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 mere criminals vs "terrorists" et/al

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Hello I'm New here!

Joined: 13 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:27 am Reply with quoteBack to top


Thinking, maybe over thinking. This may have been answered or addressed before... and someone may direct me to the appropriate thread. Thanks.

We feel we are dealing with criminals - perhaps scams within scams, within scams... where is the law (or more correctly Homeland Security in the US) gonna come down on those who are even unknowingly conversing with terrorist organizations *using* scams to generate revenue... or is that even an issue ?

Personally I cant see HS thinking it funny, they're awfully serious about *any* of those kinds of things.

Has anyone heard of a situation where a "simple con-job" was revealed as something much more severe ?

Curious. Perhaps this is entirely a non-issue.

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Nurse Nasty
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:37 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I personally haven't seen or heard of terrorists generating revenue through scam emails. Most of the better gangs we see operating do have organised groups and do work with a tier structure for sending, collecting, victim manipulation, providing fake documents and fake banks. These guys aren't guided by religious fanaticism, rather the almighty dollar (or whatever currency)

The law in the US doesn't govern the countries these scams are perpetrated, so they have no jurisdiction. They can't do anything to stop them unless they're on US soil, or unless they have enough evidence to work with other governments to break these gangs. These scams are so wide spread no government has the resources to track them all down bringing them to local justice. Occasionally we're lucky enough to be in the position of baiting lads/gangs and gather intel to pass to local authorities.

I suppose that's why scambaiting exists. Getting them to stand in funny pictures is only a small part of what we do here. It just happens to be the most entertaining. It's a juxtapose to the serious nature of what we do.

The law can't touch most of these lads, so dealing out a little poetic justice can be just as effective if not enjoyable to us. We do what we can with the tools we have.

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Murry Guru
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:02 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Like the Nurse, I have never seen a direct tie between these scams and terrorists, perhaps some terror groups generate some revenue this way but I certainly haven't seen any sign of it.

As for what the Nurse said about what we do, the funny baits with a lad posing with a fish on their head is what initially draws many newcomers to baiting but I think most baiters stick around for much different reasons.

Sure, the funny photos are great but nothing else will give you the satisfaction of knowing that your actions have directly prevented somebody from being scammed.

Besides encouraging people to bait for funny photos, we also educate and inform people about scams and raise awareness, we waste the time and resources of scammers which reduces the amount of time they spend with real potential victims and by posting the details of scammers including their email address, phone numbers and formats.

Of course, we also have lots of fun doing it Laughing

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Mr Tambourine Man
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I wouldn't be at all surprised if some scammers are involved with other crimes, drug trafficking for example.
I've not aware of any suggestion of terrorist involvement. Impossible to tell really, as so few scammers are arrested.


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Common Street Thawth Vergabon

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:25 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This issue was touched on back in August 2006 with claims that Hezbollah (Hizb'allah) was funding its operations through 419 scams. My comment then (drawn from Jane's) was:

Iran is believed to donate funds to Hizbullah; some estimates claim that these are in the region of US$60 million annually (exact figures are unknown). The group also collects donations from individuals and charities, and benefits from legitimate commercial enterprises.

There is evidence of Hizbullah receiving funds from narcotics, both cultivation and smuggling in Lebanon and elsewhere. Its presence in the tri-border area between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil have brought links with known international criminals such as Ali Khalil Merhi, arrested on charges of fraud and music and software piracy. Merhi is also believed to have channelled funds into the cells responsible for terrorist activities against Israeli targets in Argentina in 1992 and 1994.

Hizbullah's so-called strategic alliance with FARC in Colombia also raises the likelihood of narcotics funding, and the group was involved in negotiations by the Iranian government to build a refrigeration plant in FARC-held territory in San Vicente del Caguan, Colombia. (This project was abandoned under pressure from Washington.)

Hizbullah has direct business interests in Lebanon, Iran, Latin America and elsewhere. They are involved in a variety of activities including construction, foodstuffs, clothing manufacture.

