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August 22, 2007

419er's Revenge on 419-Baiting?

The Internet has plenty of sites run by folks who enjoy baiting advance-fee (aka 419) scammers. I won't point to any specific ones here, but they're easy enough to find through Google. They're funny for awhile (and enlightening to see how long it takes for the scammer to get money flowing his way), but I suppose I've seen enough of them to get just as tired of the jokes as reading the repetitive B.S. from the scammers over the years.

419-baiters engage the scammers via email (and sometimes by phone) to get the scammers' hopes up that they're reeling in a new sucker. The baiters typically make numerous outrageous claims about themselves, their families, and businesses, wondering if the scammer will ever catch on that "pancake farming" is not a real enterprise. Oddly enough, the scammer is so greedy that he or she doesn't even seem to react to the ridiculous claims, but keeps the scam going. In fact, many baiters have even gotten the scammers to take photos of themselves holding comically insane banners.

Going through my stack of spam messages trapped and held on my server today, I came across a Hong Kong (supposedly) advance-fee scammer who is either a) unfamiliar with English vernacular (a very high probability) or b) playing a prank on the potential suckers who respond. Here is the first paragraph of the oh-so-typical 419 come-on...typical except for the name of the now-deceased fictional businessman:

Greetings to you and your family.I hope you are having a blissful week.I am Mr.Joseph Chau of Investment Banking,Union Bank Of China.On July 6, 2004,our client Mr. Irvin Poot,a businessman,made a numbered fixed deposit for 6 (six)calendar months,with a value of Twenty million,Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars only in my branch. Upon maturity several notice was sent to him and no response came from him. Another notification was sent early February and still no response came from him.

I recognized the last name. And here is Google's top-rated entry in the Urban Dictionary for that family name.

I like a scam that tells you up front that the whole thing stinks.

Posted on August 22, 2007 at 04:42 PM