Scambaiting, a popular form of online content, is the practice of deliberately setting up a system by which a person can waste the time of a scammer. The most basic form of this strategy is to take a phone call or email you know is a scam. You then string the scammer along for as long as possible without giving them any actual power over you. However, some scam baiters up the ante by constructing elaborate plots of their own to entangle scammers.
One popular example of this is Kitboga, a streamer who uses a virtual machine as a veneer to make scammers think they have access to his actual home computer. Similarly, he had devised numerous fake bank account websites within that virtual machine, allowing him to play lengthy-long con games with scammers where they believe they are in total control, despite being unwittingly strung along by their “mark”.
Scambaiting, aside from being gratifying and hilarious to watch, is highly educational for a number of reasons. If you’re not terribly familiar with how scams work, watching a scam baiters stream or videos can help you identify scam behaviors. Because scam baiters are well-informed and prepared to deal with scammers in the wild, they’re in no danger of having their money or personal information compromised.
By watching these reverse con games, viewers can get a better understanding of and appreciation of what kinds of scams the most successful criminals are running. This, in turn, allows them to identify those scams when an unscrupulous person tries to replicate them,
Of course, if you don’t have a robust virtual machine and fake bank account to psyche scammers out with, we don’t recommend installing software on your computer that gives scammers control of your mouse. However, you can apply lessons you learn from scam baiters to your interactions with real-life scammers.
For instance, by learning about different types of scams, you can more easily tell serious calls and emails apart from fakes. If someone calls you asking for you to pay an outstanding bill they claim you owe, they’re likely being dishonest. However, if they ask for that bill to be paid with gift cards, you can immediately write the call off as useless and a scam.
Of course, the most important lesson to learn from scam baiters is that scammers are crafty but easy to spot when you know what to look for. Stay vigilant for their telltale tricks and you’ll be okay. And, if you have some downtime to kill, once you’ve spotted a scammer, feel free to string them along for a while before letting them know the gig is up. You’ll be saving someone else the hassle of talking to them.