Such was the comment made in the Guardian by paul lester as part of a review of a band called The Northwestern. This is a FYI quote:
It’s not often that one truly great band breaks up and another, equally good but different one forms in their wake with some or all of the same members. In fact, we can only really think of New Order emerging from the crawling chaos that was Joy Division after the suicide of Ian Curtis, unless…
Ho hum. Adjective or noun. Noun or adjective. It’s still a trifle ironic given the background. And Freud said there are no slips…
While fishing around for some chords I came across azchords.com – as you do. They’ve a shedload of Google ads and I accidentally hit the banner ad while trying to get rid of pesky popups (why do sites still do this now?) I was taken to the website of someone called Kevin Hoeffer and an honestly dismal automatic sales pitch. http://www.kevinlifeblog.com is the address.
Kevin, of course is anonymous because his website uses WhoisGuard. This “protects” the domain holder from spam, they say. Well that’s one thing it does – another is that it make it hard to trace spivs. Anyway, he links to EarnFastCashwithGoogle. This is the link:
You are then redirected to this page where you have to enter various address details:
I did so using the address of an electricity sub station. (yes, I know). Once all the boxes are ticked and the funny little easily resettable timer is ignored (but noted as a clue to a very good social engineering type scam), you are taken to this website:
In here, the warnings should really be going off in your head by now! They ask for your credit card number, expiry date and CVV number! And all to get $1 from you!
securecartcenter.com has another hidden domain registration like WhoisGuard but this time with domainsbyproxy.com Surely I can find a real name behind all this? And don’t call me Shirley. Well right down at the bottom of the credit card screen are some words, well out of normal view. The whole thing is a signup for Google Treasure Chest who are in no way connected to Google, they hastily point out. There’s an address in Cheyenne, a house on the corner with about 20 businesses registered there according to Google Maps. SecureCartCentre isn’t one of them!
In the source code for SecureCartCentre we find that images are served from bsadn.pantherssl.com Click that and you’ll get the folder structure for bloosky.com who serve advertising campaigns. Fish through the folder structure and examine various files. Google Treasure Chest is there. Check out some css files and you’ll find that some are loaded from discovertotal.com , which has a contact of bloosky.com So far so good. If they’d have stuck an htaccess file in there I wouldn’t have seen that, ho hum.
Instant Google Kit
Lots of stuff points to this. http://googletreasurechest.com/index.php/home.html It’s the homepage for this ferago. Interestingly, down at the bottom all the links are to this site except for one, the signup link which goes to: http://web.archive.org/web/20090330184905/http://www.redtomorrowfield.com:80/z/gtc2/?cy=10&pr=19&af=16&ad=19
These are also shrouded from enquiry by DomainsByProxy.com The site actually looks like the treasure chest one – weird. The form at the bottom is similar to the previous address form but the email address is validated by ebizsuite.com, an eCommerce company.
So Where’s The Problem?
The problem lies in this selection of links below. There are hundreds on the web. No-one has anything good to say.
That’s the problem you see. It’s almost unreadable. As everyone found out, instead of a dollar, they all had $71.21 taken away – monthly.
When I started this little investigation, I thought it was a straight phishing expedition to get credit card details. Instead, it’s a curious grey fuzz of almost legal chicanery. Watch out!
Addendum Posted 7 April 2009
The original popup ad was for a ‘person’ called Kevin Hoeffer with his honestly dismal automatic sales pitch. Today I came across another who mysteriously, used to work for a pipe company! This is on this website http://web.archive.org/web/20110208043425/http://joshmadecash.com/ The actual text goes like this (one paragraph only shown):
A year ago I was an account manager for a (drum roll) a pipe manufacturing company. Not exactly what I dreamed of when I was growing up. The job I had before that, I used to work in at a mortgage company. That job I did like. Initially I was one of the processors and then started working in the sales department. That was really exciting 5-6 years ago. I was trying to learn the ropes as a salesperson and then eventually I really did start to make some money. I was doing well 3-4 years ago. Then as you know the mortgage industry just took a huge down turn. Along with every other industry and jobs available.
Naturally I wondered how many sites there are with this former pipe company (drum roll) bit of spiel going on. Try this Google search on this string “A year ago I was an account manager for a (drum roll) a pipe manufacturing company. Not exactly what I dreamed of when I was growing up.” to see how many. Actually Google says over 100! (202 on 8 May 2009!!)(268 on 29 May 2009!!)
In these posts he claims to have checked the phone logs and to have enabled refunds for people. Some replies seem to be validated, so if you want your cash back, then this is the guy folks!
Sorry. This isn’t a link. It’s a visual comment on the previous one! The previous one in the forum has 414 replies and has been viewed 122,523 times when I last checked. Those figures say it all, I think.
Two posts and zillions of comments from “I’ve Tried That” here and here. There are another batch of phone numbers here, plus a comment from Sharon states that the numbers belong to Collection Agencies that are only too happy to cancel subscriptions because they get paid to do so!! The worst bit was the guy who paid out $3k for ‘training’….. (added 15/4/2009 – SP)
I’ll continue to post extra info here, instead of in the threads below in order to make it more accessible. I seem to be finding stuff out here on an hourly basis, and most of it is depressing as it reveals the vulnerability of the human condition. So please folks, always remember,
From this article, we see that the ‘company’ behind Google Money Bollox is “Infusion Media Inc”. Try a Google search on the name here. For a company that’s been behind sooooo many different scammy websites, there are only 173 results. Nearly all relate to their dodgy dealings.
We also find that this guy, Philip Danielson, since Dec 2008, seems to have been handed the poisoned chalice that is some form of legal representation for Infusion Media Inc!!
Please check this post Google Treasure Chest – Phone and Address List for a collated list of addresses and phone numbers mostly derived from the comments below. For Google Treasure Chest/Kit/Money Maker type things, the later phone numbers have been found to be effective at getting refunds.
I can’t vouch for any scam that’s Cyprus based – that’s a different kettle of fish.
According to one commenter to this website, the charges in the Texas Court Summons brought by the Texas AG against some people have been dropped. I must say that I’ve found no corroboratory evidence for this of either a name, company or actual reporting…. Jameson Johnson decided not to tell. Maybe he can update us. However, in light of comments made, I decided that the tone of some commentary was getting like a lynch mob and have edited accordingly. This does not mean I’ve gone soft – I’ll still call a pig-in-a-poke what it is.
First thing this morning I got a message at the top of the WordPress dashboard on this website.
Your WordPress needs updating to WordPress 2.7 – or something like that
However, right underneath it said
You are using WordPress 2.7
– which is what I thought anyway :-?
So I clicked the button (push the button Max!) and was then presented with the following message,
You have the latest version of WordPress. You do not need to upgrade
I saw something about update-core.php, and “upgraded” anyway, being a bit of a “I-wonder-what-will-happen-if..” sort of a person, but now I have my doubts so I’m going to overwrite everything in the WordPress installation with new files.
Over the last couple of days the strangest thought has plagued me. Two simple ugly words have kept emerging, only for me to lock them out and ridicule them as bizarre. Simon’s dead. Just to write it down feels like … Continue reading →
If you ever needed confirmation that the UK is not run by a shadowy cabal of sinister plotters but a bunch of chinless fucking idiots then the upcoming Digital Economy Bill is a good place to start. As well as … Continue reading →