Fun With Scammers!

 A few years ago, I enjoyed the fine art of scam baiting.  I'd get e mails from scammers, and I'd respond.  Hilarity ensued, though for some reason they didn't appreciate the joke.
I did this both for my own amusement, and also as a public service: every second of a scammer's time that I wasted was a second they couldn't scam someone else.  The original e mails are long gone, but I saved the documents-- both the ones I sent to the scammers, and the ones I received from them.  

Scammers are, above all else, incredibly stupid.  The knowledge they have of history and current events is almost nonexistent-- which is why they were all fooled by the many names I used.

mugu money

A mugu asked me for $5000 so I could get several million dollars in cash.  This is known as an advance fee scam.  So I created this bill, which I e mailed to him.  "This is legal tender scrip, cashable at any bank.  Just print it out and take it to your local bank.  If you do that, please tell me what happened.  That would be awesome."

Mugu" is Nigerian for idiot.  The scammers all call their victims mugus.  We scam busters refer to the scammers as either "the lads" or mugus.  419 is the Nigerian law that concerns fraud.

The mugu did not see the humor in this at all, and sent me a nasty e mail in return, little realizing that that only added to my mirth.

I used this with a couple of mugus.  One of them only wanted $2000.  I told him he could send me the $3000 change back to me after he cashed the scrip.  He called me a "joker," which is apparently the  name they call scam baiters, because several mugus used that term. 

the joker

Well, hot damn!  I'm the Joker.  I always knew I'd make a name for myself.

excellent mugu photoshop

Another mugu wanted to prove to me that he had millions of cash that was taken from Moammar Qaddafi.  It' such a good Photoshop;  The only problems being that the money is not in scale with the figures, and that the figure on the left was inserted with a magic wand tool.  Other than that, it's flawless.

I remember telling the lad that I was sorry that Qaddafi got a knife shoved up his ass.  I told him Qaddafi was a close personal friend, and had promised to send me that fancy military hat he wore.  I asked him if he could find out what happened to that hat.  He kept to script, unfortunately.

another masterful photoshop

Our friend above, with another great Photoshop job.  What is Qaddafi pointing at?

              letter i sent to a mugu                 

A mugu wanted me to pay for a letter of endorsement from the London Police.  Why bother, when I could make up my own?  I don't think this is what they expected.  For some odd reason, I never heard from them again.

photo of money

Photo of the trunks of $$$MONEY$$$ I would be getting if I sent in the advance fee.

romance scammers

A gallery of romance scammers I baited.  I never could string any of them on long enough, but I have heard reports about some scam baiters getting complete nudes.

Romance scams are fairly simple: they troll the dating websites, and massively e mail every male on them.  If the male shows any interest, they almost immediately claim to have fallen in love with him, and they want to come to the US to marry him.  But oh gosh, they need money for a passport.  And for bribes for corrupt officials.  And on and on and on.

Just look at that photo a minute.  Count the scammers (there are some repeats).  I got this many after just a few months of scam baiting.  Think of how many more are out there.

Really, guys, think about it: it's difficult enough to carry on a relationship with someone sharing your culture and language.  Even i if these relationships were real, think of how much more difficult it would be to maintain those relationships with so many differences. 

"this is me"

Here is the self portrait I sent to most of the above scammers.  They all fell for it.  Scammers are idiots.

helen holtal

Now this could have been interesting.  I replied to the e mailer, telling them I thought Helen Holtal was really hot looking, and I wanted to correspond with her.  I was hoping they would go with the flow and morph it into a romance scam, instead of an advance fee scam.  No, they stuck to the script.  Damn.

michael bugger varga debit card          card back

Another flawless Photoshop, marred only by the name being in the wrong font, and the wrong place.  A mugu sent these images to convince my alias (Michael Bugger Varga) that there was indeed real $$$MONEY$$$ in an account for me, if I would just send the advance fee.

another debit card

Another well done Photoshop, with only the wrong font and location.

another convincing atm card

I am overwhelmed by the sheer laziness of the Photoshop work on this card. 

moneygram receipt

A scammer wanted me to send him money via Moneygram.  Most scammers will accept the MTCN number only, but this one was savvy: he wanted me to send the whole form.  Which I did, with made up numbers.  The lad complained that he had to go to town, which was several miles away, to find out it wasn't real.  Oh, how terrible of me: I inconvenienced a criminal.  So I sent him another number.  I didn't hear from him after that.  Can'\t imagine why.

ids for mugus

A selection of ID cards I sent to mugus.  The irony here is that they were worried I wasn't who I said I was.  Let that sink in: criminals worrying if their victims are honest.

