Thursday, June 29, 2006

Racist? Moi?

You may have read my post a few days ago on ‘Scam-baiting’. The practice of stringing along 419 scammers to waste their time.

I recently read posts on numerous forums from people who brand ‘scam-baiting’ a ‘racist’ activity.

Why? Because nearly every scammer who is baited is black.

Ok, before I can even begin to comment on this, let me explain exactly who these people are, and what they’re like.

In Nigeria, the idea is that 419 scamming is ‘Just a game.’ If someone is stupid enough to fall for these scams, they deserve to lose their money. It’s also true that Nigeria has a culture that holds people who can earn money without working in high regard.

Now, while 419 scams being ‘just a game’ has never been true, in the past, it has been closer to the truth.

In the past, 419 scams came as faxes, delivered to businesses. Most of the people who where scammed where rich businessmen.

With the advent of email, this is no longer true. These bastards prey on the old and infirm. It’s also no longer a case of greed being the motivating factor for the victim. Many of these 419 scammers attempt to con money from you by pretending to be collecting for charities, or pretending to be people in distress.

Make no mistake, 419 scams destroy lives and these scammers just don’t care.

If you want a cast iron example, I was baiting a scammer, and I decided to see just what lengths these people would go to. I pretended to be the owner of a private orphanage. My scammer was attempting to get $15,000 dollars out of me for ‘expenses’, after which I would receive over 10 million. I sent the following email (I’ve paraphrased as the bait is still ongoing, and scammers often google to check they’re not being baited):

“I need your assurances that our deal will go through without any delays. The $15,000 I am going to send you is our entire funding for the year. This is the money we use to feed, clothe and house the orphans. If I lose this money, I will be left with over 200 babies that will be out on the street, and will be unable to feed them. Many of these children also have health problems.

I implore you, if you have any doubts, or if there is any chance whatsoever that this deal may fail, please let me know”

I should also point out here, before anyone points out that anyone willing to put these babies in jeopardy is as guilty as the scammer, in previous emails, I stated that the money from the deal would be spent entirely on the orphanage, that was in financial trouble.

I received a reply the next day, assuring me that everything would be fine and I shouldn’t worry.

That’s the people we’re dealing with. People who are willing to screw over an orphanage, see over 200 babies on the street, just so they can buy a new car.

Calling scammers ‘under privileged’ and suggesting they are forced into scamming is also based on a faulty premise. If these people are so poor, how can they afford all that time in the Internet Café? How can they afford all those fake documents, international phone calls, etc?

Make no mistake. These people are absolute scum. They’re not under-privileged, they’re not forced to do anything. They’re criminals, plain and simple. Even if you did have to be completely stupid to fall for one of their scams (Which you don’t, just inexperienced and a little naïve) does this make their crime any less terrible? Is stealing from stupid people any more defendable than stealing from intelligent people?

Look at it this way. You and I would spot a scam-email right away. But would your grandmother? If your gran received an email from someone claiming to be collecting money for disaster victims, orphans or just asking for help…how likely is she to dismiss it immediately.

As a final example, in one case a victim tried to help a ‘sick’ woman who was dying. She wanted her children to live in America, go to college etc. All the victim needed to do was open an account, and have the money transferred to her. Then she could keep 20%.

This victim ended up over $120,000 in debt. She will be paying over a thousand dollars a month for the next twenty years to get her debts paid off. She has no car, no credit and has lost her home, with no chance of ever owning another one. She also borrowed money from her mother, who kept the transaction secret from her husband. The victim’s mother is now forced to work full time at age 70 to make a dent in her debt, and is afraid to tell her husband from fear he will divorce her.

These are the people we’re dealing with. Remember that.

This now brings me to the race issue.

It’s a sad fact that 99.9% of these scams come from Africa. Scam baiters do not focus on or seek out black scammers. We bait people by simply replying to the scam emails we receive. Also, a lot of these scams tend to come from people claiming to be Dutch, German, British, etc.

Yes, we make fools out of these people. Yes, we make them take pictures of themselves in stupid poses and holding stupid signs. Many baiters attempt to put the scammer out of pocket by demanding documents are sent physically instead of over the internet.

That most of these people are black, does this make baiter’s racist?

No. The plain and simple and completely unalterable fact is that these scammers contact us. If a white, asian, Hispanic or latin scammer contacted one of us, we’d bait them just the same.

If you scroll down a few posts, you’ll see a good example of a ‘trophy picture’. This guy is black, and he’s been conned into making himself look like an absolute fool. Is this racist?

No. The only reason that picture is on the internet is because when that guy got his picture taken, he believed he was scamming a church out of over $70,000 dollars.

My point is that baiting is not anti-black. It’s anti-thieving scumbag.

These people get baited and made a fool of because they’re trying to steal money from hard-working, honest people. If they didn’t scam, they wouldn’t get baited. It’s that simple.

1 comment:

Saffyre said...

I'm with you all the way. I get lots of these emails and the only reason I knew what it was all about when I got the first one was because I worked for a abnk. Otherwise I would have wondered what the bloody hell it was.

I wouldn't have fallen for it, but others do. Full respect to you for having the balls to do something that gets back at these wankers.