December 2, 2009

How to Find Scammers

digiworldDuring a recent IM conversation, Steve and I were discussing some of the interesting technologies that are now available to citizen journalists in order to learn how to find scammers no matter where they live or how hard they attempt to hide from being discovered. Those of you who have followed RealityUncovered exploits to this point know that we’ve dealt with scammers who attempt to use the Internet to distribute bogus Ufology over the Internet.

Thanks to Steve’s professional networking skills in particular, the question of how to find scammers quickly turned into how best to deal with them – whether to expose them, or simply wait and try to determine ultimate motive. In the end we decided on a little bit of both.

How to Find Scammers – a Simple Guide

These days, more and more Internet travelers approach these wild stories a little more conservatively and with more critical thinking skills. One of the things we strive for at RU is to help educate the Internet public about the ways that you can not only determine whether a particular outrageous claim or story is true – but you can also take it a step further, track down the real source behind the claim, and determine and expose their ultimate motive. The tools you have at your disposal include:

Google (search engines) – The basic first-line research tool of every citizen journalist.

The Invisible Web – Deep-digging tools that look into databases and other online search results that are invisible to normal search engine crawlers.

Social Networking – Utilizing online chat/email tools, you can quickly establish contacts with people who you would rarely ever have the opportunity to contact or meet offline.

Public Records – You would be shocked what you can uncover about a person through a public records search. Death certificates, important birth dates, family relationships and even locations where a person has lived are all contained in these records that are available to the public. See The Bad Shepherd as a perfect example of the sort of research that’s possible with public records.

Tracing Technologies – If you take the time to learn how the tools work, there are a multitude of valuable resources available to you (for a small fee, but sometimes free) that let you trace the source of email messages, phone calls, instant messages, and more. With these tools at your disposal and by gaining access to very large mailing lists where your “usual suspects” are active, you’re able to monitor the location and current IP address of large groups of people within a certain industry or niche.

Why would you need to know the IP addresses for large groups of people? Because if you want to know how to find scammers on the Internet, then you need a reliable database of the current IP address for large groups of people involved with a particular subject matter.

This way, once someone attempts to send out an anonymous email message to perpetuate a scam upon that crowd – you have an entire database of addresses to cross-check against and nail the culprit. In fact, this is exactly how we nailed Rick Doty a few years ago – check out Steve’s fantastic redesign of the Serpo section to learn about that particular investigation.

In upcoming posts, we’ll share some of the most important tools and techniques we’ve used in the past to trace and nail scammers, with the hopes that in some small way we’ll be able to assist the many other citizen journalists out there who are reading this with learning how to find scammers, and how to nail them to the wall.

Filed under: UFOlogy — Tags: , , — RyanDube @ 5:10 pm

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