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Sorting Fact From Fiction: Inside the Mind of the “Original Internet Godfather”

Start Date:10/3/2020

Start Time:11:00 AM PDT

Duration:90 minutes


A Former Dark Web Mastermind Details How Scammers Convince You To Hand Over Your Hard-Earned Money

This live event has now ended, but you can still register to receive an email with a link to view the on-demand recording.

Deep within the internet is the Dark Web, a space where criminals can anonymously buy and sell illegal goods and private information. Known as the “Original Internet Godfather,” Brett Johnson created one of the dark web’s first online stores where criminals bought stolen credit cards, Social Security numbers, drugs and guns. After serving seven years in prison, Brett turned his back on criminal enterprise and became a consultant for the Secret Service and the cybersecurity industry.

Want to get a rare look inside the mind of a master con-artist? Join AARP Washington as Brett Johnson reveals how he became a con man and why he changed his ways. You’ll learn how to protect yourself from cybercriminals and you’ll have the opportunity to ask your questions, live! This is a free event with RSVP.

If you're already registered for the Sorting Fact From Fiction: Inside the Mind of the “Original Internet Godfather” webcast, click below:



Brett Johnson

Cybersecurity, Cybercrime and Identity Theft Expert


Called 'The Original Internet Godfather' by the United States Secret Service, Brett Johnson built and ran the first organized cybercrime community - Shadowcrew. Brett Johnson was responsible for refining modern financial cybercrime as we know it today. After being placed on the United States Most Wanted List, captured and convicted of 39 felonies, Brett promptly escaped prison. Captured again, Brett served his time, accepted responsibility, and found redemption through his loved ones and the help of the FBI. Today he is considered a leading authority on internet crime, identity theft, and cybersecurity. Brett speaks and consults across the planet to help protect people and organizations from the type of person he used to be.

Doug Shadel

State Director

AARP Washington

Doug Shadel is the State Director for AARP Washington and serves as the lead fraud researcher for AARP's Fraud Watch Network. He is a former fraud investigator who has co-authored numerous studies and books that profile victims and the tactics used by scammers including Outsmarting the Scam Artists, Weapons of Fraud and Schemes and Scams. Shadel has served as an expert witness in federal criminal fraud trials and on the advisory council for Stanford University’s Financial Fraud Research Center. He has also testified before Congress about the rise of fraud in the US and he writes a regular column for AARP the Magazine.
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