Russian Honey Pot Scams In The Ukraine Conflict

Russian Honey Pot Scams In The Ukraine Conflict

Russia Is Using Romance Scams To Gather Military Intelligence

How Scammers Operate – A SCARS Insight

Russia Has Weaponized Romance Scams To Gather Intelligence Against Ukraine – Honey Pot Scams!

We have just heard from a Ukraine romance scam victim who discovered that not only was she involved in a romance or honey pot scam, but that it was a Russian Honey Pot Scam!

Did You Know?

Did you know that Russian scammers are using Romance Scams to convert Ukraine citizens into unknowing spies through these honey pot sccams?

They are pretending to be people (impersonating) from all around the world – Asians, Americans, Europeans, and more. They engage in all the standard romance scam techniques – that includes: grooming, manipulation, and control. This is so that Ukrainian women and men are led into relationships for the purpose of obtaining information (intelligence) that the Russian military can use.

The victim we spoke with lives in Eastern Ukraine, and the honey pot scammer was constantly asking about her life there, military movements, and family member deployments. Even small bits of information about daily life can confirm information that can be useful to an enemy.

As always, all victims need to exercise extreme care, especially if they are in places of conflict or in jobs where security is critical. The techniques of romance scams are nothing new – though these forms of honey pot scams are someone unexpected – but these are all old-school Soviet-era spycraft! Romance has always been used to turn loyalists into moles, mules, and embedded spies.

IF YOU LIVE IN UKRAINE AVOID ALL ONLINE RELATIONSHIPS WITH STRANGERS!

Honey Pot Scams

In espionage terminology, a honey pot scam or honeypot or honey trap are terms for an operational practice involving the use of a covert agent (usually female), to create a sexual or romantic relationship to compromise a (usually male) target.

The operator may be a government spy service or organized crime syndicate and the target, or victim, can unwittingly provide intelligence or perform other services for the operator. These situations are a very common trope in spy fiction and media portrayals of female espionage. Variations include same-sex relationships and complications may involve the covert agent falling in love with the target.

In deciding whether to recruit a prospect, there needs to be a process to make sure that the person is not actively working for the adversary’s counterintelligence, is under surveillance by them, or presents other risks that may not make recruitment wise. The assessment process applies both to targeted recruits, but additional assessment needs to apply to the walk-in, who is most likely to be someone sent by a counterintelligence service.

With the advent of the Internet and social media, recruiting is a much simpler process since operators only need to look at the social media presence of a target to know if they are generally suitable for recruitment or exploitation. Most people overexpose their information on social media, especially their locations, and this can help operatives to decide if they might be of value!

The History of the Honey Trap or Honey Pot Scam Approach

The trade name for this type of spying is the “honey trap.” And it turns out that both men and women are equally adept at setting one — and equally vulnerable to tumbling in. Spies use sex, intelligence, and the thrill of a secret life as bait. Cleverness, training, character, and patriotism are often no defense against a well-set honey trap. And as in normal life, no planning can take into account that a romance begun in deceit might actually turn into a genuine, passionate affair. In fact, when an East German honey trap was exposed in 1997, one of the women involved refused to believe she had been deceived, even when presented with the evidence. “No, that’s not true,” she insisted. “He really loved me.”

Those who aim to perfect the art of the honey trap in the future, as well as those who seek to insulate themselves, would do well to learn from honey trap history. Of course, there are far too many stories — too many dramas, too many rumpled bedsheets, rattled spouses, purloined letters, and ruined lives — to do that history justice here. Yet one could begin with five famous stories and the lessons they offer for honey-trappers, and honey-trappees (honey pot scam victims), everywhere.

The art of seducing was employed centuries ago, but the term “honeypot” or “honey pot” became popular during the Cold War. It described the Soviet activities which were targeting the West and especially the United States. The KGB, the Soviet Security Agency, used to identify women with the term “swallow”, and men with “raven”. The term “kompromat” stood for “compromising material”.

During the Civil War, in Tennessee, two sisters, Ginnie and Lottie Moon, also called “the Moon Sister Spies”, used their seduction skills to gain information from Union soldiers and spy for the Confederates. They were so talented and successful that at one point they were engaged to 38 soldiers between them.

In 2009, the MI5 circulated a 14-page document named “The Threat from Chinese Espionage” to British businesses and banks. It warned these businesses that the Chinese intelligence was trying to use a “honey trap”. The Chinese wanted to put pressure on individuals and convince them to cooperate with them.

In the past ten years, China tried to use honey pot scams in Western countries in order to steal secrets. Chinese agents, active in the UK, offer Western agents, scientists, engineers, and businessmen money and sex to gain valuable information. These agents often use social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, to connect with their targets and to lure them into their traps. An example of a Chinese honey pot scam is Fang Fang, or Christine Fang. She lived in the US from 2011 to 2015. In those years, she had relationships with Democratic politicians and two US mayors. In that period, she was able to observe the social networks, preferences, and habits of government officials. Fang Fang took part in Eric Swalwell’s re-election campaign and helped one intern to be part of Swalwell’s office. However, in 2015, the FBI was investigating Fang and gave Swalwell a defensive briefing. The FBI alerted him on Fang’s activities and behavior. Swalwell cut off the ties with Fang and she immediately left the country.

It Is Not Surprising

It is not surprising that the Russians are engaged in these honey pot scams. It is only surprising that this is the first we have been hearing of them!

What is equally surprising is that we are not hearing of more use of this technique by other scammers to exploit victims through honey pot scams, blackmail and other means. Although, in a manner of speaking a Sextortion scam is also a honey pot scam!

Don't Discuss Secrets
Don't Discuss Secrets

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