Scam Baiting

Scam baiting is when a person (usually part of a legitimate company or affiliated with law enforcement) engages in a fraudulent scheme in order to manipulate the scammer. The purpose of this is to either waste the scammer’s time, embarrass him or her, or more importantly cause him or her to reveal information which can be passed on to legal authorities or used against them in a court of law.

Scam baiting began shortly after e-mail based frauds such as the common Nigerian 419 scam emerged. Sometimes company sites will even publish transcripts of correspondences (such as video or email) between baiters and scammers as if they are trophies.

The primary goal of scam baiting is to stop the spread of 419 advance fee fraud. This type of fraud bilks hundreds of millions of dollars from victims, and may even lead the victims to commit crimes in order to raise enough money to feed the schemes.