My Hobby: Messing with Nigerian 419 Scammers That Target Photographers


PetaPixel has written a number of times in the past about Nigerian 419 scammers targeting photographers and photography assistants. After spending time setting up business arrangements, the scammers will use shady tactics to try and steal your hard-earned money.

I’m a freelance photographer, and I recently got sick and tired of being contacted by these scammers. To get back at them, I started having ridiculous conversations with them to lead them on and piss them off. I also started publishing the exchanges on a new site called Messing with Scammers.

The scammers’ M.O. is generally the same:

1. It’s often done by text message with the scammer saying they are hearing impaired.
2. The scammer asks if the photographer can process credit card payments online.
3. Once a shoot is booked, the scammer will ask for a favor that involves processing an extra large payment and sending the difference in money to a third party vendor.

Here are two examples of ridiculous conversations I’ve had so far:

Case Study #1: I.P. Freely





Case Study #2: David Doesn’t Know






As you can see, they are oblivious to my low brow humor and continue trying to keep up with the scam. I also think that I may have found my second calling in life as I really enjoy doing this to them. These guys are idiots and they deserve someone to go after them.

About the author: Isaac is a freelance photographer who wishes to remain anonymous. Aside from photography, his passion is bringing frustration to the lives of Nigerian 419 scammers. You can follow along with his efforts over at Messing with Scammers.