Beautiful Buxom Brunette Lures Boxer to His Death

Eddie Leal, 23, was an up-and-coming professional boxer who gave free boxing lessons in his garage to down-and-out neighborhood teens. He was a good guy. And like most young men, was looking for a girlfriend.

Phishing is Getting FishierOne day he saw that a young woman, Rebecca Santhiago, was asking for a friend request on his Facebook page.

The brunette bombshell with fashion model looks said she was 21, liked to party and was attending college.

What Eddie did: He accepted the friend request.

What Eddie should have done: right-clicked on the profile image and then selected off the drop-down menu, “Search Google for image.” He would have discovered that the results were suspicious for a stolen image, and that Rebecca Santhiago – at a minimum – did not look like her profile image.

The next move would have been for Eddie to ask Rebecca to post a picture of herself holding up a sign with her name or his name – or a recent newspaper – because “I googled your profile image and it’s on other sites.”

Few young men would have the nerve to do this, fearing it would end the correspondence. But if it ends it, this likely means that the woman was fraudulent. Better to learn this early on, right?

A correspondence – only via Facebook, ensued. Rebecca said she had no phone.

WARNING! A 21-year-old college student with no phone?

What Eddie should have done: Requested she borrow a phone so he could communicate by voice or use Skype to see her as well. This request would have ended the correspondence. And saved Eddie’s life.

One evening he agreed to meet Rebecca at 2:00 in the morning at a nearby park – her idea.

WARNING! What woman in her right mind agrees to meet a man, whom she’s never seen nor heard speaking, at 2 AM at a park? Okay, a few oddballs out there might, but Rebecca’s request should have set off sirens.

What Eddie did: Drove to the park to meet her near a dark street corner, per the plan.

What he should have done: Insist that they meet in the middle of the day for lunch at a café. This request would have ended the correspondence. And kept Eddie breathing.

The meeting took place a few weeks after the Facebook correspondence began. When Eddie arrived and waited in his car, a young man appeared and shot him point-blank in the head.

Who was Rebecca?

She was Manuel Edmundo Guzman, Jr., 19, one of the teens who had once shown up to check out the free boxing lessons.

Extensive forensic investigating revealed that the Facebook messages had come from Manuel’s computer, and that the image belonged to a model unrelated to him. He murdered Eddie for the thrill of it.

Impersonating someone else via cyber communication is called catphishing. Manuel’s fake FB page included friends whom he may have acquired simply by inserting himself into cyber conversations and then making friend requests. Anyone can build a fake Facebook page. Usually it’s done for non-homicidal reasons, but you now know the warning signs of a homicidal catphisher.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

Catfishing Scammer tells all

Catfishing is when someone creates a phony online account—and not necessarily to scam someone for financial gain. An article on tells all about a person who’s been catfishing for eight years.

9DShe started in middle school by creating “Joey” on MySpace. She then commented, as “Joey,” on her real MySpace page to make herself appear that some cool kid named Joey thought she was pretty.

She got older and didn’t have friends. Don’t blame her for this. Her mother was an addict and father behind bars. She wanted friends, but years of abuse impaired her ability to integrate with people—as herself.

So she created more fake accounts, to create the self she wanted to be. She snatched photos of a cool-looking girl on MySpace and created an account for “Amanda Williams.” The common name would make detection of catfishing impossible.

Because Amanda’s photo was stunning and her account presented with confidence, many people began adding her and sending flattering messages and friend requests.

Our girl here spent loads of free time on social media, constructing Amanda’s life. (Can you see how it’s believable that many adults do this with Facebook? There’s even a site where you can hire a Photoshop specialist to alter and beautify your headshot for only five bucks, and shop you onto a galloping horse or a sailing boat.)

One day our girl, posing as Amanda, messaged a classmate that Amanda liked her, figuring that this would get out and make the other kids think she was cool if Amanda liked her.

But she got busted because it was discovered that Amanda’s phone number was the same as hers.

Then she was hooked on catfishing, and this awful experience only taught her to be more cunning. So she created a new account—with the same photos used for Amanda Williams (not a bright idea), but she blocked her classmates.

After ninth grade, she was transferred to a vocational school due to bullying. All free time was spent on social media doing you-know-what.

More clever this time, she gradually added about 150 “filler friends” to make the account look legitimate, then began adding desired friends. She’d steal photos from Facebook and then block that person’s friends to avoid getting busted.

She then created subaccounts to add to the authenticity. This was done by taking Instagram videos and posting to Facebook. She used Photoshop to fake the “proof” signs.

