- These high school theater kids put on a totally awesome ‘Alien’ play Saturday 3:59 PM
- Behold these photos of Elon Musk, but with Elizabeth Holmes’ eyes Saturday 3:11 PM
- Barbra Streisand gets canceled over remarks about Michael Jackson’s alleged victims Saturday 2:09 PM
- Report: Florida man raped Texas teen after posing as Instagram celeb Saturday 12:14 PM
- Lori Loughlin’s daughters, Olivia and Isabella, could be banned from USC forever Saturday 11:46 AM
- ‘Starfish’ is a heartbreaking tale of BFFs, grief, and apocalyptic alien invasions Saturday 10:35 AM
- How to stream UFC Fight Night 148 for free Saturday 10:00 AM
- The kids are making scantron memes instead of studying Saturday 9:29 AM
- Every installment of Hulu’s ‘Into the Dark,’ ranked Saturday 6:00 AM
- The internet is mocking Robert Mueller’s report deadline Friday 7:53 PM
- Instagram blocks some anti-vax hashtags—but still has far to go Friday 6:20 PM
- Study: Netflix released more originals than licensed titles last year Friday 2:26 PM
- Laura Ingraham, Dinesh D’Souza slam journalist for having a job Friday 1:40 PM
- Netflix is testing a cheap-as-hell mobile-only plan Friday 1:08 PM
- Astrology app Co-Star’s bizarre push notifications are now a meme Friday 12:18 PM
Pro-Trump troll busted for running fake intelligence firm tied to Mueller smear
Private investigation firm SureFire Intelligence, the company tied to manufactured smear allegations against Special Counsel Robert Mueller, is an elaborate front and hoax created by a right-wing troll.
The company was exposed on Tuesday as a fake after it was tied to Jacob Wohl, a right-wing Twitter personality, whose name and old finance company NeX Capital Management were found to be referenced in SureFire’s website domain data.
Wohl has denied involvement in several tweets.
SureFire seeks to present itself across social media and online as any company would. The illusion of the company’s status, however, simply fell apart with Google reverse image searches as internet sleuths took a closer look at its claims.
Jacob Wohl is a moron and didn't realize that there are reverse image search engines other than Google when he was adding filters to these pictures. Yandex got this as the very first result.
— Aric Toler (@AricToler) October 30, 2018
A quick look at SureFire’s supposed international employee roster on LinkedIn reveals numerous profiles using fake headshots.
The profile for SureFire’s “Tel Aviv station chief” uses a picture of Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli. The deputy director of operations is, in fact, a pastor from Michigan, and the company’s “financial investigator” is Oscar-winning actor Christoph Waltz.
In a wider bid to support the authenticity of the firm, reporters have uncovered a bunch of old Craigslist advertisements boasting that the company was founded by ex-Mossad agents, offering investigative services.
A page on Medium associated with the company pushed two pseudo-journalistic stories about the firm, tied to suspicious and recently created Twitter accounts for reporters that supposedly authored the articles. On Tuesday, Medium suspended SureFire’s pages. The Twitter accounts are still up.
Surefire Intelligence, The CIA-for-Hire for the Rich and Famoushttps://t.co/q0ewPAPMNP
— Evan Goldman (@EvanGoldman17) August 14, 2018
Even the Twitter avatars were revealed to be stolen from Instagram models.
The website boasts company office across the world and throughout the U.S., but all numbers suspiciously redirect via Google Voice to a single phone number in Orange County, California.
Despite all the effort to create fake personas and hoax PR pieces, that number reportedly redirects callers to Wohl’s mother’s voicemail.
David Gilmour is a reporter who specializes in national politics, internet culture, and technology. He previously covered civil liberties, crime, and politics for Vice.