 If I wanted to string them along, I'd put some real work into them.  If they were getting boring, I'd just dash something together.  1313 Mockingbird Lane is the address seen in the old "The Munsters" TV show.  The Wild Horse Canyon address is the place where a famous brothel does business.


Various documents proving that the $$$MONEY$$$ is real.

certificates i sent to the lads

The lads were always wanting me to send them $$$ for certificates, so they could then send me my $$$MONEY$$$.  I figured it would be loads of fun to make up my own certificates, based on their descriptions.  They did not get the joke.  Some just sent me nasty letters and then gave up.  Others would keep on trying to scam me.  They had to know I knew they were scammers.  They were just too dumb to know when to give up.

.special agent
            williams fbi id

An ID from "Special Agent Williams" of the FBI.  The scammers quite often pretend to be members of the FBI.  They keep e mails of the people they corresponded with, and send them the FBI follow ups that say something along the lines of: We are with the FBI.  We caught scammers who took your money, and we have the cash they were holding.  Just send us an advance fee, and you will get lots of $$$MONEY$$$.

steamer letter

A letter from a mugu to one of my aliases, Cleveland Steamer.  Don't look up Cleveland Steamer on Urban Dictionary-- unless you like getting sick to your stomach.

fbi letter

The scammers try to prove they are legitimate again.  It should be obvious by now that anyone can use a computer to make whatever documents they want.

bank of africa letter

Mugus wanting information from me.

 All scam baiters should make biographies for themselves, and stick with them.  Below is the biography I sent to mugus.  Sometimes I would change my name, but I did that to keep the different scam baits straight.

Mike Varga
1313 Mockingbird Ln
Los Angeles CA 90027
(213) 416-9198
alternate: place of employment (actually FBI office Los Angeles) (310) 477-6565
fax: (310) 996-3359
birth date: April 1, 1969 (44 years)
Single, no children
employer: Handmade Paperclip Company Inc.

Bank of America
590 S Central Ave
Lo Angeles CA 90013
213-238-4303 (phone)
310-996-3359 (fax)

routing number: 017592054
account number: 010294306

swift code BOFAUS3N

checking account

MTCN is any 10 digit number

next of kin Joseph Goebbels Varga

The Handmade Paperclip Company is an organization I invented.  Truly wealthy people use paperclips too, but they resent the machine made paperclips put out by office supply companies.  That's where the Handmade Paperclip Company comes in.  We made paperclips by hand, out of any substance the customer desired, and they were all bent by hand.  Naturally, such  premium product would cost more than standard paper clips, but people with refined tastes would realize their true worth.

With one scammer, I told them that we had Moammar Qaddafi as a client.  He wanted 20 million paperclips made out of plutonium, but cancelled the order when we told him he would have to supply the plutonium.  The scammer went on with his pitch, as if that was a plausible story.  As I said, scammers are stupid.

I got bored with scam baiting after a while.  They're just so unrelentingly stupid.  The scams started blending together.  So I gave it up, after only a few years.  But when it was fun, it was really, really fun.

The scammers, when they realized what was going on, would get angry.  One Russian scammer managed to hack my PayPal account, but that was the only real world problem.  Usually I would get an angry e mail back, and an occasional virus, which my anti virus software always caught.

More scam-baiting fun!

Mac's Bait Store
A great introductory site, with links.

The Dangers of Scam baiting
It's not all fun and games.

10 Great Scam Baiting Operations
A summary of some of the greatest scam baits.

The Nigerian Scam Pages
Lots of great fun with scammers.

An early freight bait, where the scam baiter makes the scammer pay the freight for junk.

Romance Scam Baiter
This guy scams romance scammers, and has them do ridiculous things for his entertainment.