Catfished! Girls Scam ISIS on Social Media for Travel Money
July 29, 2015
If you’re low on funds for that big vacation, you could always ask to borrow some, run a Kickstarter campaign … or swindle a couple of Islamic State recruiters. It may not be the safest way to make money, but that’s what three young women from Chechnya, a Russian republic in southeastern Europe, did.
The Chechen women are under investigation for fraud after they allegedly scammed IS members into giving them money on the pretense that they would use it to travel from their homeland to Syria. The ladies got away with some $3,300 before being discovered, according to RT News.
The IS members allegedly reached out to the young women on their social media accounts, asking them to join the militant cause. The women kept in touch with IS members and even sent fake pictures to string them along.
After the IS members wired the money, the “con artists” closed their accounts, stopped all communication, and kept the windfall. They had no intention of actually leaving the country, though one admitted that she used to consider joining.
“I don’t recall any precedent like this one in Chechnya, probably because nobody digs deep enough in that direction,” police officer Valery Zolotaryov told a local Chechen newspaper. “Anyhow, I don’t advise anyone to communicate with dangerous criminals, especially for grabbing quick money,” he added. Wise advice.
The women’s (totally illegal) stunt isn’t the first of its kind. RT News reported that sometimes men create fake accounts, pretending to be females, with the same IS-swindling intentions.
The Islamic State often targets Muslim communities like Chechnya’s to recruit people who are willing to inflict individual acts of terrorism on their own soil. Members have been said to use social media to attract a wide reach of followers. But it’s usually women who are scammed during these arrangements, as they are married off to fighters and often become victims of sexual abuse, the Mirror reports.