The donts and definitely donts of scambaiting.

Way back then, when I first started baiting scammers, there were a lot of things being done that were deemed fine, but are frowned upon now. Unfortunately, not everyone seems to have gotten the message. Let’s look at some things that most baiting sites actively discourage people from doing.

Cash baiting. This involves flipping the script and persuading the scammer to send YOU money. Some people would keep the money, others would give it to charity. The problem is that, in most cases it’s not the scammer’s money being sent, but an unwitting victim.

Burning the scammer. This is when you tell the scammer that you know he’s a scammer. The big issue with this is that the scammer will learn from the experience. You’re in essence educating the scammer and making him better for the next person he talks to. This leads us on to:

Educating the scammer. When a scammer makes a mistake, don’t correct him on it. If his email still has Obama as president for example, don’t let him know. Far better is to DEeducate the scammer. Keep him making mistakes that can help others spot he’s not genuine.

Sending a scammer money. Yes, people have actually done this, claiming it was to prove they were a scammer. If a scammer receives money, then it encouages him to continue scamming and helps fund his continued life of crime.

Shut down their email addresses. Now, technically we don’t condone this completely. If a scammer has an email address for example that utilises a fake website to make his scam appear more genuine, then that’s fair game, and we will actively work toward shutting the site down. What we’re talking about here are email addresses set up using free hosts. Killing scamname1@ isn’t going to make the scammer go “Well then, time to go find some honest work I guess”. They expect and often prepare for exactly those cases. Many have a number of accounts already set up, so the worst you’ll do is inconvenience them for a short amount of time.

Making victims into baiters when they’re not strong enough to. Not everyone has what it takes to become a baiter. Victims may want “revenge”, but blindly recommending any victim you speak to become a baiter can put them at even more risk. There are cases where ex victims (or “survivors” as we call them) become great baiters, but those cases are rare. I’ve even seen people who were in no way ready to deal with other scammers create websites. It’s genuinely scary when you read their Tweets and can see they’re not over their own scam yet, but telling others what to do.

Sending scammers a virus. This is illegal, and that frankly should be enough. Let’s elaborate further though. Their infected PC then infects those of innocent people. Not so funny now, is it?

Involving innocent third parties. Giving a scammer details of someone else not involved in scambaiting is a definite no no now. If they’re not a part of the scam or the bait, then there’s no excuse to bring them in without their knowledge.

There are other things frowned upon these days, but I’d say those are the main ones.