A group of Chechen girls posing on social media as potential recruits for Islamic State (Isis) have swindled the terrorist organisation out of $3,300 (£2,120).
After being approached by an Islamic militant on a social network earlier in 2015, one of the girls revealed to Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets that she had accepted money for travel expenses to Syria. "He began to lure me, saying 'do you want to come to Syria? It is very good'. I told him that I had no money," the girl, speaking anonymously, said.
Money was then transferred to the girl but local law enforcement monitoring the correspondence arrested her. The scammer is now under house arrest and faces a maximum of six years in prison for illegally soliciting money.
Friends of the scammer were reportedly recruited by members of IS online and did travel to Syria, however the girl revealed: "Many people I know did go, but I know no one for whom it turned out well."
Valery Zolotaryov from the Chechen police E unit told Moskovsky Komsomolets this was the first time he had come across individuals obtaining money from IS in this way. "I don't recall any precedent like this one in Chechnya, probably because nobody digs deep enough in that direction," Zolotaryov said. "Anyhow, I don't advise anyone to communicate with dangerous criminals, especially for grabbing quick money."
Chechnya has a majority Muslim population and sits within the terror group's ideas of a united Sunni Muslim theocracy, the so-called caliphate. IS has repeatedly used social media as a platform for propaganda and recruitment, with some estimates putting the number of pro-Isis tweets at around 100,000 per day.
Earlier in 2015, European police agency Europol created a new specialist unit in order to combat the group's social media campaign. Other attempts have been made by online hacktivists to fight back against the spread of jihadist propaganda, most notably by the amorphous group Anonymous and its affiliates.