Not So Criminal Minds: Instagram Fail

A series on anti-social media criminals

Imagine Bonnie and Clyde, with the social media presence of the Kardashians…..meets Dumb and Dumber. And you have the first in our series of anti-social media criminals.

Classic story of boy meets girl, boy and girl impersonate and steal identities of over 700,000 individuals, go on the run from the IRS and attempt to sell the personal information of tens of thousands.


However the 21st Century spin on this fairytale occurred when Nathaniel Troy Maye and his accomplice, Tiwanna Thomason, unknowingly organised to meet an IRS informant and former fugitive for dinner in an attempt to sell a flash drive containing details of over 50,000 stolen identities. What does one do when eating out, even if on the run from federal agencies? Check in on Instagram, and put all the details of your questionable choice of steak and macaroni #foodporn on the internet. Of course.


So when the informant returned the flash drive drive to the IRS, not enough evidence was found to link Troy to the alleged crime - even with Metadata on the drive identifying the creator as “Troy Maye”.....until a social media savvy agency worker did a social media name search. #genius.

A public Instagram account by the user "Troy Maye" (with the unassuming tagline of "Good things will come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle”) was found - along with a picture of the meal had on the date of the meeting with the informant, with a GPS check-in at Morton's restaurant, perfectly identifying the suspect as the owner of the flash drive and linking him to the evidence of the key witness informant.

With his Instagram #fail costing him 12 years in federal prison and multiple fines...I wonder what filter he'll use on prison food?

Student Data Online Protection Not So Criminal Minds: Don't take #Selfie

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