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Swindle a Scammer - Go Scam Baiting

Updated on February 24, 2012

A sport for all seasons - How to Play

I recently made my first foray into scambaiting. This is one of those things that is slightly akin to prodding a crocodile, i.e. not a brilliant idea. It is on the other hand a whole heap of fun.

So what is scambaiting?

Scambaiting is the art of stringing along scammers for fun and occasionally profit. There are many different kinds of scams going on line. You only have to look in your junkmail to find half a dozen or more emails offering you X million dollars in some way or other, telling you that you’ve won the lottery and offering to buy your house at 100 times it value. Most of them are in very bad English and laughable.

Some of them are even plausible up to a point. Your job as the scambaiter is to play along with the scam for as long as possible, causing the scammer as much wasted time, effort and cash as possible and extract as much pisstaking as possible. There are accounts online of people who have managed to extract real money out of the scammer and even if they don’t get that far, some of the stories are truly hilarious.

Collecting at the Airport?

there have been worse!
there have been worse!

My own Lad.

I’m currently looking for a new flat, and going on gumtree found a description that suited me. I requested more information. I didn’t get the information but I did get a story about how he needed good and reliable tenants. I requested more information. After a bit of humming and harring I managed to get the information I was looking for and a few supposed pictures of the inside of the flat. All normal up to now. I said I was interested and could I view it?

Cue a long sob story about how he was currently on the continent and would have to fly into the UK to show the flat. He’d done this three times previously and each time the prospective rentee wanted the flat but couldn’t pay. Therefore he wasn’t going to fly across any more until I could prove I had the money for the rent and deposit. At this point I was fairly certain that there was something up here and googled the general M.O. Sure enough common scam, BUT in looking it up I hit an existing scambaiting site. Well, this looked fun.

So I emailed back asking what proof he required. Ten seconds later I get a reply telling me to send money to a family member or friend via moneygram and then send him a copy of the receipt so that he could see the amount of money had been sent. This seems fairly innocuous, the money goes to somebody I trust and he gets his proof. Unfortunately due to the nature of the service, it appears that with a number off the receipt and a faked signature, it’s fairly easy to appropriate the money. This is the scam.

The receipt
The receipt

Stringing Along

There are many arts and tips to scambaiting and not being an experienced one, I took a shortened route, cooked up a fake receipt and sent it to him, with an official looking stamp covering the requisite number. I sent a story of my own, about how I had to use my german passport and my ‘real’ name (something rude and along the Mike Hunt variety) neatly avoiding my real name and sent the money to my fiancée Ivy Sweet HooHoo, a native American Indian living in fultchinham street in Wales.

I further strung him along with pretending to be at work and not having the receipt with me when he couldn’t read the number I had placed the stamp over the top of. With him getting more and more exasperated, sending 4 emails to every one of mine, demanding in capitals I give him the number.

I had quite a bit of fun telling him all about my job as a ‘back hole driller’ in the Oil industry working with a client with a gas problem and not giving him any of the information he wanted. I sent him the wrong number 5 times, swearing I had got it right that time, ‘scans’ of the receipt that were variously unreadable (motion blur), un-openable (change the file extension) and generally wrong and finally a form of my own for him to fill in. If he wanted proof, he could fill in the form I had got from ‘the office’ where I had ‘sent’ the money and they would send him proper proof.

The ingeniously designed ‘Corroborative Receipt Application Procedure’ (ask if you want a copy) meant that I had a legitimate way of proving I had sent the money and he couldn’t get his hands on it. At that point he suggested I do something rather rude and told me never to email again. Sound advice my friend.

If you are intending to do some scambaiting yourself, I thoroughly advise going onto one of the sites such as or scamorama and learn how its done. You’ll need fake emails, names and as a general rule, no real things, including where you might make a number up that could be real. No real things should go to the scammer.

There’s also a general rule about not supplying ID, even fake ID, in case it gets turned around and used on somebody else. Stay safe at all times but have fun and know that you are balancing in some small amount the negative karma of the universe.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      That's one of the things i enjoyed so much.

      I have sent so many of them to the money transfer offices and they end up been disappointed.

    • Lymond profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from UK

      Hi LT thanks for the comment, you got it right with a taste of their own medicine, they deserve 110% of what they get!

    • ltfawkes profile image


      7 years ago from NE Ohio

      It makes me happy to know there are people out there who are giving these scumbags a taste of their own medicine. I had no idea. Funny hub. Thanks.


    • Lymond profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from UK

      Hi Cagsil, thanks for commenting, I think it was because I'd already started a few emails thinking it was legit before it became obvious that it wasn't. By that point I was angry enough (not having found a flat after a week of solid searching) to take it a bit further.

    • Cagsil profile image


      8 years ago from USA or America

      Hey Lymond, very nice article. I've done this a time or two, but usually don't let it play out as much as you do. I did find it a little bit fun, but certainly not worth the trouble, unless it's just emails only. None of the game you played. And, most certainly, don't ever give anything real is the most important thing to remember. Thank you for sharing. :)


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