Please read this eloquent explanation to better understand why we have this policy, and to learn how much more fun you can have by not complying with your lad's demands:
ALSO:Mrsbean's Really Quite Officially Unofficial Passport/ID Cut-n-Paste FAQ and Guide (Illustrated)
So you think you need a passport or a fake ID, eh? No, my friend, you don't. And I'm here to tell you why, and how to have tons more fun and drag your baits out for eons by NOT sending an ID than you could ever have sending a silly little fake ID featuring Mario Andretti, King Kong, or Paris Hilton. Really. Look at my... uh... avatar. (Haven't shown my face around here. Just my cleavage.) Would I lie?
Q: Why is it not recommended, this sending a scammer a fake ID?
A: Well, first of all, where'the fun in doing what the scammer wants? If you do everything he asks, then he's in control, not you. And baiting is all about the baiter controlling the scammer, not the other way around. Half the fun of baiting is keeping a lad hanging on for eons without ever actually doing much. Remember, efficiency is only intelligent laziness. Baiting is turning intelligent laziness into an art form. You can take a stubborn insistence for an ID and stretch it out for yonks. Without ever giving the lad any satisfaction. Be a tease. It's fun.
Second, let's think about what lads are for a moment. They're criminals, aren't they? Opportunistic criminals. Lazy criminals. Who don't usually do their own Photoshopping. If they want a half decent fake ID, they have to either figure out how to track one down on the web, thereby wasting precious time and money and risking a real victim stumbling across the ID they used, or bribe someone at the passport office for a physical fake, or pay the local Photoshop expert for a digital fake. Why make it easier for them by serving them up a big, fat, lovely softball of a fake ID that they only have to download and resend to other victims? Make the lads work for it, at least. Make him spend a bit of his dosh surfing for something appropriate.
Q: But-- but-- mine's going to be really funny! And it'going to feature (insert tremendously famous person's name here) with my silly baiting name! And it doesn't match a real license/passport! Any victim would know it's a fake, wouldn't they?
A: No. No they wouldn't. Look at it this way. You're expecting your lad to accept this ID as 'real', correct? Well, lads are not some special species rendered incapable of recognizing fake IDs or celebrities by some quirk of nature or by the decision to go into scamming. If your lad (who is likely a foreigner) is willing to accept this funny ID, why would a victim (who might also be a foreigner) twig that this person is famous? Or that the ID is fake? And wouldn't it be a terrible feeling if you knew your idea of a joke was used by a scammer to help convince someone to fall for a scam?
Let's talk 'cultural references' for a moment. How many languages are you fluent in? (Probably more than I am!) How many foreign celebrities are you familiar with? (I've probably got you beat there, but only because I'm sort of weird that way.) Puns do not always translate. Lew Skannen (one of my favorite, exceedingly subtle user/baiter names here at the Eater) may mean zip, zilch, nada to someone who does not speak English as a native language. Or someone who is unfamiliar with the phrase 'loose cannon' and what it means. I admit to it being so subtle that it took me weeks before it registered, despite the fact that I am a native English speaker, familiar with the phrase, and not terribly dim. The lads often use names that are hilarious to them, but fly right over most baiter and victim heads. Your funny name may not be funny to every victim.
You might know there is no "Pigeontoe, Washington", or that there is no state of 'West Dakota' but why should someone in, say, Vietnam or Guam know that or even bother looking for that? I have little idea what a genuine foreign passport looks like. I don't even know what a U.S. Passport looks like very well, since I don't own one. I do not expect your average person to know what every passport format in the world looks like. Why should someone in the Netherlands know what an American passport looks like? And for Pete's sake, the United States can't even decide on a nationwide standard! Every state's license is different.
I'm largely speaking to my fellow Americans here, when I say that it's slightly conceited to assume that everyone, worldwide, consumes and is as steeped in your culture as you are. Yup, we sure do export our 'culture' a lot, but that doesn't mean everyone knows who Paris Hilton is. (Lucky people!) Just because someone is fabulously famous inside your borders, this does not mean they are famous everywhere. Or even that everyone in your country knows who they are. My granny hasn't a clue who most racecar drivers are, for instance. My granddad never knows actor/actress names. My parents never recognize musicians.
There's no such thing as someone universally famous. And if they are universally famous, isn't your lad going to know them? Therefore negating the reason for sending the silly ID with the silly name and the silly celebrity? Scammers have already been caught sending out pictures of Nigerian actresses and models as their own. Our lovely Nigerian members often recognize them, but most of the rest of us don't.
Pop quiz time!
Can anyone tell me who this is?
C'mon! He's famous! Wildly so! All his fellow countrypeople know who he is.
Well, see, the catch is, he's Dutch. Frans Bauer. I'm sure every country has a similar local celebrity who would prompt a "Who?" from everyone else.
Q: So, then, Miss Answer-Person, what can I do to annoy a lad, not assist him or put potential victims in danger, and yet still have time for important things like eating chocolate and taking naps?
