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Inmates have been fishing members of the military in a large-scale scam on sextorsion.



A prison supervisor registers a cell phone found in a prison cell in Paris.

A prison supervisor registers a cell phone found in a prison cell in Paris.

ALAIN JOCARD / Getty Images

Inmates at South Carolina jail have received arrest warrants and subpoenas for a sextorion scam involving the cat-fishing of hundreds of military personnel, a report from the investigative service said Wednesday. criminal of the navy.

With the help of outside accomplices, the detainees used mobile phones to search for dating and social media members, and then forged romantic relationships with a fake female identity. In the end, the detainees would blackmail service members for money, the NCIS report said.

How did the inmates receive money, ask yourself? After a few days of romantic conversations, including the exchange of nude photos with members of the military service, the inmates sometimes assumed the role of the father of the fake female character. The "father" claims that his daughter was a minor, in which case the photos exchanged would be considered child pornography, according to the NCIS report. Other times, prisoners pretend to be policemen. In both scenarios, detainees would ask for money in exchange for not prosecuting members of the military service. Members of the Service "would then pay, fearing to lose their career instead of possessing what they were supposed to be child pornography," says the NCIS report.

This complex sextortion-related swindle affected 442 members of the armed forces, navy, air force and navy corps, reported the report, which disbursed more than $ 560,000 .

NCIS has issued arrest warrants as part of the first phase of Operation Surprise Party, an investigation to find detainees involved in money laundering projects like this one.

"This despicable targeting of our brave military will never be tolerated," said Andrew Traver, director of NCIS. "This operation will continue until we break the backs of these criminal networks."

More than 250 people are still under investigation and could be prosecuted. But this is not a unique case. There have been other examples of detainees using cell phones to continue to commit virtually crimes, even though they were physically behind the walls of the prison. Many times, it is the prison guards who sell phones to the detainees, revealed News 5, a news site related to CBS. For example, a phone can be sold for $ 500 and its charger $ 150, the article said.

In July, judges in South Carolina and California ordered mobile operators to deactivate about 200 smugglers used by prisoners to prevent them from engaging in criminal activities such as drug trafficking and gang operations. reported the Associated Press agency.

In response to the latest sextorsion scam, Brian Stirling, South Carolina's director of corrections, and some US Marshals, are renewing their campaign for an even tougher measure: the total blocking of all mobile signals in prisons.

"Technology exists, and I know it, to make these phones worthless, to make them useless. To make it just a clipboard in a cell block, "said US Marshal Thomas Griffin at ABC News.


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