The FTC (Federal Trace Commission) have slammed a restraining order on some diet pill scammers who have been sending out spam emails and SMS spam for years in order to sell some dodgy looking diet pill concoctions.
Going under the nickname the Com Scammers, this group of scam artists were not overseas as previously expected. Instead, they have been operating from within the USA for years and right under the noses of the regulating authorities.
The Com Scammers were so named because of their use of domain names in the form of com-XXX.net, where XXX are three or four random characters. Previously the Com Scammers had been behind a work from home scam but in recent years seemed to have switched their attention to anti aging and diet pills.
They sent thousands of spam messages out endorsing supplements including, Premium Green Coffee, Pure Garcinia Cambogia, Premium White Kidney Bean Extract, Pure Forskolin Extract, and Pure Caralluma Fimbriata Extract. They also flooded social media sites such as Pinterest and Facebook with spam advertising in order to drive unwitting customers to dodgy diet pill sites.
The spam put out by the Com Scammers was more convincing than the usual crop of spam that regularly shows up in our inboxes and online.
The Com Scammers used fake news sites endorsing the products to give them added plausibility and these so-called news articles and the spam mails were written by a native English speaker. It all looked fairly convincing and upfront. Thousands of consumers fell for it.
The Com Scammers were detected with the help of a message filtering firm called Cloudmark. They found that the dodgy diet pills were being shipped from within the USA and not from overseas as previously believed.
Cloudmark passed on the information to the FTC, who slammed a restraining order on the people and the companies operating the scam but it has not been easy to locate all the culprits. The Com Scammers are not a single group of people based in the same geographical address. Instead, it is an affiliate programme with thousands of people driving traffic to the landing pages of the fake sites and being paid for hits.
Who are the Com Scammer Masterminds?
We still do not know. The FTC claim that they have identified the major players – the person monetizing the diet pills and the person managing the affiliate network of spammers. They have issued injunctions but at the time of writing, these miscreants have not yet been identified.
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