Countless people are victimized every year around the world by international scammers claiming to have access to fortunes through banks, royal families, business partners, deceased loved ones and more. Some clever crusaders, however, are fighting back in kind and hilariousy scamming the scammers. In some cases this ties up the scammers’ time with useless tasks and in other cases the result are downright hilarious, like a scammer baited into carving a Commodore 64 keyboard replica from wood. This sampling of scambusts is just a starting point and these are often quite involved and long, going back and forth for weeks, so read the descriptions and click the links if you want to read more!
The nutshell: what started as a genuine attempt to sell a laptop resulted in a buyer (scammer) trying to get a free laptop and paying hundreds for a joke/junk one. The original laptop buyer realized right after his purchase he didn’t need the computer and attempted to resell it on eBay. The first responder was someone from the UK who asked about international shipping and the use of a seemingly sketchy Escrow service. The seller realized a scam may be in the works and kept the scammer on the hook. Eventually the scammer ended up paying fees in order to receive a package containing the hilariously junked “computer” shown above. He proceeded to send viruses and otherwise attack the seller but it didn’t stop his humiliating story from going public!
The nutshell: a fake pastor from Nigeria tries to con a stranger out of money only to end up with a horrific tattoo instead. In a supposed bid for financial assistance to help Pakistani earthquake survivors this scammer tried to trick the wrong individual. The scambusters write back that he could have up to $150,000 if only he were a member of the church. The scammer bites, of course, and is told that he’ll simply have to get a tattoo showing his devotion to the church. Sure enough, he gets the tattoo and sends pictures! At this point things get strange: the scambusters fake being another scammer who has hacked into the good church’s email system. They finally get the scammer to “work for them” and admit what he is doing. Before it is finished, the scambusters have the name and address of the scammer and leave him waiting (forever) for his funds).
The nutshell: a Nigerian scammer poses as a political candidate seeking funds toward his election, while the scambuster’s responses grow ever more creepy, surreal and insane. The scammer and scambuster begin discussing a transfer of money when the scambuster begins unraveling a tale that includes the discovery of a secret, ancient and still-active cult. While the scammer is asking him to send his passport, the scambuster continues with his story and cites furtive cult meetings and raises the possibility he is being followed. While the scammer pushes him to send some money via Western Union, he replies that a friend has died in mysterious circumstances while researching the cult. Eventually the scammer starts warning him to be careful, and even gets into the game: warning him what to do to play it safe and what to do with secret society objects he has accumulated. Then the hammer drops and the scambuster goes crazy before switching emails and sending the scammer information about the mysterious disappearance of the scambuster. The final response? The tables have turn and the insanity has spread as the scammer flips his lid and types – all typos and caps – a deranged warning to leave him alone.
Nutshell: Mrs Marie Jeanne Keita, formerly of Saudi Arabia, now in Cote D’Ivoire, is supposedly dying of cancer and wants assistance in getting her late husband’s fortune – and winds up in a conversation with multiple personalities and faux-deadly consequences. The supposed money is secured in a “matalic” box at a security company, out of Africa and use it to fund orphanages and such. She also wants help taking care of and raising her son. New York ad executive Pete Moss has no time for Mrs. Keita’s problems unless of course she can help him solve some of his own – which she does. Adult movie producer, Dick Wadd and his sales manager, Hugh Jass, eventually get in on the act and when Mr. Moss is brutally murdered by British hit-men, Mike Rotch steps in, but only to try to steer him back to Mr. Wadd. In the end? The nice old lady sends photos of potential male models to be part of his non-existent pornographic films.
Nutshell: This one is too funny to even try to explain. In short: you should read it. This scammer stays on the line despite the scambusters repeated requests for him to use absurd code names, repeated abuse, bizarre requests for photographs, strange attached photographs sent to him and so on. Biblical quotes, sex references and nonsensical truisms are only the beginning. The Ebola Monkey Man starts out slow but once he takes the gloves off this is a no-holds-barred death match well worth checking out. Check here more scambaiting links and resources and this book if you are worried about getting scammed.