how to scambait safely
Amateur scambaiters are often worried about their safety when they get started, and they have a lot of questions as to how they can remain safe. Hopefully I can address some of those concerns and set the newbies on the right track.
The golden rule is to never use anything that is real. Don't use your real ip, real phone number, real desktop, or real information.
create your persona
I recommend using a persona generator like usfakeaddress.net to get a template, then modifying it to suit yourself more closely. Keeping a few personas is better than getting a new one for each bait in most circumstances. This lets you be more natural and fluid in your persona, and should ease a lot of the anxiety when calling. Writing the details of your persona out on a notepad can help you to be able to access them without needing to look for documents on your computer. Having the dedicated persona makes it easier to set up emails and other contact details that you will need for baiting.
TextNow and similar services are going to be your best bet in terms of calling as a beginner. These services allow you to place voip calls through your browser, without using your real number or contact information. There are better options, like setting up a SIP server to place your calls with, but those aren’t well suited for a beginner and they won’t be covered here.
Never use your real phone to call a scammer, even with *67. You can trust that your TextNow number won’t lead back to your real identity. In order to make an account on textnow you will need a residential US ip.
Tech support scammers will want to use programs like AnyDesk or TeamViewer to access your computer. In order to prevent them from doing harm to your real computer, you will need a virtual machine. I won’t cover installing on in this post as it is a fairly long process but once you have your VMs set up, you can trust that they will keep you safe. Many amateur baiters worry that scammers will be able to somehow escape a VM, but in the years that I have been doing this I have never seen or heard of a scammer even attempting it. Either way, they couldn’t if they wanted to.
You are probably aware of the warnings all over this site telling you not to use a VPN. VPNs are important when a scammer is connected to your pc through a program like AnyDesk, and are also good when browsing the general internet. Try to pick a vpn server near where your persona lives. When hunting for popups, be sure to disable the VPN.
Thats it! There isn’t much else to do to protect yourself. If you are unsure about something that wasn’t covered here, remember the golden rule: never give a scammer anything real.