Safe baiting - Putting on your cybercondom

There are things you need to be aware of before you even think about baiting a scammer. First up, as much as you may want to get back at the person that scammed you, the last thing you should do is continue from the address they're already in contact with. Drop them like a stone. Go to and post up their address and let them deal with it. If you want to bait them, or if you just want to have a go with someone else (and we don't really recommend it. It's much better to leave it to the people that know what they're doing), then get yourself a fresh new email address. There are free email providers that will hide your IP address. Google for them. If you don't know how to Google then walk away, you'll only put yourself at risk.

Now, if you're setting up a new address, make sure you put NO IDENTIFYING INFORMATION ABOUT YOURSELF WHATSOEVER in the application. Some email accounts you have to be invited to. Be careful, they keep the originating email address in your details unless you go in and manually delete it. Don't use an account from your ISP and try to get a .com address as well.

When the scammer asks for a picture, don't send them your own. Think of a minor celebrity and Google yourself some natural looking pictures of them. No pictures of them on set or at an award ceremony.

What about a phone number? is a good place to get a free anonymous number. Skype is good too. An anonymous SIM card is a great help too, plus it costs the scammer more to phone. Personally I have two numbers supplied by an internet phone company that look like real landline numbers.

Know about proxy servers? Know how to use one? Go on then, use that too to be doubly sure. Don't worry too much if you don't. A safe email account is fine.

Never send any documents to a scammer. They can reuse them and scam someone else with it. No matter if you make up a stupid looking fake one with Krusty the clown on it, if it fools a scammer it can fool a victim.

Get yourself a good virus checker and firewall. Get into the habit of checking every document you get sent. Get yourself a spyware checker. And always make sure to keep them all up to date.

Of course, the BEST thing you could do is join and sign up for a mentor.