Janice Niederhofer, founder and CEO of Peerage Consulting, Inc., gives a captivating presentation at RSA Conference, dissecting the subtle yet very significant components of online communication with scammers and other ill-minded individuals seeking preys on the Internet.
Welcome to the session: “Luring Your Prey – The Art of Effectively Communicating with a Cyber Predator”. Today’s agenda is going to cover 4 basic areas on how to manage communicating with a cyber predator. Rapport – what is it, how to get it? Matching – and we’re going to match visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and language patterns. So, here we go.
What Is a Cyber Predator?Very simply, cyber predators use the Internet to literally hunt for their victims. They hunt, they get on there and it’s like their playground, and they take advantage in any way of somebody who’s vulnerable, weak, has needs that they need to fill, including sexually, emotionally, psychologically or financially.
Now, in the cyber predator world we are all very familiar with cyber predators preying on younger victims. That’s a big deal and we don’t want to forget about that, they’re huge. And we have wonderful task forces out there, in the law enforcement arena, that are attacking these cyber predators who are looking for these young victims.
I also want you to keep in your mind that cyber predators aren’t limited just to the younger folks: you have cyber predators that are now stalking on all the social medias, chat rooms, in corporations, in inner workings of a corporation – they’re everywhere. As long as they have a playground and they can hide behind a computer to type away and search for victims – they’re good to go.
Now I’m going to give you an example of a cyber predator. I know someone who’s a 48-year-old female, and she was on Facebook, and this guy started communicating with her in a romantic way. And she has 2 children, divorced, ready to get into another full-time relationship. Well, this cyber predator manipulated her, feeling her needs, feeding back her keywords – all the things we’re going to talk about today is exactly what he did.
Eventually he got her to fall in love with him, and then the ball dropped. He gave her a big song and dance about how he needed money because he was in another country, so in order for him to be with her, she would have to send him a large chunk of change – that’s another type of cyber predator. So, cyber predators are anybody who’s taking advantage of the vulnerable, the week, somebody who needs something, the elderly – for goodness’ sake, the elderly are prey out there.
Cyber predators know how to manipulate their audience, whether the audience is one or more than one, in such scams. And they create trust and friendship through the use of their manipulation on the Internet to create friendship and trust where none should exist. And they manipulate their audience, their victims – I’ll call them victims from now on – in order to get what they want, whether it’s sexually, all the way to financially.
The ultimate goal is to stop a cyber predator, stop them in their tracks. Today it’s about luring them out through communication and stopping them. And the ultimate goal is to apprehend a cyber predator. Why we want to bring them to that is because we want to stop them and make an example out of them, because if you let them continue they’re going to find other victims. And if you have an opportunity, if you have the chance to stop a cyber predator, please, take advantage of it. And by all means, if you find yourself in this position or you find someone else who’s in this position in any context, get all the law enforcement; they’re really good at this, and work side by side, and make it happen.Communicating with a cyber predator is exceptionally easy. Remember: it’s a human being behind that computer, and you’re communicating with a human being. And the trick is to get into their world, and we’re going to do it in a number of ways.
We’re going to realize if they’re visual, auditory or kinesthetic, and we’re going to speak to them in their terms, and we’re going to use their specific language patterns, and we’re going to get into the symbols, because Lord knows there is a ton of symbols out there in the Internet world nowadays. And the flow of the conversation, of the communication – how does it go?
The Invaluable Role of RapportThe big umbrella for communicating with a cyber predator is rapport. What is rapport? I love this quote because it clearly states what rapport is, Theodore Roosevelt said it best: “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” And poor Theodore, he probably never thought that I’d be using his quote for this. But you’ve got to know how to get along with a cyber predator, communicate with them in their world so that you can lure them out, draw them out and get them where you need them to go, so you can apprehend them and stop them. Rapport exists between you and a cyber predator, and it’s a medium and carrier wave in which communication and connection can occur. You’ve got to have that common wave of communication happening between the two of you.
And here is the deal: it intensifies outside of conscious awareness. What does that mean? Did you know that 4 billion bits of information come at us every second? Let me say that again. 4 billion bits of information come at us every second. Now, how do you process that? You don’t. In your aware part of your person, only 2000 bits of information can you process at any point of time. 2000 – what does that mean? This is what it means, folks: we’re only using 1% of our brain; 99% of our brain is the unconscious part of us, the unaware.
So, here’s the deal: you’re listening to me, you’re watching the video, you’re looking at the PowerPoint – that’s the aware part of you, that’s 2000 bits of information that you’re taking in. What about the other almost 4 billion bits of information? When I worked as an agent for the drug enforcement administration as an interrogator, they gave me a nickname – “The Terminator”. Why? Because I could get anything out of anyone anytime. Why? Because I spoke to the person’s unconscious part, the subconscious, unconscious, or what I fondly refer to as the “critter brain”, that part of you that drives you, that gets you to do things you don’t even know you’re doing.
Here’s an example. Have you ever driven somewhere and you get there and you don’t even remember driving there? That’s the unconscious part of you. And therefore, if I’m going to communicate with a cyber predator and I’m going to lure him out to apprehend him, I’m going to speak to that 99% of that person. That’s why I get my biggest bang for the buck. Why would I want to talk to that 1% aware part? Everything, folks, that we’re talking about today is addressing the unconscious part of the person.