We can end email scams tomorrow. Here’s how.

David Gilbertson
16 min readMay 12, 2021

Putting an end to email scams is so simple that I’ll explain the entire process in one word in the second paragraph. The rest of the article is just padding. Ready to learn what you need to do? Ready?!….


Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Now for the padding…

The scamming industry is profitable because there are three types of people:

  1. People who don’t mind ruining someone else’s life to make a few bucks.
  2. People who can be fooled into handing over their money.
  3. People who stand by and let it happen.

Scammers, suckers, and selfish bystanders.

The scammers who steal from the suckers rely on the fact that 99.999% of people will not stand in their way. We — the selfish bystanders — will see the scammers in our inbox (or as a number next to our spambox), hunting their prey. Do we try and stop them? No. We shrug our shoulders and hit “delete spam”, or ignore it entirely.

18 scammers hunting for suckers, leave them alone or interfere?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not accusing you of being actively selfish for ignoring scam emails. I assume you’re like I was until recently, and didn’t really think about the victims. Didn’t really think that when we see a scam email, we’re witnessing a robbery. Didn’t really think that to delete or ignore is to turn a blind eye.

An analogy: imagine you’re at a show, anywhere with a crowd and a stage. Above the stage appears a masked man, waving a green laser into the crowd — the type that can blind you. From his perspective, a human eyeball is a tiny target, but he knows that if he waves the laser around for long enough he’ll eventually hit someone.

The crowd may seem powerless to stop him, but imagine for a moment: a person in the crowd holds up a mirror. Then more and more people in the crowd produce mirrors out of nowhere, all reflecting the laser beam back at the twerp.

Now the story for the twerp is a very different one. The harm is no longer flowing in one direction, he is now at risk of copping an eyeful of green, and his best option is to pack up and go home.

David Gilbertson

I like machine learning stuff.