Hams should scam bait !! Fight back

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by GJ41CD, Jul 11, 2013.

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  1. GJ41CD

    GJ41CD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Instead of just reporting the scams I feel hams need to fight back.

    1) Do not let the scammer know you are aware it's a scam.
    2) Act dumb, posing as a potential victim to waste their time and resources. Getting them to phone you can really eat into their pockets as international phone calls can be expensive if you go out of your way to make the cost of the call as high as possible.

    Scam baiting, as it is called, can be one hell of a lot of fun. To read about my first ever bait, which I done after someone tried to rip me off by posing as the Canadian ham VE3XAX, see here


    He tried to rip me off for $220, but I strongly suspect I wasted at least that amount of his money on phone calls.

    But you must bait safely. In essence

    * Don't give your real name
    * Set up a hotmail/gmail or similar account in some random name.
    * Get yourself a FAX account, where scammers can send you faxes.
    * Set yourself up a phone number, that is not tied to you.
    * Join http://forum.419eater.com/ and get a mentor on the site.

    Read about how to scam bait before embarking on it.

    When someone posts the email of a scammer, I will often contact the email and ask if they have X, Y or Z. They always do. They will have a lot of words they cut and paste to send you. Your plan should be to get them to have to do some work. Ask for firmware versions, and if they are not the latest, say it is no good, and you want a later version. Then they have to dig out more pictures of another rig they have. Ask questions that take some time to answer.

    Once you agree a sale, you must convince them you are just about to make the payment, but always there is some other thing that needs to be done.

    In my opiinion, and I may be wrong, but if enough hams got into baiting those trying to scam hams, we could make it unprofitable for them to pick on hams.

    I know one of the scammers on this site also does photographic sites.

    The main thing to keep in mind is scammers are criminals, so you must be 100% sure you are safe. So while I personally find scam baiting one of my favorite hobbies, I'm well aware I need to be vigalent and not disclose to the scammers who I really are.

  2. N6PAT

    N6PAT Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Get a fax account? Get a new phone number not tied to you? Sounds like a lot of YOUR time and money being wasted.

    Just who is wasting who's time and resources?
  3. GJ41CD

    GJ41CD Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK, lets do the maths. This is mainly based on what I can get in the UK, but some of it can be used directly to you in the US, and in other cases there are similar services in the USA.

    * Cost of a getting any number of UK based 070 personal numbers is £0.00 from Flextel http://www.flextel.com/
    * Total cost of redirecting that to house of mobile phone is £0.00
    * Cost of receiving a call from anywhere in the world is £0.00
    * Total cost of setting one number to "faxmail" so I get emailed a PDF of any FAX set is £0.00

    I know less about the US market, but http://www.k7.net/ offers free incoming FAX. Other companies offer free numbers you can route to a mobile or fixed phone in the USA.

    The reason these free services exist is the companies make money from being dialed. But your scammer pays for that - not you.

    The only money I ever spend scam-baiting is paying £0.01 (around $0.015) to have a recording of any telephone calls emailed to me. I can turn that on/off as I see fit.

    Basically baiting these scammers costs you nothing in money, and as little or as much time as you want to allocate to it.

    Here's my most recent email from Flextel

    002347057306999 called 07010035475, with the call ending at 21:16:17 on Jul 12 2013
    Attached is a call recording of the conversation.
    ... (the message is attached as a .wav file)
    A more typical one is
    002348105688xxx called 07010513400, with the call ending at 19:19:36 on Jul 11 2013.
    where the xxx is because the scammer withholds their number, but the 00234 or +234 is the dialing code for Nigeria.

    You can send international text messages for free at http://www.afreesms.com/intl/

    If you want to learn the art of scam baiting, then it is best to get a mentor. The cost of them is $0.00 too - sign up at http://forum.419eater.com/forum/cherrie_mentor_program.php

    Are you so convinced it is expensive now? Do you not think this is a cheap way to distract spammers? If you waste enough of their time, they will find scamming uneconomic, and do something else. But now it is easy for them, as too many people are stupid enough to fall for their scams, and not enough people are fighting back.
  4. NZ4X

    NZ4X Ham Member QRZ Page

    Screw with these scammers any way you can!! They are scum! I flagged one yesterday on QTH classifieds. I tracked down the real ham in California and gave him a call. He new nothing about an ad being placed. The scammer even gave me a phone number to call him with any questions I may have. He used the same area code where the real ham even lived. They are good, we have to be better! As I have said in an earlier post please update your QRZ profile to include a valid email address. Also be aware of the IP address associated with the classified ad. The one yesterday was traced back to a proxy in France.
  5. K8MHZ

    K8MHZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some tools:

    Google Voice. Allows you to get a phone number that forwards to your number. You can get just about any area code you want. That way you don't have to give your real number out but can still get calls. (Just don't call back, they will get the number of the phone you are calling from)

    Gmail. You can set up disposable accounts there so you can send and receive email and not give out your real email address.

