Tag Archive: Using Google

FTC Take Action: Is This The End of The Fake News Site?

FTC Permanently Stops Six Operators from Using Fake News Sites that Allegedly Deceived Consumers about Acai Berry Weight-Loss Products

Above is the FTC’s own headline from a news release yesterday.  The story is that they’ve hammered six operators of fake news sites into making settlements that surrender their assets.  They’ve also halted the six operations plus those of four others, making ten by my calculation!

What Is a Fake News Site?

Do you really need to ask?   !!    (These are for news7digest, see more below on this!).

Anyone who even casually browses the web will have seen these news exposes, quite often advertised down the right side on Facebook and in banner adverts on even the most sensible of websites – like this one, say!

How the adverts work is that they are paid for by the operators.  They deliberately pay to get premium visibility slots, using Google often, but not exclusively.

The fake news site itself will be plastered with well known icons of top companies (like CNN, BBC, CBC, ABC, Google even!) and purport to be a serious investigation by a journalist into whatever the scam may be.  A short list of such scams that we’ve revealed here are:

  • Acai weight loss
  • Tea weight loss.
  • Acai bowel cleanse.
  • Other bowel cleanse.
  • Get rippling muscles.
  • Make money on Google.
  • Get a cheap payday loan.
  • Get a cheap government grant.
  • Get rejuvenation skin cream.
  • Look younger in other ways.
  • Gamble on penny auctions.

channel4online.co.uk

Just yesterday, Peter Farrahy asked why these fake news sites are still going on this post about Jesse Willms.

So taking his example of the very plausible looking channel4online.co.uk and doing a search on it like so:

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=channel4online.co.uk

…produces several links to the actual Channel 4 in the UK, and the scam site….

This shows the deliberate, deceptive and despicable way in which the site name has been chosen to closely imitate a legitimate and bona-fide news organisation.  Fraud, in other words – as the definition says – “an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual”

Amazingly, if you click the link several times, each effort takes you to one of three different landing pages for a new site, the actual fake news site of,

news7digest.com

This shows up in the header image in two, but confusingly is called Consumer Reporter in the other!  They are all visually quite different.

The three screenshots near the top of this article are indeed the three fake news sites which you’ll land on by clicking on channel4online.co.uk.

Here they are again, to save you scrolling:

Conclusion

Is this the end of the fake news sites?  Well, obviously not.

They are still very very current and still very very visible.  The highly photoshopped images adorn well known websites to the point of irritation.  However, the settlement was only yesterday.  The note on the FTC statement goes on the say;

A settlement order is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendant that the law has been violated. Settlement orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.

Despite this, it appears the six defendants are caving in as no appeals have been launched.  They are and the details of the settlements are as follows:

  • Ricardo Jose Labra Labra’s $2.5 million judgment will be suspended when he pays $280,000 and records a $39,500 lien on his home.
  • Zachary S. Graham, Ambervine Marketing, LLC and Encastle, Inc. Graham’s $953,000 judgment will be suspended when he pays $110,000 plus most of the proceeds from the sale of a truck.
  • Tanner Garrett Vaughn Vaughn’s $203,000 judgment will be suspended when he pays close to $80,000 over a three-year period.
  • Thou Lee Lee’s $204,000 judgment will be suspended when he pays $13,000 plus the proceeds from the sale of a BMW.
  • Charles Dunlevy Dunlevy’s $143,000 judgment will be suspended when he pays an estimated $2,000 from frozen assets and the sale of a boat.
  • DLXM, LLC and Michael Volozin The $594,000 judgment will be suspended because of the defendants’ inability to pay.

 

I see it as a warning shot.  The actual wording of the terms against the six goes as follows.  It’s quite onerous and specific, I think, which means that these News7Digest screenshots at the top of this posting put the operators in deep doggy do if they don’t get their act together pronto.  The highlights are mine.

As part of its ongoing crackdown on bogus health claims, the proposed settlements will require that the six operations make clear when their commercial messages are advertisements rather than objective journalism, and will bar the defendants from further deceptive claims about health-related products such as the acai berry weight-loss supplements and colon cleansers that they marketed.

