FTC Busts Giant Spam Operation, Enlarges Penis

Yesterday the FTC announced that they busted a worldwide spam operation that was responsible for “billions of e-mails in recent years,” mostly selling prescription drugs, diet pills, and “male enhancement” products. Who actually clicks on those emails, you wonder? FTC agents, that’s who!

As part of their inquiry, FTC staff made undercover purchases from the sites. No one asked the clandestine buyers to provide verification of a prescription and the shipped drugs did not include doctors’ instructions or dosage information, officials said.

According to MSNBC, the sites used names like “Canadian Healthcare,” were run by U.S. and New Zealand citizens, were hosted in China, sourced their drugs from India, and ran credit card purchases through Cyprus and the former Soviet republic of Georgia. The world of spam is flat, indeed (although there’s probably an email in my inbox that promises to prevent that).

“FTC busts ‘world’s largest spam operation'” [MSNBC]
(Photo: Getty Images)

Comments

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  1. Ein2015 says:

    Gmail has really solved my spam problems. :)

    • midwestkel says:

      @Ein2015: Not me, I started posting in the message boards on finance.google.com and it reveals my email and ever since then I have been getting at least 10 spam mail today, it goes in my spam folder though but still annoying.

      • closed_account says:

        @midwestkel: Spam that is in your spam folder doesnt count here I dont think? I agree with Ein, its solved my spam issues. I get over 150 spam messages a day, all properly stored in my spam folder that I glance over once a week.

      • BoomerFive says:

        @midwestkel: Sorry, but how is it annoying in your spam folder? Don’t even look at it, it gets deleted after 30 days.

    • EdenBabararacucudada says:

      @Ein2015:
      @Ein2015: No, GMail has /hidden/ your spam problems. Putting blinders over your eyes and ignoring whether you may have missed important e-mails is worse than where you were before- the same situation but admitting that you may have missed something due to all the spam.

    • blackmage439 says:

      @Ein2015: My Yahoo! email receives a message in the spam folder once in a blue moon. Even then, 9/10 times it’s a legitimate message forwarded there by mistake. I’ve even mistakenly used this address on some really dumb sites.

      My school-provided email, however, is another story. Constant barrages of job-search and medical spam. I receive spam in my inbox almost daily. I never had spam before… until I used that address for job search sites such as Monster and Career Builder (aka Spamster and Career Spammer). Take note, if you ever use these sites, for God’s sake USE A THROW-AWAY EMAIL ADDRESS! You will not regret it.

  2. Crabby Cakes says:

    Now how will I enhance my sex life?? Or find a home mortgage!? I have to e-mail my new Nigerian pen-pal about this!

  3. JulesWinnfield says:

    There was a noticeable drop in the amount of that kind of crap in my office e-mail spam filter today.

  4. Nytmare says:

    I’d be surprised if they were even shipping the actual brand drugs. Since they’re breaking every other law and business ethic, why not just ship watered-down versions or even do-nothing pills. Or maybe even don’t ship anything at all, just charge the credit cards.

  5. timmus says:

    I’d be surprised if they were even shipping the actual brand drugs.

    v18g[a, of course, is the patented name for a one-penny aspirin pill.

  6. West Coast Secessionist says:

    “billions of e-mails” over the years?

    So in other words, about 1% of the spam sent yesterday alone? I am VERY confident that a billion emails is about the number of emails coming out of China (or from the Comcast residential IP blocks from infected Windows Zombies) every HOUR.

    I think some people have NO IDEA of the extent of the spam problem.

    I don’t know whether to be happy about this. Sure, they’ll fine a few spammers a couple bucks, but this is a HUGE lost opportunity to pound rusty nails into the eyes of the world’s most detestable people.

    (And you might dispute that murderers etc. are worse, but at least they only fuck things up for their victims. Spam fucks up the Internet for EVERYBODY. If you doubt me, ask anyone else who works in IT.)

    • parad0x360 says:

      @West Coast Secessionist: No it wont fix anything because now lesser spammers will just increase volume to fill the void.

    • TechnoDestructo says:

      @West Coast Secessionist:

      Okay, say every internet user spends five minutes per week deleting spam messages. If you use an email service with decent spam filtering, this seems realistic to me.

      In a year that’s about 5 minutes times 1.5 billion users times 52. That’s 390 billion man-minutes wasted per year. That’s about 9893 lifetimes wasted per year.

      AND THAT IS JUST END-USERS

      (Assuming everyone has an email address and all those email addresses are old enough to have started attracting spam)

      SPAM KILLS 9893 PEOPLE EVERY YEAR!

  7. xrmb says:

    I just looked at my spam from today… most of it is spam for medication… so please FTC, keep buying and arresting!

  8. rpm773 says:

    So the FTC is willing to buy some of these fake diplomas I have sitting in a box?

  9. Trai_Dep says:

    …So this means that my iPod isn’t on its way in the mail?

  10. PSUSkier says:

    Well, that’s a Fark ready headline if I ever saw one.

  11. Marshfield says:

    At least we can still GET drugs from overseas at a fraction of the cost of US. Instead of buying Prilosec at $28.00 for a 42 day supply, I can get 180 days outsourced generic from India for $60.00. Kind of a no-brainer.

    You just gotta know where to go, and not buy your pills from a stranger.

    • Cliff_Donner says:

      @Marshfield: /sarcasm/ As someone who’s been on Prilosec since before the patent expired, 66 cents a pill still seems like a staggering bargain. As I recall, a month’s supply used to be well over $100. /sarcasm/ .

      But the stuff freakin’ works.

  12. papahoth says:

    I’m telling it works. Mine is so much bigger and better now. Really.

  13. rioja951 - Why, oh why must I be assigned to the vehicle maintenance when my specialty is demolitions? says:

    My personal response to spammers is on an little, micro-small link on my web page, if you try to spot it by eye, you’d go blind before seeing it.
    The thing sends their harvester bot to a randomly generated list of mails with known spammers domains.
    The rest is on the hands of my mail filter.
    the link for the generator in case anybody want to try is english.spamsaver.com/

  14. Adisharr says:

    Well there go my Nigerian investments.

  15. gatewaytoheaven says:

    Spammers should burn in hell with the rapists and murderers.

  16. boomerang86 says:

    I noticed a pretty good drop in spam for a few days, immediately after those earthquakes in China last summer.

  17. Mr_D says:

    Maybe I’m seeing something other people are not, but does anybody else notice the subtle genius of the picture?

    Prince Albert.

  18. Southern says:

    Now if only they’d go after that idiot that keeps calling my and my wifes cell phones with that stupid “Your auto warranty is about to expire!” message.

  19. razremytuxbuddy says:

    I also had a substantial increase of spam in recent days. Maybe double the norm.

    In the last 6 months I’ve been getting the Nigerian spam, and spam written in Russian. Amazingly, many of these escape Yahoo’s spam filter and go into my inbox. How hard can it be to filter the word Nigeria, or Russian text?

  20. ElizabethD says:

    Oh gawd. I honestly scanned that headline and read it as “FTC Busts Giant Sperm Operation….” LOL

    Time for some coffee.

  21. mariospants says:

    That’s a sardine tin, not a SPAM can top. Just thought I’d point that out.

    • Southern says:

      @mariospants:

      No, that’s a Spam top. They changed their lids a while back (couple of years, maybe?).. The old “Spam Keys” are long gone, having been replaced with pull-top lids.

      I love fried spam (floured/breaded & deep fried) :)

  22. darkryd says:

    Their punishment – letting Americans line up for miles to kick them in the junk one at a time.