Next steps in extortion case - ideas?

Bill Merriam lists at
Mon Jun 30 14:00:37 UTC 2014

On Sat, 28 Jun 2014 16:32:15 +0200
Markus <universe at> wrote:

> Hi list,
> nothing operational here, but there are many smart minds on this list 
> and people working for telcos, ISPs and law enforcement agencies, so 
> maybe you are willing to give me some advice in the following case:
> There's an individual out there on the web that has been blackmailing 
> hundreds of people and companies in a specific area of business for 
> years. His scheme is: 1. Contact the alleged "debtor" via e-mail and 
> inform him about an existing debt claim by a third party. 2. Offer
> the debtor a deadline to pay the debt and warn the debtor if he
> shouldn't pay he'll be prosecuted and his case will be "made public".
> 3. Once the deadline has elapsed, he'll publish completely false
> information made out of thin air on the web, in particular Facebook,
> Twitter, a blog, a website, including pictures of the debtor and
> serious accusations like "This debtor is a child molestor" or "This
> debtor is part of the mafia" and other crazy stuff that you can
> usually only see in movies. All of course with real names, company
> information (if applicable) and basically everything he can find out
> about the debtor. 4. Then, the individual hopes that the debtor will
> be intimidated because the debtor is afraid of the false information
> about him, which will show up on Google etc., and will finally pay to
> get this false information removed from the web.
> In all cases the published "background information" about the debtors
> is false, made out of thin air, and over the top. Just the names and 
> pictures are correct. Intentional slander in order to get the debtor
> to pay. If any of the published information was true, then every 2nd
> debtor would be a child molestor and every other debtor part of the
> mafia.
> That individual is hiding his real identity really well, obviously,
> and he knows what he's doing. Domain hosted in Russia, taking good
> care his IP address won't show up in the mail headers, using false
> names and identities, phone numbers registered through some DID
> provider who doesn't collect personal information about the DID owner
> etc.
> I am one of the accused and had lots of false information about
> myself and my company published by him. This is why I started to have
> an interest to track his real identity down. I took 2 days out of my
> life and researched high and low and finally found his personal phone
> number along with a name, a picture of him and several possible
> addresses (in the US).
> I cannot be sure that the name, picture and addresses are correct,
> but I called him on his personal phone number and after having spoken
> with him before under his false identity, I can confirm that it's the
> same person (the voice is the same). He was quite surprised to say
> the least.
> In case it matters, according to a LRN lookup the number belongs to 
> Omnipoint Communications, which is part of T-Mobile USA, I think.
> My idea is to somehow confirm his identity and confirm my research by 
> matching the voice of the false identity (available from a message he 
> left on my voicemail and also from his voicemail intro) to the real 
> person. I'm thinking about hiring a private investigator in the US
> (I'm in Germany) to drive up to the addresses I can provide the PI
> with and find the person that matches the voice / maybe even the
> picture. The PI then must document the outcome in a way that it can
> be used in court. I'm wanting to go the PI route because it will be
> the fastest way to possibly gather evidence, I assume, as opposed to
> commissioning a lawyer who will then in turn contact law enforcement
> etc.
> Unfortunately I do not have the authority to access the personal data
> of the person that pays the monthly bill for the phone number that I
> called him on, otherwise that would be the fastest way I suppose. I
> spent money for some pay-sites that do some reverse phone lookup and
> stuff like that, and although the information was helpful, I cannot
> be sure that it's accurate.
> My goal is to confirm his real identity/name and address in order to 
> start a lawsuit and have a lawyer, or maybe even law enforcement, 
> investigate this case and ultimately, put an end to his slander 
> activities, not just for my case but for all hundreds before me and 
> those which are to come in the future.
> Do you think the PI route makes sense? Any other recommendations?
> Your feedback in general?
> Thanks and sorry for so much text. :)
> Markus

Try contacting Brian Krebs.

Also it seems like if you have a industry association you should get
them to notify members and help with a response.


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