Yahoo Travel reported on Wednesday that three women in Chechnya took ISIS for $3,300 before getting caught. They are now under investigation for Internet fraud, which seems to be illegal even when committed against the most fearsome terrorist army in modern times. The scam seems to be a combination of the Nigerian Prince con, in which a mark is fooled into giving the con artist large sums of money and catfishing, in which the mark strikes up an online romance with someone he thinks is an attractive woman (or man depending on the gender and preference of the mark.)
In any event, ISIS is always on the lookout for gullible girls to attract to the territory under their control to become comfort women and baby factories. They tend to reach out to girls living in Muslim communities and impart lurid stories about how wonderful it would be to be the wife of an ISIS fighter. Many girls have fallen for this scam and have left the bosom of their families for a life of adventure and marital bliss in the Islamic State. The reality of life in the little bit of Mordor that ISIS has carved out in Syria and Iraq is wide of what was advertised.
The three enterprising Chechen ladies feigned interest and even sent faked photos of themselves. ISIS duly sent travel money to an account that had been set up for that purpose. At that point the three Chechen grifters closed the account and absconded with the money.
This is the kind of con that falls under the category of don’t try this at home. For one thing, Internet fraud laws do not have exceptions when the target is evil. For another thing, ISIS has a long memory and a long reach. One scams the terrorist army at one’s peril.
Nevertheless, maybe this is something that the CIA and other intelligence groups can have a go at. The more money that can be extracted from ISIS is less money that can be used to buy weapons and torture devices. The money in turn could be used to finance refugee relief in the Middle East or to arm the Kurdish rebels. It seems only fair, after all, that ISIS should help pay reparations for the atrocities it has committed.