In most cases, when the FBI or other law enforcement organizations are interested in you, they use informants to get close in order to report on your activities. The FBI doesn’t need probable cause or a defined reason to employ informants against you. In other words, you don’t need to be engaged in, or even appear to be engaged in, illegal activity. When they use informants, they may introduce an experienced professional into your inner circle, or they can approach a friend, co-worker, or even a family member and coerce them or offer them substantial sums of cash to report on your activities.
Informants don’t just report on your actual activities. As occurred in the fake Whitmer kidnapping plot, informants can lie in their official reports or create crimes in your presence, implicating you in something you never intended to participate in. Informants get paid by giving their law enforcement handlers the information they want to hear to bolster their cases. These government agents get promoted by making arrests and bringing cases to trial—the more flamboyant and colorful the case, the better the headlines and promotions.
The system is built to incentivize lying, fabricating evidence, and convicting innocent people.