The Convoluted World of Binary Options Scammer Shill Groups on Facebook


Part One, The Scam

A multinational ring of online scammers are going to fascinatingly long lengths to steal money from people under the guise of investing into Binary Options.

Besides from just stealing people’s money, they are also committing identity theft and attacking people’s computers when they go on shill scammer websites.

The scam is simple enough, they take advantage of people not know a lot about investing and brokerage laws and lie to them, promise them the world and try to get them to send money via a sketchy scammer method, like Bitcoin, Perfect Money, Western Union, Moneygram … you get the idea.

They also try to get people’s ID documents to “open a brokerage account for them”, they request all other information you would need and are essentially trying to get everything needed to steal their ID.

I seems simple enough so far, but read on, things get a lot more complex and interesting.

Part Two , How I Became Admin of a Scammer Group

It all starts in the spam groups. The scammers own the spam groups, they are fairly large, usually 10,000 or more members and the feed is flooded with spam adverts, the bulk of them all coming from the one source, just through many different profiles.

To anyone with any experience in investing in Forex, you can usually go to any of these groups and start at the top and work down post by post finding fault with what has been said and/or the person saying it to the point to prove beyond reasonable doubt it is a scam (I done this, more on that later). There are many of these groups, I joined a lot of them and seen the same model working over and over where it was clear that whole group had been set up by scammers and was populated by them, working in a team.

I watched this for a while and decided I was going to troll whoever it was that was behind this.

At first all I planned to do was scroll through the page, ridicule the ridiculous and have a bit of a laugh at them. After this I was going to just spam all the posts with the reasons this was all an elaborate sham.

But here, things got very interesting. I quickly started to get friend requests and messages from lots of people, most of them very sketchy looking. The obviously sketchy ones I mostly rejected but there were some people I was very interested in. I didn’t like them, but wanted to talk with them.

People seemed very interested in my plans, being the spontaneous type, not a planner, I started to make up plans, spontaneously. I was amused to find people who I was suspicious of seemed very eager to help me with my plans, so to the extent it was possible, I set them to work on it. I set up a fan page called “Scam Stamped”, I set up a list of scammers and I got the shills to do most of the work and sharing of posts on this. Most of the posts were posting screenshots of things that had happened in groups with me debunking and mocking scammers posts. I’d hoped I’d have been able to get the shills to do most of the posting of this but I noticed quickly they messed up the pictures in such a way as that certain things were not seen, which was interesting.

I continued to troll scam posts, now by tagging “Scam Stamped” onto them. I was doing this a lot, I was aware I was becoming outrageously spammy while also making a lot of enemies and this would not bode well for my Facebook account. It was funny though. I started show my friends and brought a few of them in for the lulz and also so I could cross check if they also thought something was fishy about this all, me just crazy could not be ruled out.

I set up a secret group and added about 10 people, half of them or so I thought were shills and half of them because I needed someone else to see this. As well as offering me help, shills had been telling me they’d been scammed and flooding me with requests to review/call out scammers. I almost invariably said “right on it” and never looked again, although I did get all the messages achieved on the fan page so I could see who people wanted to give me (interestingly, people wanted to give me profiles that had not blocked me, and a lot of people blocked me - I’d imagine in the hundred area). I was going to make a group for shills telling me they had been scammed and tell them to share everything they knew with each other but I decided against this in case I inadvertently added someone who was not a shill and they were introduced to this web of thieves. It’d have been a good way to dump all the shills contacting me in one place and let them bull**** each other, though. It was a fun idea.

The whole thing was becoming fun. I’d tell these shills to do something and they’d go and do it, the amount of effort they were putting in made me curious as to what they wanted.

The biggest group I was in and the one I was most active in was called “Forex For all”, the “a” in the final word was not capitalized and that will come up again later. One day in the feed for the group appeared a box asking me if I wanted to be admin and I thought “Isn’t that the strangest thing”. The answer was “NO”, the group had 50,000 people in it and was a mess but I clicked “Yes”, because, let’s face it, when you are trolling a group of 1,000s of scammer profiles, being admin is going to add some flavour to that.

I knew the groups were ran by scammers and the odds this just magically happening were too intense for belief so I knew there must be something behind this but it was polite to play along so I duly gushed and awed at how lucky this was and how amazed I was. By now I was fascinated with the people behind this.

I became aware how entirely they thought the shills had my confidence from the fact that one of them, who would have seemed their most valuable dropped many hints, what they felt were sly mocks when I was talking with them about how I became admin. They’d said things like “Someone is watching” and other things to that theme, and suggested instead it was something akin to fairy dust and they seemed not to notice me mocking back.

