eater.com Trophy Room, along with two other trophies that I received previously, one of them a Father's Day card for my dad, but right now the site is slashdotted). The "Golden Shower" baits are still ongoing, and I'm tempted to get the scammers to send me something via snail mail. Perhaps not money, but maybe hardcopies of the photos.

At some point I plan to document the email exchanges that led up to me receiving the pictures. I'm not as funny in my presentation, but it would at least give other baiters who haven't had luck getting pics an idea of how to convince the scammers to send one (in my case, I played along until they asked for money, then confessed that I personally couldn't afford what they wanted, but I could appropriate church funds ONLY if they agreed to join the church).

I have no reason to doubt the Church of the Painted Breast bait. The guy in the pic was successfully baited by others (note that one of the pics that Shiver/Mike/David sent is of a group of clowns with other pictures of "Joe" photoshopped in -- those came from other baiters, and you can see one where he's dumping water on his head and holding a sign that reads "SOAKED!") and Shiver is a resident expert amongst the baiting community.

Do you part to fight scams, scam a scammer (2, Interesting)

king-manic (409855) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688434)

It's a statistics thing. If 50% of all their marks take 3 weeks to find out their some 13 year old playing a prank on their african ass, then it becoem 50% less profitable. IF we ensure the number of counter-scammers and time wasters is equal to or greater then the number of gullible fools then we're doing the fools a favor and reducing how many marks the scammers cand o. Also we might be savign lives. These scammer try to invite these people to their country, then rob/beat/kill them for their possesions. So I'l suggest all \.'s do what ever you can to help. Find a nigerian scam mail? reply and fake interest. At least waste their time.

Why Not Say... (2, Funny)

cynic10508 (785816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688452)

convincing the scammer that he was in the Church of the Painted Breast

I work for the Ministry of Silly Walks.

illogical conclusions (1, Insightful)

ffoiii (226358) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688562)

"This would all be funny if it wasn't for the millions of dollars being stolen and probably put into drugs or other criminal activities."

Everything was fine in the article until this stupid line. It's just a scam, it's just someone trying to make some cash.

THERE IS NO CORRELATION TO DRUGS OR SATAN OR PURPLE MUPPETS, WHAT WOULD MAKE YOU THINK THAT THERE IS?

Get a clue (1)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688600)

You think that these scams are run by individuals trying to pull some cash? They're not. The average Nigerian citizen can't afford Internet access of any kind.

The people running these scams are almost always associated with criminal gangs, and these gangs do pull in quite a bit from their acts of fraud, and they do funnel the money into criminal enterprises.

No, they're not "terrorists", but they are hard-core criminals who will stop at nothing to rob anyone they can blind. They all deserve to die a horrible, painful death. Unfortunately, we don't have that power, so the best that we can do is utterly humiliate them by making them paint their body or getting them to dump water on their heads.

Re:illogical conclusions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688640)

What, are you a scammer or something?

My favorite scambaiting (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688563)

Is the Bush and Cheney [scammertainment.nm.ru] scambait. Don't forget to click the links here [scammertainment.nm.ru] and here [scammertainment.nm.ru] for the trophies. That's a lot of trophy pictures for one scambait!

My effort.... (2, Funny)

spidergoat2 (715962) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688586)

http://www.scamorama.com/bigmac.html

Not All Nigerians are Scammers (5, Insightful)

frank249 (100528) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688617)

Last fall I received an email from a Nigerian who identified himself as a psychologist and was interested in obtaining some stress management materials I referenced on my website. As soon as I read it I thought to myself that this was going to be the start of a 419 scam. I almost ignored it but then thought that I would play along. I told him that to mail the materials I would need $15US to cover the postage and to my surprise a couple weeks later a cheque arrived. I was sure it was going to bounce but when it didn't, I sent him what he asked for. The moral is that Nigeria is a big country and not everyone there is trying to run a scam.

The Church of the Painted Breast Is A SCAM!! (5, Funny)

bfg9000 (726447) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688636)

If I were this guy, I'd forget about the spammers -- I'd be more worried about his involvement at the Church of the Painted Breast. I just asked my Most Holy Pastor here at the Church of Scientology, and he told me the Painted Breasters are a scam and just a "stupid made up religion to scam the weakminded out of their money". And my pastor isn't lying -- in fact, he *can't* lie, even if he wanted to. He cast out the demons of lying when that exorcism went on sale last fall. I wish I had the $23,500 required; all I had was $15,000, so I just exorcised the demons of disobedience and free thought.

Real Crime (-1, Flamebait)

WrongWay (26772) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688638)

The real crime is how many times this kind of artical gets posted to slashdot.
Maybe we could have a seperate section for the 3 people who find these kinds of articals to be NEWS...

No mercy, eh? (2, Funny)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 10 years ago | (#9688646)

Jesus guys, we JUST got his by the BBC flood of users not a few hours ago, and now you're slashdotting the site?

C'mon guys, a server can only take so much abuse.

One of the more pleasant links from 419eater.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9688654)

With clothes [ntlworld.com] and without [ntlworld.com] .

(On topic, for once.)
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