The defendants also are required to disclose any material connections they have with merchants, and will be barred from making deceptive claims about other products, such as the work-at-home schemes or penny auctions that most of them promoted.  The settlements also require that these defendants collectively pay roughly $500,000 to the Commission because their advertisements violated federal law.  This money amounts to most of their assets.

A Sample of My Previous Posts Mentioning Fake News Websites

This all proves that what I and others are saying is wrong – and the FTC is proving it!  Virtually everything that the scammers do the FTC has now taken issue with and imposed heavy penalties.  It’s now, as they say, case law, as well as being the law of the land.  Let’s hope that Willms who chucked his power derived from ill-gotten wealth at me making me pull a page or two for a time, gets his just deserts – sometime this year would be nice.

 

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Google and GMail use LSO Super Cookies

LSO Super Cookies?  Well It was News to Me!

I this article in “Windows Secrets” by Woody Leonhard, Eliminate Flash-spawned ‘zombie’ cookies, he describes how they are generated as un-deletable cookies by Flash applications, which compromises user privacy, in the sense that they do stuff to your hard disc and network without your permission!

So What I Did

….was download and install the recommended Firefox add-on (Better Privacy) from here, https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/6623/

LSOs from Google being stored

LSOs from Google being stored

I then deleted all of the hundreds of LSOs from my hard-drive!

Then I fired up Firefox.

I then clicked on a Google bookmark, went to GMail and then got prompted by the Better Privacy tool that THREE LSOs had been dumped on my hard drive!  (see screenshot).

And I always thought Google web pages used ordinary cookies…?  After all, where’s the Flash on a simple Google page?

After all, the actual technical name for this poop dust is a Flash-spawned ‘zombie’ cookie! This is live tracking of LSOs in the tool, and it seriously slowed down the PC, so I’ve turned it off now.

What it Means

I think it’s time to look seriously at the problem, specifically things that Steve Jobs from Apple has being saying with regard to Adobe and their Flash application, Google and Microsoft.

In the past I’ve taken all his speeches with a pinch of salt because it always sounded like corporate jealousy and back-biting (his company being just as protectionist and restrictive as all the rest), but now it looks like he has a point.
The trouble is that the cat is already out of the bag and it looks like LSOs are being used as a lingering storage solution far removed from their Flash origins.

But what can I do?  After all,  I like using Google stuff!

What can YOU do?

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I’ve Been Comment Spammed by Kevin Hoeffer!

Yup!  It’s true.

Apparently, the only way that PWW et al can now made any headway is by asking inane questions on the very websites that are trying to close them down!!!

Comment Spam from Kevin Hoeffer

This is the content of a comment added to an old post I made on this website about the late, great and psychotic murderer, Joe Meek.  Look, laugh and learn!  I’ve copied it verbatim as any WordPress using webmaster would have seen it.  Just bask in those spelling mistakes and the deep, deep irony of the comment content!

A new comment on the post #292 “Joe Meek, Captain Beefheart, can’t play music, can’t read music, so what!” is waiting for your approval http://strangelyperfect.tv/292/joe-meek-captain-beefheart-cant-play-music-cant-read-musicso-what/

Author : Philip (IP: 75.14.204.63 , adsl-75-14-204-63.dsl.renocs.sbcglobal.net)

E-mail : [email protected]

URL :

Whois : http://ws.arin.net/cgi-bin/whois.pl?queryinput=75.14.204.63

Comment:

I am trying to find out more about Google and making money online. Of you can direct me to the right site, I would sure appreciate it. Thanks

Approve it: http://strangelyperfect.tv/wp-login.php?redirect_to=http%3A%2F%2Fstrangelyperfect.tv%2Fwp-admin%2Fcomment.php%3Faction%3Dmac%26c%3D2066&reauth=1

Delete it: http://strangelyperfect.tv/wp-login.php?redirect_to=http%3A%2F%2Fstrangelyperfect.tv%2Fwp-admin%2Fcomment.php%3Faction%3Dcdc%26c%3D2066&reauth=1

Spam it: http://strangelyperfect.tv/wp-login.php?redirect_to=http%3A%2F%2Fstrangelyperfect.tv%2Fwp-admin%2Fcomment.php%3Faction%3Dcdc%26dt%3Dspam%26c%3D2066&reauth=1

Currently 1 comment is waiting for approval. Please visit the moderation panel:

http://strangelyperfect.tv/wp-login.php?redirect_to=http%3A%2F%2Fstrangelyperfect.tv%2Fwp-admin%2Fedit-comments.php%3Fcomment_status%3Dmoderated&reauth=1

As you can see, “Kevin” (let’s call him that, but we all know by now that this is all a complete charade, don’t we?  Well I hope we do!) has left his URL in th required field.  This is standard WordPress stuff to increase everyone’s SEO status.  So let’s visit it, shall we?  Let’s see if Kevin really does find it hard to find information about Google and Making Money Online!

