How a Scottish author scammed the email spammers to write a bestselling book

Spam emails supposedly from Nigerian princes with fortunes in Swiss bank accounts, or beautiful Russian brides desperate to meet us are nothing unusual.

Most of us delete them without reading them – but Scottish author Neil Forsyth had a different idea.

Curious to find out just how desperate the spammers were for cash, he struck up email conversations with the senders.

After creating his own character called Bob Servant, he was soon dealing with unsuspecting con artists around the globe. He led them on with bizarre requests and surreal stories.

The resulting book – Delete This at Your Peril – won fans ranging from rock band Snow Patrol to writer Irvine Welsh.

Now a follow-up has been released and Hollwood star Brian Cox is playing the comic creation on the radio.

Ringleader of Internet scam arrested in Nigeria

The ringleader of a Dutch-based internet scam that raked in up to $US2 million ($2.6 million) has been arrested in Nigeria, police in Amsterdam say. The Nigerian, who headed a band of fraudsters operating out of Amsterdam, was arrested in Nigeria’s economic capital of Lagos, police said. The fraudsters sent emails all over the world […]

Web Scam Dupes Renowned Psychiatrist

(AP) Renowned psychiatrist Dr. Louis A. Gottschalk lost up to $3 million over a 10-year period to a Nigerian Internet scam, his son alleges in a lawsuit. The 89-year-old Gottschalk, a neuroscientist who still works at the University of California, Irvine medical plaza that bears his name, acknowledged losing $900,000 to “some bad investments,” according […]

Turning the tables on Nigeria’s e-mail conmen

Mike is a “scambaiter,” dedicated to fighting back against those who send out the notorious 419 e-mails, promising untold wealth to anyone gullible or naive enough to disclose their bank details. Mike asked us not to use his full name because he’s dealing with some heavy cross-border criminals. His group of volunteers at use […]

Nigerian email conmen fall into their targets’ net

It has been described as the internet’s first blood sport and is fast becoming one of the web’s favourite pastimes. Fed up with having their inboxes clogged with emails from Nigerian fraudsters promising untold riches, the victims are finally hitting back. Scam-baiting – replying to the emails and stringing the con artists along with a […]

The scam busters

Budapest Business Journal, Dec. 2, 2002 by P�ter Ol�h An intrepid writer and a team of consultants have probed the murky world of the ‘Nigerian’ e-mail scheme – and offer some crystal-clear advice Your first instinct on receiving an unsolicited message from someone you have never heard of, promising large amounts of money in […]

Nigerian 419 Fraud: Big money, big rip-off

An enticing email…promised cash…a trail of victims….Despite warnings, Americans continue to lose millions to Nigerian con artists If you have a public e-mail account, chances are that sometime in the last few months you received at least one official-sounding message from someone in Africa making an offer that sounded too good to be true. It […]
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