This is probably not really in my lane, but I just couldn’t resist blogging about this article. Bob Innes lives in Northern California and operates a website called “RentAHitman.com.” There’s a whole backstory in the article to how the website came about, but in brief, it’s not really a site where one can actually rent a hitman. In fact, the site has led to the arrest of several would be users who apparently were dead set on taking someone out.

The site asks users to fill out a form and then promises to set up the user with “a field operative.” The problem for the users, however, is that the field operative is a cop.

The linked article describes the recent case of Wendy Wein, who landed on the website in her quest to find a professional killer to murder her ex-husband. The site arranged for her to meet the killer in Michigan, and indeed the meeting took place. Wein gave the field operative a description of her ex, his address and the times he left for work and came home. All of this information became exhibits in the trial which ultimately led to her conviction on charges of solicitation of murder. She faces at least 9 years in prison.

Rage must be a powerful and blinding tool because the website has plenty of red flags that would lead a rational actor to question its authenticity. First, it’s on the internet, not the dark web or some other tough to find site. Second, it purports to be run by “Guido Fanelli” – too cute. Third, it claims to comply with HIPAA, only this HIPAA stands for “Hitman Information Privacy & Protection Act of 1964.” Does anyone seriously believe that Congress passed such an act in 1964?

I’m not in the business of alerting would be murderers to be careful. But this article does highlight the danger of falling for online scams. Innes has a succinct answer for why users fall for his pitch – “People are just stupid.” Hard to argue with him.