A: I thought you would never ask! I didn't come up with most of these, but I've stolen and compiled them from many other clever, clever members, and made use of most of them. I've never sent an ID, and yet I still have more lads than I can shake a stick at. I've kept some going for, literally, a year. Much of the same fun can be had with forms they ask you to fill out. Remember one of the cardinal rules of baiting. Don't do more work than the lads.
1. Send reply saying you have attached ID. Don't attach anything. You forgot, you're new to attachments or it's a technical glitch, should your lad complain. I actually had a lotto scammer 'accept' an ID I 'sent' this way.
2. Scan? How do you do that? What's a scanner? I'm just a dear little old granny who has an email account so I can get pictures of the grandkids and do a few hobbies online!
3. Scanner's busted. Shame, that.
4. Sorry, did I send you a recipe scanned from the Reader's Digest by mistake? Last thing I scanned. Oh, dammit, now the scanner's busted! Every scan comes up as that recipe. Still under warranty, luckily. Replacement could take weeks to get here, though.
5. Scanner? I've never used mine. Still in the box that came with the computer. Maybe you could walk me through using it?
6. I'm sticking it in the slot on the front of the case, why aren't you getting it?
7. Take throwaway jpg file. Change extension to .txt. Open in text editor. As the mood strikes you, remove random chunk of data at the beginning, and possibly copy and paste other random chunks of data into file to inflate the file size. Save. Change extension back to .jpg. Attach and send. The lad has to download the file but gets only an error message when he attempts to open it. For advanced fun, take some of your corrupted jpgs, inflate or deflate the size, change the extension and make them pdfs. You can then berate your lad for not having Acrobat Reader, or being too dim to download and install it. The same (less time-intensive) fun can be had by copying a dll file from your computer, changing the extension, and sending. If you don't know what dll are, though, perhaps it'ss safer for your computer to stick with corrupted jpgs. Or generate a junkfile here.
8. If you're feeling froggy, knock up a Photoshop where there is a tiny, tiny, tiny sliver of what might be a real ID at the top. The rest is static or completely black. Or send him all static/black/puce/muddy colors and claim your state just started putting that new reflective coating on IDs to prevent scanning/copying/illegal duplication. Or scan your real ID, put so much glare on it that the lad will need sunglasses and can only make out that it's a bright object that's kind of vaguely ID shaped. That way, you're not even educating him as to what a real ID looks like. Oh, and you temporarily blinded him. Whoops! Remember, all you need is the appearance of cooperation, not cooperation.
9. I did send it. It bounced! (For added fun, knock up what looks to be a forwarded bounce message from their provider, naming the rejected attachment. Illegal attachment passport.jpg! Danger! Danger Will Robinson!) Your lad will be stymied, most likely. Or it was stripped. Add this <<passport.jpg>> to your message. Claim to know nothing about why attachments might get stripped.
10. Do you not know that it's illegal to send a copy of my passport to you now? Patriot Act! Are you a terrorist sympathizer or something? I thought you were a barrister! Do you not know your international law? Are you a crook or something?
11. Passport? Uh- I'm an American. Darned country's big enough to knock around in for eons without ever going anywhere foreign. They're still letting us into Canada and Mexico with just a letter and a birth certificate for a while and I just go on cruises to American holdings. Why would I need a passport? It's not like I live in Europe where there's all kinds of foreign places to visit less than a day's drive away! You want me to apply for one? I'm going to apply for one. I just have to research how to do that. And wait for yonks while they clear up the little problem of that fugitive wanted by the FBI who has the same name as me. You know, a cavity search isn't as bad as I thought it would be!
12. License? Did you miss the part of my message where I mentioned I was legally blind? I take the bus. I am elderly and the kids took the car keys away. No need to renew my license. Got a prescription card. I live in Chicago/New York/someplace with trains, ferries, and pack mules to rent. I don't even own a car.
13. It's in the safe deposit box at the bank. In the city where I used to live. Six months ago. On the other coast. Finally got them to mail it to me after much hassle and much paperwork, and then the bleeding dog ate it. I am now paying large vet bills. Hope you're happy. The dog growls every time I mention you, now.
14. Uhh- maybe I could mail it to you? What's your postal address?
15. Reverse psychology. Look, man, YOU contacted ME out of the blue with this wild tale. You said in your very first letter that you contacted me because you trust me and know about me. I don't know YOU from Adam. Was that whole business about getting my information from your secretary and knowing you could trust me a lie? Let's see YOUR ID, bub. And some personal photos, while we're at it! You want my help, you're going to have to prove it to me, pal, not the other way around.
Most lads give up asking well before you've done the lot. Pick and choose. Mix and match. Make up your own twists. Be safe. Be lazy. We not only endorse it, we encourage it.
We strongly discourage sending a real Western Union or Moneygram MCTN to a lad. It may seem like harmless fun to spend a few dollars for the fee to generate a transfer number worth a couple of dollars. However, just as with fake IDs discussed above, lads WILL use such MTCN numbers on real victims. We have seen this happen all too frequently. Some lads specialize in creating their own low-value MTCNs to fool victims.
Remember: we do not spend money on lads, even to send a token sum. We want them to waste money on us. And we never, ever give lads anything they can reuse on a real victim.
Edited to update photo hosting -Connie