Scam Baiting for Fun and ... Well, Just for Fun Aunty Spam's Net Patrol
Spam, spyware, spoofing, security breaches, and other Internet nasties. Aunty Spam's Net Patrol gives you up-to-the minute reporting, along with a healthy dose of editorial commentary and pithy, witty remarks.
Scam baiting -- the act of leading scammers on a wild goose chase -- has been raised to a new art form with the advent of the Internet, and Internet scammers. And none more so (or more deservingly) than the so-called 419 scammers. You know the ones: "I am Mariam Abacha.", and someone has always died with a lot of money hidden away, and they want you to help them get the money out of the country. But first you have to send them some earnest money.
While some do it on their own, for the sheer joy of baiting a scammer, groups and even complete websites have sprung up, all dedicated to scamming 419 scammers. And unlike the controversial Mugu Marauder, which encourages untargeted users to churn bandwidth of websites which may themselves be innocent, the individuals involved with the 419 scam baiting sites are responding directly to 419 scammers who have targeted them.
One of the more prolific, and certainly amusing, sites is the 419 Eater site.
Good advice, that.
Clearly the people running 419 Eater feel adequately prepared, and indeed they seem to be. The 419 Eaters regularly send their pet 419 scammers on goose chases which involve filling out and returning bogus forms (" the bank said you must first fill out a Money Laundering and Fraud Suppression Certificate"), and even taking and returning photos of their scammy selves holding up hand-lettered signs for the camera ("Ohwa Tafu Kwit Iam").
Ok, so maybe it isn't getting these guys arrested, but hey, it's keeping them busy, and exposing them (in more ways than one!)
And it's darned funny.
Check out 419 Eater at
Anyways, a colleague, after reading about the 419 Eater site, sent Aunty the link to another scam slamming site, "Urgent & Confidential: Dean Cameron's Nigerian Spam Scam Scam" web site, at SpamScamScam.com.
Dean, it seems, has not only honed the art of baiting scammers, but has in fact turned his art into . well . art. Not surprising, really, as Dean is an accomplished and oft-employed actor -- you may best remember him from Summer School, Ski School, or Rockula. No? Well, maybe not -- then take Aunty's word for it. He's also appeared on Will & Grace, and in Mad About You.
In any event, Dean Cameron has put together a live multi-media show based on his own experiences in baiting a 419 scammer, in which he "assumed the identity of a sexually confused Florida millionaire, whose only companions are his houseboy and cats, and began a 9 month correspondence with the scammer," explains the web site. The show is based on the actual correspondence between Dean and his scammer, all of which is available on Cameron's website.
But the thing to which I most want to direct your attention is actually Dean 's Scam-o-Matic 419 scam letter generator. It's a Mad Libs-style form -- it asks you for nouns (a bunch of them), adjectives, and numbers, and then when you press "submit" it spits out a 419 letter to rival the best -- only much funnier.
In fact, generally, this is a very funny site, by a very funny man.
Except for his guacamole, which is decidedly unfunny. I mean, who puts sour cream in their guacamole? Yuck!
You can play with Dean's Scam-o-Matic here; Cameron's Nigerian Spam Scam Scam" web site, at SpamScamScam.com.
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