I noticed while they thought the shills had my confidence they felt they could control me and I could do pretty much anything I wanted so I made shills mods in the group, again, if works need done, they may as well do it, there was a lot of spam.

As admin of the group, I had access to a wonderful amount of information on members of the group and started to learn a lot about interesting people to be watching. I’d put together a number of people I felt may be playing a significant hand in this and tried to work out how I could trip them up. Sending them a message trying to get them to incriminate themselves would not work, I needed to find some other way to see if they were connected with the scammers.

So I started to load the shills. I felt confident if I gave some stuff that translated well into Facebook statuses soon enough I’d see this pop up. And lo and behold soon enough it did.

When I quoted an old Henry Ford quote to one of the shills I could tell right away they were taken with it and I should look for it appearing elsewhere.

Shortly after it appeared on this profile /tumelo.mokhatla.1

Tumelo had got onto my list of people of interest when I’d seen two posts from a profile calling itself “Tumelo Goodwill” and a reverse of the same name “Goodwill Tumelo”. Everything about it stank of satire and upon trolling one of them, the profile had sent me messages, saying I was funny. I became very interested and thought “Tumelo” does not seem all that common a name, let’s see if we have more in the group.

Turned out there was about 10, I looked at them all, most seemed boring but Tumelo Mokhatla caught my eye and I started to watch this profile was any signs of reaction to any of the baiting I was doing. I was not disappointed.

Now I knew one of the people behind this and I decided to dig about and see how wide and deep this thing went.

Part three, The Shill Anti Scam Groups

Along the way I was approached by a shill profile calling itself ZW AR. Everything about it looked sketchy from the outset and it was another “great what you are doing” message to try to buddy up to me. I noticed quickly this person was probably a native English speaker, or at least very good with English and this was rare. Up to now, most of the scammers had been poor in English skills and many were tracing back to Nigeria.

This chap seemed to be from either the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand or perhaps South Africa. I’d been feeling it was New Zealand from things like time zone and cross referencing with Kiwis I know, I never did bother to check but I was soon to meet a lot more interesting people through him.

He told me to join the group; /groups/BOFraud/

I went there and within moments decided this was sketchy as hell, I looked at the admin/mod list and was certain this was another scammer group.

The shills were far more useful when duped though so I duly proclaimed “super legit group, dude” and asked to join.

When I was finally accepted into the group, I made some posts/comments to act like I was happy to be amongst friends and attacked a satirically obvious shill. Although on the face of it things in this group look like a real group, the sense that it is all staged comes about if you start to pay attention.

Amid the shammy requests for reviews on blatant scammy profiles/websites (websites running malicious codes) there is an attempt to lure people into secret “1%s Group”. Where you will find out how to be scammed by someone new. Or at least will appear to be new.

The funnel for this is to take people who have been scammed and offer them a helping hand, and then scam them again.

The shills here are mostly white South African but there are some others too, by contrast to the poor grammar and hyped up claims of the Nigerian spammers these people seem immensely more credible but they are all one in the same working to the same end.

Many shills contacted me from this page once I became active on it, there was repeated efforts to see if I was somehow trying to play the goodie so as to refer people to somewhere they’d be scammed, as was the case with what they were doing.

My suspicions about this group were confirmed when I made a post linking to Tumelo’s profile calling him out as one of the people behind this, I also linked another profile but it was unimportant and I felt it a mere red herring, Tumelo was the man of interest. Once I done this and started to unfriend some shills I’d let think were inside my circle of confidence, I was banned from this group. I checked with friends if they could see the group and it was indeed still there but I could not access it from my profile. After me making some references to this to certain shills I was mysteriously not banned any more. This can be done by a group admin via the “undo” function in the admin logs without any notifications, I checked.

In the first place when shills were asking me about money managers, I started off giving them links to join a broker (Think Forex), it was just a generic link, not an IB link and my main interest was to see if any of them would actually open accounts, to help me confirm my suspicions they were committing ID fraud. Two of them did sign up, and although both of them had trouble with names being slightly off (interesting) they did after a little while get funded. I was not sure what to do at this point, but after some thought I decided to connect them with a MAM which their deposits were far too small for and watched them lose their money.

I know at this point of the story I may seem like a bad person, let it be noted I have offered the pay them back (combined total $650) if it is verified they are the people the names on the accounts belong to, I have not been taken up on this, funnily enough. My offer does still stand, though.

