Dark web murder-for-hire organisation Besa Mafia never paid any of their would-be hitmen for burning cars for them. The only people paid were their army of freelance writers. Here’s what Besa Mafia had them do.
Any freelancer knows that sometimes you have to take some pretty questionable jobs to put dinner on the table. This whole writing gig is not at all lucrative for those of us who are not J.K. Rowling or Stephen King, and in between books and serious investigative journalism (both which pay dismally when converted to hourly rates), we have to take some less-than-rewarding jobs. My low points have included extolling the virtues of pokies (slot machines for US readers) and offering my body up for clinical tests of a new drug (not the fun kind).
What I’ve never done is write for a content mill. The money on offer can barely sustain a modest Bangladeshi lifestyle, let alone buy a smashed avocado breakfast in one of the most expensive countries in the world.
If I had been desperate enough to pick up content mill work, this is the sort of ad I might have responded to:
Any freelancer responding to such an advertisement would start chatting with Yura, owner of Besa Mafia, advance-scammer extraordinaire. Yura, as previously reported, didn’t really want to kill anyone, but needed people to think he did so they would pay him lots of Bitcoin.
Still, he didn’t want them to know they were advertising a murder-for-hire site, so he had a cunning story for those who responded to the ad:
‘I need fiction stories that are one page long and written in the style of testimonial, they are fictional you as writer must imagine that you are a different person each time, and you need to write a story or testimonial about how someone did something bad to you; you wanted to take revenge, and you found some site on deep web named Besa Mafia, you tried them and they did a job well for you, beating up or killing a person. An example of such story is here: https://sites.google.com/site/besamafiastories.
The purpose of these fictional stories is that we are fighting Besa Mafia and want to get their site closed down; we want to shock the public and mass media to put pressure on FBI to close their site down. They provide real beating up and killing services, but their customers don’t publish stories, so media doesn’t bother with them; so we need to stories to shock public and get pressure on fbi to close besa mafia site down.
can you write fictional stories like this? you get paid $5 for each story, one page long, 500 words.. like a fake testimonial meant to shock and appear valid to have them closed down’
Yep, like everyone else on content mills, Yura’s pay rate for freelance article writers was shit. Three articles and three tweets would net a freelancer a cool $35.
Besa Mafia shelled out $10 for this article, then asked for another ten in a similar vein.
“in one story pretend you are women who was raped, in other story pretend you are father and your dauther was raped, in other story, pretend you are woman and your husben beated you and cheated many times, in other story pretend that a lover cheated and stole a large amount of money, etc’
He got 10 more, but ever the scammer, this time he didn’t pay for them. He used all the stories and would post them anywhere he could; he would create websites that claimed they were in it to fight the very real threat of Besa Mafia; he would post in Reddit threads, on Quora (he even used my name to post one of the Quora testimonials) and anywhere else he could think of.
He also hired people to find news stories online of murders that could have been Besa hitmen and had people write comments on such stories when comments were enabled: ‘This looks like a murder by a paid gang member.. Like those who offer services on sites like Besa Mafia on Deep Web, google it to see what I am talking about. Hitmen for hire can do jobs for $5000 these days, it’s the end of the world.. Hope police will close them down.’
When he rebranded as Chechen Mafia, he moved into paying taggers for graffiti ads:
This might seem like a hell of a lot of work for one person to go to, but the returns were more than worth it. Yura raked in AT LEAST 192 BTC, which at today’s exchange rate is over $US 1 million.
So freelancers, you can respond to shitty jobs on content mills, but it is much more lucrative to open a fake hitman site.
Don’t forget, it’s always smart to hide your IP from prying eyes. I use IPVanish