Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
South Carolina Inmates Scammed Service Members Out Of Half A Million In A Massive Sextortion Ring
South Carolina inmates managed to blackmail 442 U.S. service members from across the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines out of more than $560,000 as part of a sprawling sextortion ring, Naval Criminal Investigative Service officials announced on Wednesday.
- The NCIS announcement, which marks the end of the first phase of the multi-year Department of Defense joint investigation dubbed 'Operation Surprise Party,' found that South Carolina inmates "used various social media platforms and dating sites posing as a female, exchanging pictures with service members" in a practice known as catfishing, according to NCIS.
- "After the service member responded, prisoners would then assume a role of the female's father, who claimed the female was a juvenile," NCIS explained in a new release. "Prisoners would also assume the role of a police officer or someone in a position of authority, demanding money, on behalf of the family, in exchange for not pursuing charges through law enforcement channels."
- The existence of the investigation was first revealed in an Army Criminal Investigation Command warrant submitted to a federal court on Oct. 3, but the scope and scale of the sextortion ring were previously unreported.
- According to NCIS, more than 250 people "are being investigated and face potential future prosecution" for their role in the scam, ranging from guests of the South Carolina Department of Corrections to "outside civilian associates."
- "We do to 10-12,000 felony investigations annually and we see all kind of things, but this is a different sort of crime," Army CID public affairs chief Christopher Grey told Task & Purpose. "The players, the circumstances are different than the normal felonies we deal with."
- CID had previously cautioned soldiers to be on guard for sextortion scams where criminals “use any dishonest method to make contact with potential victims and then attempt to blackmail them," as Special Agent Daniel Andrews, head of CID’s Computer Crime Investigative Unit, said in an Army release. “To avoid falling prey to a sextortionists never send compromising photos or videos of yourself to anyone, whether you know them or think you know them."
SEE ALSO: South Carolina Inmates Allegedly Posed As Underage Girls To Blackmail Soldiers On Dating Apps
Constant deployments broke the Air Force's B-1 fleet. Now the service is facing a major bomber shortfall
On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.
In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.
A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.
The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Verizon committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. Verizon is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.
Verizon values leadership, motivation, self-discipline, and hard work — all characteristics that veterans bring to the table. Sometimes, however, veterans struggle with the transition back into the civilian workplace. They may need guidance on interview skills and resume writing, for example.
By participating in the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program and developing internal programs to help veterans find their place, Verizon continues its support of the military community and produces exceptional leaders.
CAIRO (Reuters) - Islamic State's media network on Monday issued an audio message purporting to come from its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi saying operations were taking place daily and urging freedom for women jailed in Iraq and Syria over their alleged links to the group.
"Daily operations are underway on different fronts," he said in the 30-minute tape published by the Al Furqan network, in what would be his first message since April. He cited several regions such as Mali and the Levant but gave no dates.
'An insane game changer' — Soldiers are about to receive the Army's most advanced night vision goggles yet
Soldiers with the 1st Infantry Division are just days away from becoming the first to get their hands on the most advanced night vision goggles the Army has fielded yet.