Scamming the scammers

ScammersFrom the BBC (via Religion News Blog) comes feel-good news about Nigerian 419 scams: a coalition called 419 Eater is fighting back and, in one case, using an elaborate parody of church talk to achieve its goal. (An audio report by BBC Radio 4 is available here.)

The long, utterly futile spiritual journey of Prince Joe Eboh begins when he sends out a standard 419 email on April 21. A “scambaiter” writes back to Prince Joe, posing as one Father Hector Barnett of the Holy Church of the Order of the Red Breast.

Prince Joe’s story goes on for thousands of words, but before it is over he has painted a red circle around his right breast, joined the Holy Church of the Order of the Red Breast, sent $80 to Father Hector (plus $40 to DHL) and wasted lots of his undoubtedly valuable time.

As Bruce Cockburn warned us in 1981, “Everybody loves to see justice done on somebody else.” Is it a sin to feel Schadenfraude at Prince Joe’s being cast down? If it is, count me among the worst sinners.

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