Scammers usually operate from internet cafes, using fake identities and anonymous cell phone numbers. Like all online criminals, they can hide extremely well. Plus, they often live in corrupt societies. Arrests are extremely rare. You can and should of course, file a police report but normally your local police has no jurisdiction outside your community and none overseas.
Dirk from Heerlen, Netherlands
Scambaiters are players in this game. Anyone wants to join us?
Scam baiting is a form of Internet vigilantism, where the vigilante poses as a potential victim to the scammer in order to waste their time and resources, gather information that will be of use to authorities, and publicly expose the scammer. It is primarily used to thwart advance-fee fraud scams and can be done out of a sense of civic duty, as a form of amusement, or both.
A bait is very simply initiated, by answering a scam email, from a throwaway email account, i.e. one that is only used for baiting. The baiter then pretends to be receptive to the financial hook that the scammer is using.
The objectives of baiting are, in no particular order:
Keep the bait going as long as possible, thus costing the scammer time and energy.
Gather as much information as possible, so that the scammer can be personally identified and publicly exposed.
Ensure the scams, and any names used, are easily found by search-engine spiders, as a preventive strategy.
The most important element of scam-baiting, however, is simply to waste as much of the scammer's time as possible. A popular method is to ask the scammer to fill out made-up questionnaires, which is very time consuming.The idea is that when a scammer is preoccupied with a baiter who has no intention of falling victim to the scam, it prevents the scammer in question from conning genuine victims out of their money.