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The 419message board was started by a South African antifraud officer to gather intelligence from worldwide combatants, while London's Metropolitan Police said it began a "coordinated approach" this month to get tips directed from baiter sites to proper channels.
But investigators warn the counter-criminals are walking a fine line."People do it as a hobby or a part-time occupation," said detective Sgt.
The practice of impersonating Soldiers for financial gain is common. Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, Medal of Honor Recipient, was impersonated on Twitter before being awarded the Medal of Honor.
When impostor accounts are identified, it is important to report the accounts to the host platforms. It is important to know the warning signs of a scam or the common identifiers associated with an impostor account. If you receive a request from an account claiming to be a senior leader, report it. It is important to be aware that Twitter allows parody and fan accounts https://support.twitter.com/articles/106373.
Other humor-heavy vigilantes include Bait A Mugu, the Scam Baiter.com, Scam Baits, Scamorama and The Billy Goat Curse."Shiver is exceedingly creative in getting scammers to allow their greed to override their judgment," said one disciple nicknamed mrsbean, a 29-year-old female IT worker from Kentucky who claims to have wasted months of organized scammers' time."It is equal parts theater, chess game, psychological study, crime prevention, education and vigilante justice; it's a battle of the wits," said mrsbean.
"Internet scams are unique in that they offer you an opportunity to personally combat them without compromising your own safety; the same is just not true of most crime – one wouldn't take on the drug dealers in a local neighborhood, for instance."The threat of jail certainly doesn't deter these people, but being humiliated in front of their peers just might cost them some reputation.
These crooks often present documents and other "proof" of their financial need when asking their victims to wire money to them.
CID's Computer Crime Investigative Unit also cautions Soldiers themselves to be on the guard for "sextortion scams." In these scams, criminals engage in online sexual activity with unsuspecting Service members and then demand money or favors in exchange for not publicizing potentially embarrassing images, video or information.
The most common scheme involves criminals, often from other countries -- most notably from West African countries -- pretending to be U. Soldiers serving in a combat zone or other overseas location.Twitter allows users to create parody, satire, newsfeed, commentary, and fan accounts that mimic organizations if they indicate that they are “unofficial” or “fan” accounts. Impostors are damaging not only to an individual’s reputation but also to the U. The individuals or groups establishing impostor accounts can be clever — using different usernames, similar spellings, personal photos, official photos, and even changing the nametape on Soldier’s uniforms. Once notified, Twitter marked the account as a “tribute” or “fan” account.If you suspect you have identified an impostor account, you should confirm the account is not registered on the U. Soldiers, especially leaders, are prime targets for identity thieves who will use images posted online to create the fake accounts. Victims may encounter these romance scammers on a legitimate dating website or social media platform, but they are not U. Never send money to someone claiming to be a Soldier! Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) receives hundreds of reports a month from individuals who have fallen victim to a scam perpetrated by a person impersonating a U. Victims of these scams can lose tens of thousands of dollars and face a slim likelihood of recovering any of it. To perpetrate this scam, the scammers take on the online persona of a current or former U. Soldier, and then, using photographs of a Soldier from the internet, build a false identity to begin prowling the web for victims.