More Bad News for USA-Based Spammers

Two men from Tampa Bay in Florida are being sued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for sending spam emails promoting fake weight loss products to residents of the Sunshine State. They have been attempting to sell a variety of so called weight loss products for the last two years and have been marketing them by paying a third party to send spoof emails that look like they have been sent from a friend of the recipients. As with the majority of such campaigns, the spoof messages contain links to sites that are not what they first appear to be. In this case, recipients land on fake news sites that are actually just online advertisements that contain links to pages where the ‘weight loss’ products can be ordered.

Living the High Life

The two men who are being sued – Christopher Reinhold and Colby Fox – have allegedly been living the high life on the proceeds of their crimes. Fox has posted pictures on his Facebook account that show him travelling on private jets, taking holidays all over the world whereas Reinhold appears to have been a little more discreet as far as how he has spent his money is concerned.

Brought to Justice

The FTC has said that both of them have profited illegally from their scheme and must be brought to justice. The commission intends to stop them from marketing their fake weight loss products and, furthermore, to repay the money they have taken from consumers so far. A spokesman for the commission stated that any assets they had purchased with their ill-gotten gains were fair game as far as they were concerned. Houses, cars, boats: all could be seized and sold in an effort to recover damages on behalf of the victims.

FTC Advice

In an effort to stop people falling for such marketing campaigns in the future, the FTC has issued some advice to those who are seeking to lose weight. This advice includes tips on how to spot fake news sites, how to evaluate weight loss claims, and what to do if you believe you have been conned. Whether this advice will have the desired effect remains to be seen but what is certain is that there will be more campaigns of a similar nature in the future, and not just for weight loss products. As long as there are profits to be made, people will be tempted into using fraudulent marketing practices and spam emails to attract new customers.

Stopping the Scammers at Source

The best way to avoid being taken for a ride by unscrupulous operators is to make sure that the type of unsolicited emails they send can never get through your security defences. At the centre of any good corporate IT security shield should be an anti spam gateway such as that provided by MailCleaner. If you would like to make sure that your company email accounts are well protected, please do not hesitate to call or email us at any time.