    One of the latest scams is phishing for Paypal account numbers. They tell you they need your Paypal account number to pay you. That, of course, is not true. All that's needed is an e-mail address or a mobile phone number. You don't even have to have a Paypal account to get paid through Paypal.
  6. GJ41CD

    GJ41CD Ham Member QRZ Page

    For the enjoyment of honest hams, here is how I torted a scammer who wanted to sell a Icom 7600 for £1800 (GBP), which is around $2700. He goes under the name of Andy Martin, and is claiming to be French ham F5VAI, but living in Spain. This is the same scammer, using the same email addresses, as reported by WN9VMR, who at that time claimed at that time to be G8DYK.


    Note the scammer originally used a name which did not tie up with the callsign - G8DYK is listed on qrz.com as John Taylor, not Andy Martin. But now the scammer has swapped to using the callsign F5VAI, which is listed on qrz.com as Andy Martin. Whether that is right or a fake entry is anyones guess.

    So with the background out of the way, here is how I torted him. The bait has been going on for weeks, with him always close to getting the money, but for one reason or another the payment never succeeds. The scammer needs to be given a code, which is 2b3f7e439faa9fbeef6a1bad0af2a02e. But the person giving the code has no internet access, so it must be done by telephone. The telephone number is an 070 personal number in the UK. I chose an 070 number, as these are the most expensive for a scammer to dial. These are a few of the call recordings.

    1) This one is not so intersesting, but here the scammer says he is stressed, and gets part of the code.


    2) Here he does not even try to get the code, despite Nick tells him he has the code. The scammer does not have enough money to take the code!


    Finally he gets a code, but it is very wrong, with lots of letter X's and I's, neither of which appear in a real MD5 checksum, which is what I'm sending him.


    Once advised he has the wrong code, he finally gets the right code


    Unfortunately for him, I'd already transposed two digits of the IBAN, which he confirmed were right, so when the person he sent the code to tries to make the payment, it fails. Oh what a shame - I had to smile!

    I was a bit silly in one of the calls, as I asked him to confirm the number of digits, which he said was 31. But he had already been told there were 32 digits, so I should have let him send the 31 digits to someone, then delay as she found there were too few digits.

    Enjoy, and please bait some of these scammers. As tempting as it might be, never tell them you have sussed they are a scammer. If you don't feel 100% safe, having set up at least email, and preferably phone and fax numbers that are completely non-traceable to you, then don't bait.

    This scammer is also quoting for a Kenwood rig, another Icom rig, and a Nikon camera. I'm winding up 4 times over!!! The other baits are at an earlier stage, so I have not wasted any of his money on them.

    Together hams could fight these scammers. If we wind them up for long enough, and waste enough of their money, it will become uneconomic to scam hams.

    73, good DX and happy scam baiting!
  7. KJ4YEV

    KJ4YEV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  8. GJ41CD

    GJ41CD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't know what you mean by "scamming the scammers", but there are two very different approaches one can take to this.

    1) Try to rip them off, such as get them to send you money. This makes you as bad as them, and is no doubt illegal in most jurisdications.

    2) Bait them, wasting their time and money, but not for personal gain.

    I do #2 above. I get them to spend their money on phone and FAX calls, but I never make any money out of it.

    The best site for scam baiting is undoubtably 419eater.

    * The main forums are at http://forum.419eater.com/forum/
    * The "Eater University" is at http://forum.419eater.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=51 where you will find many baiting tutorials.
    * The main scambaiting forum is at http://forum.419eater.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=1
    * You can sign up for a mentor at http://forum.419eater.com/forum/cherrie_mentor_program.php

    although others do exist.

    I've got a scammer on the go at the minute. He scams the ham forums, including qrz.com, but I thought I'd approach him and ask if he sold radio frequency test equipment, as I was looking for a specific Agilent vector network analyzer (VNA). Sure enough he did, so I'm going to offer him £80,000 (GBP) for it, which is around $120,00 (USD). He has sent me lots of pictures. The photo of the VNA is clearly a two port version, but he has listed all the options, which includes the option for two additional ports, making the VNA a 4-port device. In fact, he has sent me a list of the options, which he has clearly lifted from somewhere, a screen shot showing what ones are installed, and a photo showing the instrument. There is no consistency at all, but that wont stop me continuing the bait.
  9. W1PPP

    W1PPP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I thought I was pretty good at this.... now I can see I'm just a rookie !!! :)
  10. N4AYZ

    N4AYZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Even if scam baiting does cost a little money, that's okay---most hobbies involve some kind of investment. :)
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