The 419 scams start off as an email offering a percentage of millions of dollars. All that is required from the scam victim is help transferring money into your safe bank account. The initial email is sent to thousands of people at once. Of those thousands of people there are a few people who believe their story and reply. The scammer's then backs up their lie with fake documents and websites. Eventually the victim is required to pay some bribes and fees. After some time the victim realizes the millions of dollars do not exist and their money is lost.
A lot of these scams originate from West Africa. It is unfortunate there is a minority of "bad eggs" giving the honest people of these countries as bad name.
Baiting a scammer involves replying to the emails with the knowledge it is all a scam. Often the scammer will think you are a real victim and try their best to extract money. People have different reasons for scam baiting. J Cosmo Newbery's aim is to create amusing stories while Scamorama aims to educate the public. One aim of What's the bloody point? is to reverse the scam and receive a few token dollars. Personally I play this game because it brings out my creative side.
Mugu is a term used by the scammers among themselves to describe their intended victims. Roughly translated this term mean "big fool". I use this term to describe the scammers that fall for my "unbelievable" stories.