Talk:Sting operation

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Solicitation of a minor[edit]

changed the word 'lure' to 'identify a potential' since no child sexual abuse actually occurred in this instance and the word 'lure' would be more appropriate if the situation was classified as entrapment.

Scam baiting[edit]

Isnt scam baiting a type of Sting Operation to catch 419 scammers?

  • Most scam baiters scam bait for the fun of it, whereas a sting operation is intended to capture the target. --cuiusquemodi 03:13, 12 July 2005 (UTC)


The article gives this as an example.

police arranging someone under 21 to ask from an adult to buy alcoholic beverage for him or her; the adult is prosecuted if he or she complies ...

In Australia & New Zealand the legal drinking age is 18. In Japan it's 20. In some parts of Canada it's 18 & in others it's 19. This needs a rewrite so as not to be so US-centric. - Jim 13Apr05

Okay, I've fixed it. I've replaced 21 with the legal drinking age. Also I've deleted the from (see above): this was a grammatical error. I've also deleted

... the adult is prosecuted if he or she complies ...

Whether or not they are prosecuted is not important. It's still a sting op if they aren't. It's possible for a case not to come to trial. None of the other examples mentioned prosecution.

Of course other things like prostitution are legal in some places too but perhaps this is not so great a problem. - Jim 18May05

You might want to know[edit]

You might want to know that this type "agent provocateure" action is illegal for the police to conduct or arrange in most european states, but you might want to do some further research on that topic

On the page, Sweden is used as an example of not allowing sting operations, which is mostly true. Here, and in most European jurisdictions, police are only allowed to use this tactic to gather evidence or make arrests relating to ongoing or already committed crimes, like carrying out a delivery of seized contraband to catch the recipient, or posing as buyers to recover stolen goods. Any sting that can be construed as inciting a crime is prohibited. (talk) 03:47, 16 November 2019 (UTC)

Non-law enforcement example[edit]

Should this article be modified to mention that the term is used for non-law enforcement situations as well? The most notable example being, especially since someone there just linked to here throughout the article. I think what they do definitely qualifies, since unlike the scam baiters, they are doing it with the intention of catching the perpetrator (and frequently prosecute, and have to be careful to avoid entrapment, etc, etc, etc). The current definition here seems to limit the term to LE only. Fieari 18:52, August 23, 2005 (UTC) may not be the best example, as it could be argued that what they do amounts to vigilante action so could possibly be considered a form of law enforcement - though they aren't affiliated with any police department. However I agree that the article is a little slanted toward law enforcement; other examples could exist eg as a means to test the loyalty of a person in the context of organized crime. (talk) 13:57, 11 February 2008 (UTC)


Does anybody know who coined the term "sting operation"? Is it simply a police jargon? -- Revth 00:28, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Why is Larry Craig "popular culture"?[edit]

Can anyone explain, or should I remove it? Marnanel (talk) 14:21, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

   ... Larry Craig?? Oh, him.
--Jerzyt 03:16, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

Common techniques section[edit]

I'd like to remove the common techniques section. Its poorly written, not up to wiki standards and based of myths prostitutes have regarding what police may or may not do. All of the 'techniques' listed are untrue and would not protect one from a sting operation —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:25, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

I'm inclined to agree - though it's debatable whether or not the techniques would or would not protect one from prosecution - the statement that they would not work is as unsourced and unreliable as the statement that they would - but we shouldn't make a statement either way on the article if it can't be backed up by verifiable secondary sources. (talk) 13:57, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Just Wondering?[edit]

Why isn't the TV show "Cops" mentioned in pop culture? They do these things (stings) frequently on the show, some being "too hot for TV" and included in such labeled DVD's/VHS tapes

Also, although sting ops usually are law enforcement, could situations on the Maury show when they use the "Decoys" (attractive women) to catch a potential cheater count? Just wondering....--Mackdanny (talk) 08:59, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Popular culture?[edit]

Come on, give us a break; the popular culture section has more content than the meaningful content. --beaverfever (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 09:08, 20 October 2009 (UTC).

I suggest changing the name of the section to "Examples of Sting Operations." The term "popular culture" is not well defined and leads to questions such as the Larry Craig comment above. Most of the fictional examples were removed in October 2010, so what remain are better characterized as examples. Jaywilson (talk) 14:32, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

I also suggest removing or better explaining the movie "The Sting" as an example, since the article is about stings in the law enforcement context and the movie is about a con game by one set of criminals against another. Jaywilson (talk) 14:32, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Different terms[edit]

Are sting operation and undercover investigation interchangeable terms? It seems to me that the first refers to an operation that is more limited in scope, like a one time event, while the second concerns an extended investigative effort that might last for several years. Either way, there is currently no article linked to "undercover investigation", unfortunately. Shoplifter (talk) 18:42, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Lottery Stings[edit]

I'm surprised that no mention has been made of 'lottery' type stings. e.g Where the police send out letters to scofflaws saying that they have won a prize and all they have to do is proceed to a particular location to collect it. When the target arrives they are arrested. A good (fictional) example appears at the start of the film 'Sea of Love'.Graham1973 (talk) 17:30, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

  • That's not a sting operation as the act of winning a lottery prize and coming in to claim it is not (usually) the illegal act the police have a warrant on them for. (talk) 20:05, 6 August 2015 (UTC)


Short form is that entrapment means enticing a person with no propensity toward crime, while a string sting is used to get evidence on a person who has shown a propensity toward crime. Unethical law enforcement will use entrapment to pump up their statistics by luring people into committing crimes they otherwise would not have committed. The potential for abuse makes some jurisdictions avoid sting operations. Naaman Brown (talk) 10:58, 10 January 2012 (UTC) & --Jerzyt 03:12, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

   Many failures like confusing fact and mere opinion are a big deal in articles but insignificant on talk pages. But i for one will not tolerate inviting non-native readers or editors, even in discussion, to confound "string" with the jargon "sting"! It is thus that i am altering the immediately preceding talk contrib!!
--Jerzyt 03:12, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

Sting operations in the Netherlands[edit]

I removed the statement that sting operations would not be possible in the Netherlands. It is possible, although the Dutch police is limited. There are even TV series. "Wegmisbruikers" (lit. Road abusers) is about traffic stings. An undercover car is used for catching and fining people who sre speeding. "Undercover in Nederland" (lit. Undercover in the Netherlands) is more about general stings. The presentator Alberto Stegeman sets up a sting with help of the police, even in countries where stings are even more unusual, but not impossible, than in the Netherlands. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hans Kamp (talkcontribs) 06:01, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

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