“You are looking for someone of a similar age to you who died. Starting at age three or four and up to age 14 or 15. Surnames always have to be general. You don’t want something which is going to stand out or be too memorable. You don’t want to draw any unnecessary attention to yourself. GREEN and BLACK are the favourites, but you don’t want something like SMITH. No matter what your first name is, that surname will always sound fake.”
The words above were spoken by an undercover police officer during an interview given to a national UK newspaper in 2013, and is referring to one of the methods used by the police to ‘steal’ identities in order to re-invent themselves.
It has been known for many years that undercover police officers have been used to infiltrate and ‘spy’ on political campaign groups and suchlike, in order to gather intelligence and also to report on any criminal actives that occur within these groups.
The methods used, however, are not so well known.
One tactic, (alleged to be no longer used) was to steal the identities of dead children.
According to the Metropolitan Police, it is not “something that could currently be authorised”, and it’s believed that there were a number of long-running reviews which investigated: “past arrangements for undercover identities used by police officers”.
Utilising the identities of the deceased, is also believed to be a technique used by career criminals, especially fraudsters and ‘Grifters’, and it has been rumoured that the real identities of Police Informers, so-called ‘Super Grasses’ and high-profile criminals requiring new identities – have successfully been protected using this method for a number of years.
The process involves trawling through the archives of the National Registry of Births, Marriages and Deaths to select a ‘suitable candidate’ who would be considered a suitable match for the officer who was going to assume the identity.
It is then relatively simple to obtain copies of the birth certificate, which can then be used to obtain identity cards, driving licences, passports or any other personal documentation in that name.
The photo ID that may be required is also a straightforward matter, as a photograph of the officers current appearence would accompany any relevant documentation.
Some officers even visited the homes and the neighbourhood of the deceased children to familiarise themselves with any distinguishing features and local landmarks, businesses etc, so they would be able to sound convincing – if questioned in any depth about their fictitious upbringing.
The idea behind creating these characters this way, is believed to be in case anyone became suspicious and decided to check on their background, which is publically accessible at both the National Registry Office and the assumed persons regional area.
Making a request for a birth certificate is a simple procedure, which involves a small fee (around £10-13) and the person’s date and place of birth, which would of course then produce a certificate of a real person, which is usually enough to allay suspicion.
The method of using surnames which are also colours to create fake identities, is also a time-honoured method method used by the world’s security services, and many of you are aware of the practice being written into a number of Hollywood movies and Television shows – the most famous being the 1992 movie ‘Reservoir Dogs’, who’s central characters, a gang of diamond thieves were named Mr BROWN, Mr ORANGE, Mr BLONDE, Mr WHITE and Mr PINK – exaggerated versions of the much commoner names, BLACK, GREEN, GREY/GRAY and WHITE.
Whether or not these methods are still being used today to create fake identities is anybody’s guess, but it’s true to say that in 2013, a British undercover policeman ‘Pete Black’ certainly utilised a number of the methods outlined earlier in this article.
One thing that has been noticed, and has been prevalent on the internet since at least 2009, is that a number of what the mass media refer to as ‘Trolls’, are also using variations of these names, and have similarly created their entire, although entirely fake, online identities around them.
It could be entirely coincidental, as of course it’s already known that using the surnames GREEN, BROWN, BLACK, WHITE or GREY/GRAY to hide behind while acting in a downright evil and despicable manner online, would make them extremely difficult to track down using the more common methods, as an online or archive search for any of those surnames would result in hundreds of possible matches – as most British villages, towns and cities will have at least one family with that surname.
If any of those surnames are paired with an equally common name like William, Chris, Carl, Jeff, Dave, Lisa, or Kevin to name only a few that are used, the task of tracing them becomes even more difficult – which if I was to hazard a guess, is the ultimate intention.
So are these cyber-bullies, trolls and agitators simply copying the idea from something they have seen on Television or at the Cinema – or is there something altogether more sinister and decidedly more organised behind their choice of online moniker?
And as the greater majority of these fake online persona’s all appear to be connected via various internet platforms, social media, forums and websites, using accounts specifically set up to attack and discredit any number of people and organisations, my gut instinct tells me it’s the latter.
Check out some of the comments, responses and the mutual supporters of any of these abusive accounts on any of the platforms I have mentioned – and you will see the same names, over and over and over again.
And attacking the same targets.