Despite what I felt was pretty obvious sabotage of these accounts, both of these shills tried to further bait me into taking investments from them, trying to unearth something scammy, I politely declined one and just kept putting another off to discuss it at a later date.

Part 4, The Shill Kill

I was starting to get bored now, the scammer posts was no longer as much fun to troll, even though satirical ones did pop up more and more and gave the odd giggle. I decided to start to hardcore hack away at the shills, deleting them en mass from my friends list and removing ones that thought they were slyly winning my friendship in the group.

I used this to play to other shills, confiding in them my feelings about certain people planting seeds to see what reactions I got. I was very much entertained by how no matter how many shills I made they seemed to be under the impression I’d not worked out the web of them, it was easy to sell the “telling you ‘cuz I trust you” line to them every time.

I was at the point as admin of the group that sooner or later I’d have to start doing some actual work, which I did not want to do, I knew the various ways in which the scammer ring could attack me and was awaiting them doing it, I felt the most probable way was to attempt to disable my profile, which I’d made possible for them to do in many ways. This seemed to be an ideal out, since I was really not attached to the Facebook profile anyway and I really did not want to admin the group I’d been admin of, but also could not just walk away from it.

I felt pretty sure if I just made it obvious I was able to establish who all the main shills were this would result in them reacting but at the same time, in case they never, I did still want to have a couple shills to feed things to, so I axed most of them and kept on a few, one of the shills I’d “hired as a virtual assistant” and I decided to use this one as the point of contact to see if I could rile them into a reaction when a couple other forms of baiting them had not worked.

I’d half heartedly tried to bait them into admitting they were a shill although I knew it was not likely to work, in reality I just wanted to point out some of the magnitude of mistakes they had made while thinking they were so clever.

I figured once I spelt it out for them that I’d been on to the “virtual assistant” shill from the start they’d get the message that I’d made all the shills and that would be the end of things and I was 99% sure their method of attack would be reporting raids on my profile to disable it.

I’d toyed with the idea of randomly making lots of friends from outside Forex admins of the group, I had absolutely no idea what they’d do but it seemed a funny thought. I decided against it on the grounds that I knew they were attacking people’s computers and did not want my friends hacked just because I wanted to troll some scammers (I was not bothered if I got hacked, I just used spare laptops that didn’t matter that much to me).

I thought about removing the one mod I had left who I had down as a shill so if my profile went down the group was no longer in control of anyone but I decided leaving a mod there would serve as future proof that the group is intended to scam people by showing what sort of nonsense is allowed to fly. Without the mod, the rule of numbers would have prevailed and the volume of scammers profiles would still have left them in control, anyway.

As expected, my profile went down within 24 hours of me doing this, after a report raid on it (and was about time, I was running out of ideas of where to go with it and just wanted to tell the tale of all this ****ery, there is only so long you can be the admin of a group of scammer shills without getting bored, but I really did enjoy it for a while)

I did adjust the group settings to make it so mods have to allow posts, so any new posts coming through from scammers have been let in by the mod. This means watching what posts are allowed in and are not allowed in, will be very telling.

This is the group groups/146617692471112

This is a mirror group, same name and created by the same scammers. This is populated by shills who are just re-posting others analysis, if you look past the face value of the group you can see it all is a front.

(The owner of this group’s profile names him as the chairman, if you track down the site for the company, it tries to run malicious scripts on your machine ) /groups/609691159157965/

The posts are groomed and strategically bumped, made up of scammer shills to give the veil of authenticity of the group. If you are investigative and mischievous, I promise you, there is endless fun to be had by messing with these people and unpicking this whole web of lies, especially if you get them to buy into you believing the charade presented to you but if you do go into this, do understand these scammers will come at you from many profiles, a lot of them seem to be either hacked or bought and can seem like very legit people and it is best to presume everyone you meet while doing this has some shady motives.

The rabbit hole is fascinating, though, once you start to unpick it all. Just, whatever you do, do not send anyone any money, for anything, or any IDs, or go on any websites (unless you know what you are doing) - basically, don’t do anything they want you to do.

The trip through the world of scam inception is a very interesting road. A lot of fun can be had stringing them along, whatever way you decide to do it.


Besides from just stealing people’s money, they are also committing identity theft and attacking people’s computers when they go on shill scammer websites.

The scam is simple enough, they take advantage of people not know a lot about investing and brokerage laws and lie to them, promise them the world and try to get them to send money via a sketchy scammer method, like Bitcoin, Perfect Money, Western Union, Moneygram … you get the idea.

Everywhere in the world has such these people, I think victims are not smart enough to avoid their luring trick.