Increasing numbers of people are victims of imposters who use fake online personas to trick people into intimate relationships and attempt to blackmail them by releasing private photos or conversations. These perpetrators are commonly known as ‘catfish’ imposters or ‘sextortion’ criminals. They have succeeded in such efforts against a range of people, including sophisticated and prominent persons.
Such criminals and perpetrators are often highly skilled at gaining the trust of well-meaning people. These deceitful relationships can expose victims to serious reputational or emotional harm; the FBI recently warned that such crimes can have “devastating effects on young victims from all walks of life, and it is easy to become a victim.”
If you suspect or know that a person is fabricating their identity or background on dating sites or social media, our investigators can help victims protect themselves from the substantial risks posed by online predators. Our investigators can turn the table against these imposters by offering the following services to protect yourself:
- We have successfully identified imposters posing as other persons and obtained their real contact information, residence address, and other personal information. Such leverage can prevent the public disclosure of personal conversations or images.
- Our investigators include computer forensic specialists and analysts from the U.S. Intelligence Community who can retrieve valuable clues about a person’s true identity. We have analyzed hundreds of social media accounts and extracted information that helped identify the true account holders of online profiles.
- Some perpetrators have used malware or other hacking tools to gain control of a victim’s electronic devices, including smartphones and computers. BDA can conduct a cyber audit of your electronic devices to ensure that the perpetrator has not infiltrated your network or computer devices.
- Our investigators include former detectives and law enforcement officers who can directly inform perpetrators of applicable laws that they be violating. They can also facilitate the filing of a criminal report or conduct a criminal record search regarding such perpetrators.