New York State Attorney General Eric T. Shneiderman announced this week that 19 search engine optimization firms and private companies agreed to pay fines exceeding $350,000 (in the aggregate) and cease writing fake reviews online. The year long “Operation Clean Turf” was targeted at cleaning up the growing problem of “astroturfing”, the practice of hiring ostensibly independent third parties to provide favorable reviews that appear to be unbiased and legitimate. Numerous fake reviews were created on popular websites such as Yelp.com, Google Local, InsiderPages.com and Citysearch.com. [Read more…]
Four LinkedIn members filed a stunning complaint in federal court last week, accusing the professional social networking giant of hacking members’ email accounts in an effort to increase membership and revenues. The plaintiffs, seeking class action status, claimed that LinkedIn will surreptitiously harvest email addresses using “open” connections to email accounts such as Yahoo! Mail, Microsoft Mail, Google Gmail, and a number of other web-based email service providers. After doing so, the company will send multiple reminders to the recipients to join, ostensibly on behalf of LinkedIn members.
Are you a woman, most likely from some Asian country, who has been approached on a dating or professional social networking web site by what seems to be a nice European man, perhaps in the United Kingdom? He says wonderful things about you… he seems eloquent and charming. He will send you heart warming pictures of himself and his purported family. If you want to view and talk to him via web cam, sorry… he doesn’t own one. If you’re an Asian woman, your culture might lead you not to ask specific questions as doing so might be considered “rude” in your country. [Read more…]
Have you seen the latest onslaught of marketing for these work at home success stories? Hi – my name is Scott and I am originally from <your area> and I recently lost my job. Want to make $5,000 a month just by placing a few Google ads? Here’s a picture of my check. Here’s my wife with me on our honeymoon after I was able to happily support our family again and now a success story. Too good to be true? Absolutely! Hopefully this fascinating exposee of fraudulent marketing practices will save your money or help you recover funds you’ve lost as a victim to this latest scam where Scott, Josh or Adam make cash and your bank account empties. [Read more…]