‘Hitmen’ for hire invade the dark web — but researchers say they’re frauds

New research shows some of the hitmen services on the dark web are probably just shooting blanks.


March 8, 2020

Hitman-for-hire services are flourishing on the dark web, and they’re advertising at disturbingly low prices. The website Azerbaijani Eagles promises to commit a murder for just $5,000.

There’s just 1 problem: Researchers at Michigan State University have concluded that these hitmen services are scams

Hired hits do occasionally happen in the real world. But none of the 24 sites covered in the research have ever been linked to a real-life murder. 

Calling yourself a killer has never been so trendy

At least 1 group adamantly opposes the scam theory: the hitmen themselves.

The 18th Street Mafia promises that it “can provide video proof of our services, with time stamps,” adding that “such proof is not possible for fake services.”

The proof is apparently hard to come by: When the The New York Times reached out, the Mafia didn’t reply. 

Left on read by your dark-web assassin

To be clear: We here at The Hustle are not eager to cast too much shade on hitman services. But there’s a good reason to be skeptical.

Say you actually try to hire one of these sites. You fork over $18,000 — apparently the going rate for a hit in England. Nothing happens. What are you gonna do, call the cops?

One Illinois nurse was sentenced to 12 years for trying to hire a member of the Sicilian Hitmen International Network. Her case shows law enforcement probably won’t have much sympathy if your hired gun ghosts you.

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