Kevin Hoeffer - My Work At Home Failures and Success

Kevin Hoeffer - My Work At Home Failures and Success

Well bugger me!  It’s a different Kevin to the last one!  And guess what, he’s trying to sell me information on how to make money online using Google!

Shurely shome misstake?  (and don’t call me Shirley)

Kevin’s dismal audio is a bit different to the previous incarnation back in April when I posted about Google Treasure Chest.  There are no jokey references to (drum roll) pipe manufacturing companies this time, no siree!

This time, Kevin actually claims that he’s been scammed for $2000!  He then goes on to say that the only legitimate way to make money that he’s found is with “Google Easy Cash Kit”

The link for this “opportunity” is:

http://www.cuttingedgeoffers.com/z/13477/CD8234/

For the UK, the offer isn’t available to us, so we are helpfully redirected to another money making scheme:

http://www.onlineprofitsnow.com/ICS/info16.aspx?cpgn=6982&scpgn=0&vid=94198&aid=5704-

For the USA, the site was down when I looked, but you are sent to:

…which is also non-functional!

Concluding Observations

Kevin’s is much like all the others we are sick of seeing.  The T&Cs are getting less and less informative and in size.  There are no contacts and it follows all the usual patterns of $1.90-ish shipping costs, the “as seen on” banners, the “comments are closed due to spam” bit, the chequebook artwork, the huge cheques from Google artworks, the happy, smiley family.

You name it.  It’s all there.

What is weird is that they’ve bothered trying to comment spam me!  I mean…. ME!  Are they stupid?  I can’t wait until they do Paul at WorkAtHomeTruth.com!  Now that will be fun!

I think I’ll leave the annoying comment in the post – just to pad it out, you understand?  No URLs though, ha ha!

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My First BRITISH Google Business Kit

In this post Dangerous EffectiveCleanse – and Scams Too! two weeks ago, I mentioned how a scumbag webhost called byet.org is redirecting a client’s Amazon Shop clicks to that other pustule of conmanship called MyBookFace.net

Checks

MyBookFace Homepage Screendump

MyBookFace Homepage Screendump

Well I’ve just checked and it’s still on. (Someone wants to get that fixed!)  At the bottom of the MyBookFace landing page was an yet another advert for home working.  It’s the red one at the bottom and unusually, it’s BRITISH!

“Aye up!”, I thought.  “What’s going on here?”

Make Money Using Google!

What is going on is exactly the same rubbish that we’ve seen countless times from the rich jokers at Pacific Webworks (PWW).

Internet Success - Emily Rosher

Internet Success - Emily Rosher

This time, you’ll find the nice young family of “Emily Rosher”.  The website is at,

http://www.bizsuccessblogs.com/emilyrosher/blog/  (this company is hidden by a domain privacy outfit in Toronto)

As we know from our Google Treasure Chest, Google Money Kit, Google Revolution and other experiences, this isn’t real.  Check out the screendump.  See the smiling honest faces.  See the cheque with the same fingers as last year.  See the false comments and how they’ve stopped due to “spam” and “distasteful contents”…

Helpfully, if you check out at the very bottom of the screendump they tell it’s all false. (You’ll have to click the little green arrow to expand the picture size once it’s loaded to be able to see this)

But the $1.97 shipping fee is now a £1.23 fee.  Nowhere on “Emily’s” blog does it mention any monthly charges, but, y’know, you can still do all the bollocks of trying to cancel and still watch as requests for refunds are handled with disdain even though you think you’re within the time limit.

Q. How do I know this?

A. Because that’s what they do and that’s what they’ve always done.  A leopard can’t change it’s spots.  We have almost countless complaints against these charlatans.

Emily’s Saviour?

