Keeping an eye on the Ultimate-Anonymity spammer scammer and doing everything we can to make him stop spamming.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

UA Responds

As you can see someone from Ultimate-Anonymity has posted a message for me, here, here, and here.

Here's the message:

Good day,

I am an administrator for Ultimate-Anonymity.com and one of our subscribers brought your blog to my attention.

I have identified the associate responsible for the comment spamming you reference in your blog. We have over 2,000 active associates (resellers) and our associate Terms of Service (TOS) strictly prohibits spamming or network abuse in any way, shape or form.

We have as of late yesterday terminated this associates account and that associate acknowledged early this morning the termination. As such he has forfeited any earnings and said earnings will be donated to the American Red Cross (this is a stipulation clearly stated in our associate program TOS to which each associate agrees). As such, the comment spamming will stop immediately. The associate in question admitted that he watched digg.com and reddit.com and would leave comments with his associate url or use url forwarders to redierct to those urls to direct traffic to those urls.

We are hoping that based on this information and the fact that the comment spamming issue has been resolved that you will delete the blog defaming our character so that no further action will be needed. We take our name quite seriously and will defend it using whatever means are at our disposal. In over 11 years of business with over a half million subscriptions our associate program has been successful however, on occasion a bad apple slips through the cracks that must be dealt with accordingly as this case demonstrated.

I apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced and wish that you would have contacted us directly with your concerns as this issue could have been resolved much earlier as such abuse simply will not be tolerated.

Regards,

Bill Collins
Cyber Solutions
SupportDesk@Ultimate-Anonymity.com



Do I buy it? No.

1) If it was a reseller doing the spamming, then how does Ultimate-Anonymity.com keep track of what he sells when he advertises (spams) the site directly, and not using some kind of identifier such as for instance ultimate-anonymity.com/ref?=4320 which would allow UA to track his sales and then pay him his commission.

I've asked "Bill Collins" this question. Here's his reply:

Hi there,

I spent some time yesterday checking digg and reddit articles to find the spam comments in question and the ones I found (there were several) lead me right back to a coded associate signup page which is how I was able to identify the associate.

I either suspect by posting our direct url that the associate made an error (he really isnt very bright) or that it was a genuine subscriber just using the url in their in their signature line. I dont subscribe to many blogs but the ones I do participate in, I myself use a url in my signature line and its usually either to a skateboarding or surfing website that I like or even my personal myspace page. Signature links ae not that uncommon and with as many subscribers as we have wouldnt surprise me.

I am watching the digg and reddit articles myself for the last few hours and will continue to do so and have not seen any abuse therefore, I am assuming the problem as solved. We have also taken further measures to ensure the abusing associate is not able to signup for a new associate account as well as suspended his UA access in general by revoking his user ID.

Regards,

Bill Collins
Cyber Solutions

I've not found any of these signup pages he mentions (in red).

The part in orange looks to me like he is trying to downplay it, and even admitting he does do it, and that it's quite common etc etc...

2) If I do a Google search for "Bill Collins" and "Ultimate-Anonymity" I find signs that the spammer JT/JJ/etc etc etc... also has been calling himself Bill Collins (among other names):










http://ccinsider.comedycentral.com/cc_insider/2008/07/jeffrey-tambor.html (Bill Collins)
http://earth2tech.com/2008/05/21/garbage-will-lead-the-biofuel-revolution/ (John Collins)

If I look at who's been visiting this blog I see that the IP 69.69.28.85 just visited a while ago. This is the very same IP that the spammer has been using and that I've mentioned in my first post. See what a Google search for it brings up:

http://www.google.fi/search?q=69.69.28.85

It's very fishy.

Here's a discussion about it on Castle Cops

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, believe what you will. We have done our job and brought a stop to the comment SPAM which is all that matters for us as our associate AUP clearly prohibits that type of abuse.

In my communications with the associate I forwarded to him a copy of this blog address along with several comment Spams therefore it is no surprise he visited the blog.

We have been courteous and acted very promptly in resolving this issue. If the harassment continues, we are prepared to followup with civil litigation. Currently this blog is using our trademarked name without our consent therefore, blogger.com will be the first served with summons. As I mentioned previously, we take our name very seriously and will spare no expense to defend it.

Govern yourselves accordingly.

IKillSpammerz said...

> We have been courteous and acted very promptly in resolving
> this issue. If the harassment continues, we are prepared to
> followup with civil litigation. Currently this blog is using
> our trademarked name without our consent therefore,
> blogger.com will be the first served with summons. As I
> mentioned previously, we take our name very seriously and
> will spare no expense to defend it.
>
> Govern yourselves accordingly.

This is not harrassment, it's a blog. Harrassment is if this blog were to email you several thousand times a day saying that you are a comment spammer. Come to think of it: the rampant comment spamming your company has been the subject of: THAT is harrassment!

Your actions, and the actions of your so-called "affiliates" are what are defaming your name. Your affiliates are the ones doing the harrassing, and it's not merely the opinion of this blog.

Under CAN-SPAM (and as an affiliate program operator, you should already know this,) your so-called "affiliates" are regarded as equivalent representatives of you or your company. (Do a search for "CAN SPAM McCain Amendment".) If they hit "send", it's the same as if you had hit send. There is an abundance of case law and news reports regarding this. You can't just shrug it off by saying "oops, it was another of our pesky affiliates, of which we have thousands." That doesn't fly. You are the responsible party, as is your affiliate.

Further: there is evidence that you yourself have been the one doing the comment spamming in the first place.

There are plenty of complaints regarding your company, and they all predate the existence of this blog.

Further: If it weren't for the existence of this blog, you probably would have continued to allow this annoying and abusive practice to take place. Attempting to shield yourself by saying you have so many affiliates is, frankly, bullshit. Do your job. You run an affiliate program: police them. The result of not doing so is a blog like this one, and the numerous other complaints one can find just by googling your company's name.

You're not doing your company any favors by allowing this practice to continue, and tossing around legal threats as you are is only worsening the public's opinion of you. Also: good luck convincing a judge that this blog's intent is malicious or slanderous. There are reams of evidence all over the Internet regarding this abuse. If you really want to spend that kind of money, trust me, it will only further the publics distaste for your company and its name. (Notice e360 Insights last few years of continuous litigation.)

> We have over 2,000 active associates (resellers) and our
> associate Terms of Service (TOS) strictly prohibits spamming
> or network abuse in any way, shape or form.

Every time I hear the word "affiliate" I immediately assume that means "spammer." I've yet to run across any such program that wasn't the subject of several types of rampant abuse which was never acted upon by their so-called "affiliate managers."

Do your job!

Govern YOURSELF accordingly!

SiL / IKS / concerned citizen
Sick of spammers of any sort, and the affiliate managers who continue to allow this to happen.

AlphaCentauri said...

@UA:
If you want us to believe do not tolerate spamming affiliates, there are two things you can do:

- Block anyone from linking to your site through the spam posts
- Make the affiliate's identity public

Otherwise, you are continuing to profit from the spamming behavior, and we have no reason to believe the same affiliate won't sign up with your program under a new affiliate number.

If affiliates knew they would be outed if they spammed, I think that activity would stop pretty quickly.