The phony Amanda Williams account, studded with stolen photos, backstories and fake friends, made our unfortunate girl feel validated. But to her, the fake friends of Amanda Williams were real enough to “speak” to. Those made-up friends cared about her. They were more real to her than people in real life who didn’t care.

She even managed to lasso a cyber relationship through Amanda Williams, but her conscience won out and she fessed to the young man the truth. He vanished after that. But it haunts her because she wonders if she could have accomplished this without Amanda.

She admits to being addicted to catfishing for attention, which has prevented her from working on relationships with real people in person. She’s created more than 20 fake accounts thus far, excluding the subaccounts, which perhaps total 200. But she claims all of this has been therapeutic, though at the same time, heartbreaking.

Today she’s 21 and still friendless in real life. She’s never been employed. But she admits to how wasteful this addiction has been. She hardly leaves the house due to social anxiety; her reality is inside her computer.

She’s in therapy, though, and only one of the fake accounts is active. She can’t part with it. “My existence hinges on this fake account,” she says in the article. She raised Amanda as her child, giving her new hairstyles, even. Amanda grew up, but her creator is still crippled inside a cocoon.

Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to discussing identity theft prevention.

Catphishing is a Heartless Scam

When someone online presents as a different person than their true self, this is called catphishing, and it occurs on online dating sites.

  • Google the name of the object of your interest. Obviously, “Kelly Smith” and “John Miller” won’t get you far, but “Jaycina McArthur” just might. What comes up?
  • See if they have social media accounts, as these suggest they’re a real person. But the absence doesn’t prove they’re a phony, either. Not every legitimate person is into the social media thing.

Here are warning signs:

  • More than one profile on a social media site.
  • Few friends or followers on social media (but then again…this doesn’t prove they’re a catphisher. Remember, Hitler had a million followers, and Christ had only 12!).
  • Photos don’t include other people.
  • Photos are headshots rather than of activities.
  • They find a way to contact you other than through the matchmaking service.
  • They quickly show neediness and request money.
  • They quickly proclaim “you’re the one” despite never having met you in person.

Additional Steps

  • Right click their photos to see where else they are online. Is it them on other sites or some model’s or real estate agent’s picture?
  • Copy and paste excerpts from their profiles and see if they show up elsewhere.
  • It may seem counterintuitive, but if you’re interested, ask for a face-to-face correspondence early on in the relationship (like a week or so into it) so that you don’t waste time getting dragged down by what ultimately turns out to be a catphisher.
  • If the person doesn’t use Skype, ask for a local meeting in a crowded public spot (assuming it’s a local person).
  • If they back down from a face-to-face meeting, be suspicious. They’re not necessarily after your money, but that 6-2, 180pound stud might actually be a 5-7, 240 pound guy who’s 10 years older than what his profile says.
  • Don’t reveal private information like where you work. Make sure there’s nothing revealing about your location on your social media profiles. A catphisher will want this information.
  • Be highly suspicious of someone who wants to know a heck of a lot about you—like if your parents live in town, what kind of home you live in, how much you earn, etc.

Trust your gut. If he or she sounds too perfect, they’re probably fakes.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Catphishing is a loveless Nightmare

What is catphishing? This recently coined term refers to false online identities created by Internet scammers to deceive people into a long-term romantic or emotional relationship.

8DHow can you tell you’re being catphished?

  • Out of the blue, some really attractive person begins communicating with you online.
  • This individual finds excuses not to use their phone or Skype.
  • When push comes to shove on your end, this person will finally agree to visit you, but then some excuse will surface, preventing the visit.
  • You’ll find it impossible to get a legit physical address.
  • Phone calls will have dead silence in the background since they’re made with a lot of caution.

Catphishers use photos that really aren’t of them: sites showing off the most commonly used photos.

Catphishing isn’t always a romance-based scam. Someone may create a fake identity to catch a sex offender or set a trap for an unfaithful partner. These may seem like benign motivations, but a false identity can be created also to give the catphisher 15 minutes of cyberspace fame—at the expense of luring a public figure into the web of deceit.

Snagging Catphishers

This can be accomplished if more sites simply incorporated iovation’s device reputation checks for suspicious computer history and investigated for characteristics consistent with fraudulent use. With this they’d be able to deny catphishing criminals, often before the first time they try to sign up.

iovation has many more categories specific to dating, including bullying, account takeovers, underage members, and so on. What’s unique to their globally shared system is that their clients can choose what to take action on or not.

For example, a dating site may choose to be indifferent to cheating in online gaming sites, but set up rules to trigger multiple account creations looking for profile misrepresentation.  Dating sites can specify which type of behavior to protect their users from.

Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert contributor to iovation. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video. Disclosures. For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247