Prisoners in South Carolina posed convincingly as beautiful women on social media platforms.
A sextortion ring that aimed “catfish” efforts at U.S. military service members has been uncovered. The scam bilked 442 service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps out of more than $560,000.
An 11-month investigation, dubbed “Operation Surprise Party” and carried out by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and other military criminal investigative organizations, found that South Carolina inmates and their outside civilian associates identified and targeted members of the military via social media forums and online dating websites. Then, posing as attractive females, they exchanged pictures and lured service members into online romances. From there, the trap was sprung.