The group's welfare and educational programmes are run by charitable foundations which collect money, often quite legitimately, from Shia communities inside and outside Lebanon. The Organisation of the Oppressed acts as a charity and welfare organisation.

I can't see Islamist terrorists trusting as disparate and disfunctional as 419 scammers to raise money when other, more effective avenues exist. Nigerian militant groups such as the various Niger Delta liberation groups are another matter, but that is not international terrorism except that foreign business might be affected by militant action.

I will heed the advice of a polite horse for it is written that more flies are caught with honey than vinegar... although assault carbines and monstrous wolves are still fun.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:09 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I agree. I don't think most Jihadist militants have the patience and stomach to spend hours 'bombing' out scam mails and then the spare time to handle the follow up.

The only point at which they may meet is in card fraud, as I believe that some terrorists have been found to finance their activities in that way, and we know that Lads also run over that terrain too.

Generally speaking I think that the countries that finance international terrorism have plenty of cash to make them independent of the need for illegal financing, which would only make them more vulnerable to getting caught.

Above all, Lads don't do things that don't provide immediate cash reward.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:27 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

What I have read on the subject (I was curious the last time someone asked that question) suggests that illegal activity is indeed used to fund terrorism. However, larger/international terror groups tend to be highly organized. It is generally pretty sophisticated, efficient, and highly organized activity--credit card fraud, drugs, dvd pirating, etc. These organizations aren't interested in spamming thousands of random people with poorly written scripts in hopes of getting an unknown amount of money out of one or two people--if they did get involved, you would probably see an increased level of organization and a major improvement in the scripts.

Some small groups involved in 419 scams may be "local" terrorist groups, such as the one Yastreb mentioned, but that's probably about the extent of it.

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Hello I'm New here!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks. Ask questions, get good answers. The notion of the waste of time involved in something as pedestrian as a con-job probably rules out alot of the more severe situations... and that makes sense.

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Scam Patroller
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I have this link regarding terrorists using 419 scams on one of my sites:

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Not quite a Newb

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:05 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

SP's link notwithstanding, terrorist organizations have historically been funded by donations, either openly or by shell game charities.

Personally, I know of at least one pub in the Bay Area that collected for the IRA, and when working in Bosnia, we were very interested in Saudi influenced charities and 'good will' mosques in the Muslim areas.


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Wright B Hindyou
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:11 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I agree.

Serious terrorist organisations would have no truck with the selfish, chaotic, back-stabbing world of the Lads; while Lads have no use for anything that is not designed to put money into their personal pocket with as little effort as possible.


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Hello I'm New here!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:52 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Continued thanx for the info.

Here was the angle which kept popping into my head. If I was a very serious and devious person intent on doing major harm, yet needing a covert way of feeding signals globally... I'd find a way of masking it with sufficient static as to make the actual intent unclear. Of course QVC comes to mind, but I digress...

"Watch for this signal on I'll be wearing a fish on my head, holding a comical sign in my *left* hand, which will mean attack xxxx at xx:xx"

It would seem from input here that the chaotic and somewhat random exchange of emails or other information couldnt be counted on as a means of delivering signals in a timely nor effective fashion.

I couldnt see a scam which was one dimensional (money) having much of a threat... and will hope that additional dimensions of it (covert intent within the content) arent a realistic possibility. A terror cell wouldnt (I dont think) ever try to depend on an undeterminable posting of a trophy as a means of communication.

But I'm not a serious threat, nor a particularly devious person (though I may play one on the internet) and so I hope I'm not missing an obvious angle to it... and feel more assured in the notion that the hobby may be engaged in without threat of aiding something more insidious.

So... chillin'


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The only link that has been made is as criminals 419 scammers use the money they make from scams and plunge it into lucrative criminal enterprises such as drugs. There is a proven link between terrorism and drug smuggling. So although there can be little or no direct link between 419 scammers and terrorists it is not beyond the realms of fantasy that some of their ill gotten gains end up in the hands of terrorists via drugs.

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