Friday, August 04, 2006

Scammer Scammers Scam Scammers

Annoyed by how much of your email is from the relative of a highly-placed Nigerian who needs you to keep his multi-million dollar nest-egg in your bank account? An article in Wired online describes people who have made it their duty to scam these people back. Some have managed to manipulate con-folk into carving a wood replica of the Commodore Amiga Keyboard, or tatooing disparaging messages on their bodies, or sending $80 seed money in a counter-scam.
I think this goes too far. I have gone this route once or twice, responding to messages as if I were interested and then revealing that I was onto them. But beyond that, it's just cruelty. Nigerians, by and large, are a desperate people. For years they appealed to our charity for help. If now they're appealing to our greed instead, that's still no reason to wreck their already wretched lives. Just walk away. Or point them to a bootleg download of THE SPANISH PRISONER so they can see how badly they're doing it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

(Note: this time I haven't been up all night drinking.)

Man, I was late leaving work reading the stuff on the anti-scammer websites. Effing hilarious. Thanks for the pointer.

I disagree with your conclusions about Nigerian scammers. They should be stopped, and scamming gthem back is the right wat to do it. Because, regardless of where you're from, it's just plain wrong to steal. Does being poor make it okay to steal? Does the fact the 419ers are targeting the incredibly dopey minority out there who think they're for real make it okay? I think it makes what they do worse.

One world, one morality, I say. And the sooner the scammers are stopped, the sooner they'll start producing useful things and creating real wealth for thier people.

Still, that guy who got the tattoo.. that was too funny.