Just for Fun: August 2006 Archives

Scamming the Scammers

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Okay, you know those Nigerian email scams? Of course you do. Anybody with an email address knows what I'm talking about. If you don't, here's a summary.

Well here's a story from Wired News about people who are doing something about it.

Metimbers and crew turn the tables on scammers one by one, boomeranging the tricksters' own tactics to entice them into performing outlandish tasks in desperate pursuit of cash -- then trumpeting evidence of the con artists' naïveté for the online world's amusement.

A 43-year-old, self-employed computer engineer from Manchester, England, Metimbers has most recently spun counter-yarns that have compelled 419ers to make elaborate wood carvings, pose for comical photos and fly from London to Scotland. In one episode, which concluded in March after a five-month exchange, he succeeded in having a Nigerian fraudster tattoo "Baited by Shiver" on his body in order to claim a fictional $46,000 prize.

"Another time, the scammer thought he was going to get $18,000 out of me, but I actually got the guy to send me $80," said Metimbers, who started the 419 Eater community site almost three years ago after receiving a wave of spam in his inbox.

"I've got between five and 10 on the go at any one time," Metimbers said. "The worst thing that could possibly happen to these guys is they get their photo slapped on a website. I feel like a cybervigilante, doing my bit for the public."

Awesome. Here's the whole story.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Just for Fun category from August 2006.

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