Officials escalate spam crackdown
Source: USA TODAY
By Paul Davidson
Date: May 16, 2003
In a sweeping crackdown on Internet fraud, state and federal authorities Thursday announced that they have brought 45 cases against Internet scam artists and deceptive spammers.
The latest crackdown involved the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the states of Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, and other authorities.
Among the cases:
• Alyon Technologies allegedly used a modem dialing service to disconnect consumers from their own Internet service provider and link them to the scammers' network. By capturing their phone number, the company billed them $4.99 a minute for videotext, or Web video and information services, that they typically didn't receive or authorize.
• A spam e-mail offer touted work-at-home envelope stuffing. The pitch from Easy Money promised consumers they would earn $1 for each envelope they stuffed, and as much as $1,500 a week. Actually, for a $50 fee, they got instructions to market a deceptive credit-repair manual, the FTC says.
• College Funding Center allegedly told college-bound students and their parents that it would obtain all their college funding for $895. Instead, the Web-based operation supplied them scholarship information they could have gotten free.
• Another Web work-at-home scheme, Instant Internet Empires, promised buyers they could make $115,000 a year with their product. But for $47.77, they simply got the right to reproduce the company's advertising Web site and try to resell it to others, the FTC says.
• Click for Mail claimed consumers who coughed up $49.95 were guaranteed a "100% unsecured" Visa or MasterCard credit card with a credit limit up to $5,000. Actually, consumers got access to a Web page with hyperlinks to sites of credit card issuers — a list freely available to Web surfers, the FTC says. Full story
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