“Emily” bases all her success on one product.  It’s got a new name, and looks slightly different to Google Treasure Chest.  It’s called;

Home Business Kit Using Google

You’ll find it here if you follow “Emily’s” link,

https://secure1.s3curehost.com/gophuk/?offer=go_pw_cmv8&cm=514785&id1=894177674&id2=[OPTINFO]&session-id=06281e5f7f823c0036c28274637e9abc#

It just trips off the tongue for a catchy web address, doesn’t it?

A leopard, waiting to pounce on the Unwary?

A leopard, waiting to pounce on the Unwary?

A simple WHOIS on s3curehost.com shows it all run by Intellipay a.k.a Pacific Webworks in Salt Lake City, Utah  (see my other postings for their details).

Page Details

Make Money Using Google!

Make Money Using Google!

But check out the layout!  Handily it’s got a nice Union Flag in case you’re confused.  It also says

Emily's T&Cs

Emily's T&Cs

“As seen on BBC, Economist, Guardian” – but then says at the bottom that it has nothing to do with Google?  Curious…

Let’s go back to Emily’s website.  Check out her Terms & Conditions.  She says,  “This website is not associated with ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, or USA Today.” Er…where did they come from?

Source of “As Seen On…” Statements

Now despite the Google Kit being bollocks, there’s an interesting link in Emily’s T&C page (check the screen-dump).  In a nutshell, this claims that ALL the references ever made about “Stores Seen on ABC, AOL, Global, CNN and CNBC” emanate from this single New York Times post from 2006!

It’s called, Google’s Shadow Payroll Is Not Such a Secret Anymore.  It’s a reasonable enough piece, but one thing it’s distinctly lacking in, is the phrase “Stores Seen on ABC, AOL, Global, CNN and CNBC” or anything remotely similar to it or the various companies listed!

WTF!

Conclusion – or should that be Con, Clue? Shun!

One thing lacking from the “British” google thing is any mention of County Durham – in Britain!  The Philippines & Cyprus, Gibraltar & Nevis are also lacking.  Previously, in the Google Treasure Chest scam, these places popped up all the time.  Myself, @Not Kevin and others have spent many an hour chasing these things down.

PWW is certainly responding to the hits it’s getting both legal from the courts and verbal from all the various websites devoted to pulling apart their shady dealings.

The T&Cs make this clear in the “British” Google thing.  Specific mention is made that forces the “customer” not to start any chargeback proceedings no matter what the cause…. (..er  What about UK distance-selling regulations? Isn’t this a “British” site?  Ha Ha.  Don’t you believe it.)

This PROVES that chargebacks work and is the thing that PWW are most afraid of.  Here’s two bits from the T&Cs that prove this:

1.2 You unconditionally and expressly agree and accept the Conditions set forth herein  as a binding contract (“the Agreement”) enforceable by law.

AND

4.1 You agree that any disputed fee will not be charged back to Your credit card issuer. You expressly agree to submit in writing any objection regarding fees to 230 West 400 South, Suite 100 SLC UT, 84101
4.2 PCO, in its sole discretion, shall determine the validity of Your objection and notify You of its decision. Should You disagree with PCO decision, You agree to mediate the dispute before litigation.
4.3 You agree to indemnify PCO or associated product owners or resellers for any financial harm or any losses caused by Your objections to fees that do not comply with this Agreement. You will be held responsible for the reimbursement of any fees and losses incurred as a result of Your failure to comply with any provision in this Agreement.

Q.E.D.

They’re just putting the frighteners on.   PCO, by the way, stands for http://www.profitcenteronline.com, Profit Center Online.  It’s really PWW and is in Utah at the same PWW address.

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Using Google Maps to Record the Creation of the World’s first Fascist Democracy

Strangely post on September 23rd, 2009
Posted in Technology Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Okay.  Big title, and, I must admit, written after I spotted a link FROM Google Maps to this website in the logs!  It’s pointing to a post from last year.

The good bit is that someone has had the bright idea to make a map, mainly UK based, geographically highlighting incidents of draconian stupidity, crassness and deviousness in our increasingly un-free country.  Anyway, this is it!

View Recording the creation of the worlds first Fascist Democracy. in a larger map
So Moongold, whoever you are -thanks very much!

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