There are a couple of posts that are almost certainly from scammers and bots on this site that are close enough to a human question that they got good answers.

Nobody on Money.SE is ever fooled. In fact all of the answers call out the scam and believing the best in everybody, offer advice and a critical analysis to avoid getting into trouble.

While the Mods have done a new job getting rid of link bait and useless posts, there is an idea that keeping around the obvious scam question, with a really good "don't get scammed" answer has value for the Internet. That we can provide the "canonical" response to garbage emails and Internet posts.

There is the alternate view that Money.SE isn't going to solve the scam issue, and anybody with the wherewithal to search the Internet for advice on a potential scam isn't going to get fooled. Therefore, Money.SE should delete those posts to focus on what we do best (personal finance)

What does the community say? Keep or Delete?

If you vote for keep, please explain if you think we should mark them up, make a community wiki or some other process.

  • Are you saying the question itself was link bait/ scam? Apr 17, 2013 at 18:24
  • @JoeTaxpayer - I cant prove Nicky from the 3rd question is a bot, but I think so. I welcome being wrong. (I don't know WHY scammers do what they do, but I really doubt a human posted that. See the Horse eBooks twitter account for seemingly pointless bot activity)
    – MrChrister
    Apr 17, 2013 at 18:43

3 Answers 3


I'm firmly of the opinion that if the answers are good -- especially if they're thorough and show a good deal of effort -- that leaving these questions up (but maybe editing the body to look/feel/sound less spammy) is the right and valuable thing to do. Arguably, these answers are adding value to the internet at large with their existence. And, protecting oneself from spam/false creditors is a part of personal finance.

From my perspective, I think these should stay, receiving an edit, but perhaps future ones need to be closed as dupes.


I think we should keep it. We are anyways keep an eye on links that promote sites ...

There could be some users for whom this maybe very usefull / valuable ... given the populatiry of our site, over the period these answers would be on top to warn a user when he tries to google more about it ...


Just to offer a contrary opinion:

I would suggest maintaining a single post about scams. Perhaps a wiki question and answer dedicated to deciphering a scam and pointing out the obvious clues to watch for:

  • too good to be true
  • only deal face to face
  • somebody you don't know wouldn't contact you
  • uncommon ways of transferring money
  • why cashiers checks are not trustworthy
  • etc...

Then anything that comes in and is clearly a scam or about a scam just gets closed as a duplicate to that giant wiki answer. Being a wiki, every time it is closed as a duplicate, the community or the votes can update the answer (if needed) to reenforce the point.

This way the duplicate questions don't have to be redundantly answered, a good trustworthy resource is on the web. And this site can focus on answering real questions.

When I supported consumer protection as being on topic for this site, helping people not do embarrassingly foolish things wasn't my goal.

It seems like an actual use for the rarely needed wiki answer.

  • Well, pointing out clues is good, but IMO not many people can make actual use of those - too many people can only identify "near match" cases.
    – sharptooth
    Apr 23, 2013 at 9:36

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .