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Jesse Willms, the Dark Lord of the Internet


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 PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:34 pm   
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Definitely a must read for regular contributors to this forum...

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/arc ... _page=true

Quote:
Jesse Willms, the Dark Lord of the Internet

How one of the most notorious alleged hustlers in the history of e-commerce made a fortune on the Web

...between 2007 and 2011, the lawsuit claimed, Willms defrauded consumers of some $467 million by enticing them to sign up for “risk free” product trials and then billing their cards recurring fees for a litany of automatically enrolled services they hadn’t noticed in the fine print. In just a few months, Willms’s companies could charge a consumer hundreds of dollars like this, and making the flurry of debits stop was such a convoluted process for those ensnared by one of his schemes that some customers just canceled their credit cards and opened new ones.

Ring any bells?

Sadly: there's really no resolution in this article. It's really just a profile, but it's still interesting.

SiL


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 PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:07 pm   
You are kiillllling-a my bizinisss!
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A bell rings back to May 2011, where this same offender was described in the same way

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=4400&p=52198&hilit=willms#p52198

His all too familiar scams are descibed as in this extract
Quote:
f you’ve used the Internet at all in the past six years, your cursor has probably lingered over ads for Willms’s Web sites more times than you’d suspect. His pitches generally fit in nicely with what have become the classics of the dubious-ad genre: tropes like photos of comely newscasters alongside fake headlines such as “Shocking Diet Secrets Exposed!”; too-good-to-be-true stories of a “local mom” who “earns $629/day working from home”; clusters of text links for miracle teeth whiteners and “loopholes” entitling you to government grants; and most notorious of all, eye-grabbing animations of disappearing “belly fat” coupled with a tagline promising the same results if you follow “1 weird old trick.” (A clue: the “trick” involves typing in 16 digits and an expiration date.)


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 PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:00 pm   
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I'm still seeing America Online pepper its ensemble of news stories with advertisements that read like news stories. Sometimes AOL "forgets" to label them as advertisements and occasionally these stories link to deceptive "risk free" or "free trial" offers.

I'm still sending AOL complaints.


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 PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:44 pm   
You are kiillllling-a my bizinisss!
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There are similar ads on facebook that claim to link to popular sites. When you try to report them, they default to reporting the site that is being spoofed instead of the one where the link really leads. When it asks why you don't want to see ads from them, you have to click "other" to enter free text. It will make them go away for awhile, whether because facebook cares about fraud or because you are personally on a blacklist by the advertiser.


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 PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 4:44 pm   
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spamislame wrote:
Ring any bells?


A bit late to the party here.

Yes, a few, but memory is bad.
It is a bit interesting, the part about Google.
Willms once had the domain "earncashfastwithgoogle.com" with "Creation Date: 25-sep-2008" and expiration date in 2011 (when I checked last time).
Registrant is now Google, with "Creation Date: 25-sep-2008".
Apparently a bit active regarding misuse of their trademark, but originally giving a <beep> about people being scammed.

I don't see the use of botnets mentioned in the article.
I think he used the same botnets as the some of ones phishing for bank info back in 2009.
Or his "affiliates", but that does not make a difference.

He ("EDirectSoftware") was also sued by Symantec in 2007.
http://dockets.justia.com/docket/califo ... 563/245421


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