FBI agents are investigating Islamic extremist groups for dupging Americans into buying their online ads that they never intended to send, according to a senior law enforcement official.FBI Special Agent in Charge Mark Cavanaugh told reporters on Tuesday that a team of investigators is in the process of analyzing the ads and that it was not yet known how they were being distributed.
He said the FBI is also looking into how the group was able to sell the ads, but declined to identify any individuals or groups behind the operation.
Cavanaugh said that the FBI was also reviewing social media accounts that are linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and has also launched an investigation into other potential buyers.
He added that the agents are still trying to determine how the ads were distributed and who was behind the scam.
“It is possible that the person(s) responsible were not paying a subscription fee or the money was not accounted for,” Cavanaugh said.
He did not elaborate on the specifics of the investigation, which has been ongoing for several months.
The FBI has investigated several similar scams in the past.
It was recently revealed that the group also tried to scam a large number of people into purchasing fake passports and identity documents in 2014.