Joy sent me a link to a very funny website: 419 Eater. 419 is the section of the Nigerian Penal Code that prohibits fraud, and it has become synonymous with advance fee scams. We have all received emails with too-good-to-be-true offers from doctors, businessmen and deposed royalty in Nigeria promising us untold riches if we assist with a little advance money. Now, some devious folks are fighting back by running scams on the scammers.
There are several sites like 419Fun that chronicle the scam-baiting cons on the con men, but 419 Eater is the most comprehensive. It offers tips, an active advice forum and even a Mentor Programme (it's British) so that you too can become an expert scam-baiter. Better still is the archive where the best reverse scams are immortalized.
The goal of the scam-baiter is to extract revenge by consuming the time, money and hopes of the victimizer, and the best scam-baiters have elevated their sport to an art as this exchange illustrates. It is long, but it is the funniest thing I have read in a while. In fact, it accomplished the impossible by making me feel sorry for the Nigerian scammer target. Enjoy, and don’t forget to wish Joy a happy birthday tomorrow.