Since the start of my investigation of UST Development and David Bell, I've said that I want to start up a new public investigation. The heartening response to the UST story has redoubled my commitment to do so.
As before, I have a number of goals, all mutually supportive:
1. I want to make it more difficult for specific scammers to succeed.
2. I want to develop information to make it more likely that specific scammers will be prosecuted, or otherwise pursued, by the government.
3. I want to encourage others to investigate, and write about, scams, in the hopes that the aggregate effect will be to make scamming more difficult, and send mroe scammers to jail.
4. I want to help people figure out how they can use public resources to investigate scammers. As subsets of that point, I want to encourage people to be more self-reliant and encourage the "Army of Davids" phenomenon.
So. The UST investigation will continue until everyone involved is in jail. But I have now tentatively chosen the subjects of two new scam investigations. I'm going to give you the briefest tease about one of them.
The teaser: Recently I've gotten a burst of "please let me write for your blog" or "you might be interested in writing about this" emails that seem to be a new iteration of a guest-blogger scam I wrote about last year. A little quick preliminary digging suggests that it is part of a larger SEO-related scam. You might be surprised to see that one infographic from the scam enjoyed wide circulation in our circles — a couple of our readers retweeted it or otherwise publicized it themselves. It's not clear to me yet whether the same people are involved in all of these solicitations, or whether it represents a methodology that is now becoming more widespread. But I'm going to find out. I have some names (entity and individual) and addresses. My aim is to identify the actual human individuals behind this, seek interviews with them, and widely publicize their identities and activities.
And you, Gentle Readers, will help me, I hope. More soon. For now, until we get the ball rolling, please send tips to me via email rather than comments.
The second scam topic? Well, more on that later — but I've mentioned it before.
The game's afoot.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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