Teaser Post: Upcoming New Scam Investigations

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


  1. says

    Since you so clearly enjoy investigating these scams, I will now forward all suspected scam emails I receive to you, so that you may use them as fodder for your blog. You're welcome.

  2. says

    I didn't think there was anything particularly scammy about it. It was a pretty obvious pitch for SEO backlinks, with the giveback being an infographic. It seemed to me to be sufficiently overt that anyone who took them up on their infographic (or guest post) knew what they wre getting themselves into.

  3. Joe says

    I have mad internet forensic skills. I'm pretty decent at finding just about anything or anyone. You have my contact info – feel free to ping me if you need me to assist on anything.

  4. says

    How is this any different from Superlawyers, except that:

    1) It's for bloggers instead of lawyers;
    2) It's cheaper;
    3) You get a backlink instead of a crappy magazine and a plaque on the wall.

    Admittedly, the suckers are even more narcissistic, but the stakes are smaller.

  5. Rusty says

    Dear God, please let the second scam be Rachel from Cardmember Services. Please please please!

  6. Joe says

    Rusty – amen. I just got another two calls from them today. Poor lonely Rachel – she just won't give up.

    I'm just not sure there is anything that can be done. The fact this scam keeps popping up tells me that unfortunately there are people falling for it.

    If you want a really good laugh have a look at this YouTube of someone who yanked their chain. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAuW-A6vrq0

  7. AlphaCentauri says

    If it involves spam/fraudulent websites, any help I can provide is at your disposal.