AlertPay Says It Was Targeted In DDoS Attack Last Week; Unclear Who Launched Assault; Site Processed Payments For Club Asteria And Other Collapsed HYIP And Money-Cycler ‘Programs’ Promoted On Ponzi Boards

UPDATED 9:45 P.M. EDT (U.S.A.) AlertPay, a Canadian payment processor referenced frequently on Ponzi boards such as TalkGold and MoneyMakerGroup, announced on its Blog that it was subjected to a “large” DDoS attack last week that affected customers’ ability to access the site.

In a Blog post dated Wednesday, the company said the DDoS attack began on Aug. 16.

“We have measures in place to mitigate such attacks but when the intensity of the attack traffic peaks, said measures can occasionally drop legitimate traffic to the site,” AlertPay said. The firm’s website appears to be loading quickly today.

No customer information was compromised in the attack, AlertPay said. The firm did not say whether it had identified a suspect in the attack or whether the attackers had provided a reason for targeting the firm.

“Solving an issue like this unfortunately takes a bit of time to tweak appropriately so please bear with us while we attempt to adjust our filters and improve the situation,” the company said.

AlertPay processes payments for Club Asteria, according to Club Asteria members who complained when Club Asteria reported earlier this year that it had suspended member cashouts after acknowledging its PayPal account had been frozen. Some Club Asteria members reported on the TalkGold Ponzi board that they continued to be paid through AlertPay after the PayPal freeze and despite the payout suspension Club Asteria had announced.

Club Asteria traded on the name of the World Bank, targeting a purported Club Asteria “revenue sharing” offer to the world’s poor.

Promotions for Club Asteria claimed the Virginia-based firm had recruited more than 300,000 members, was gaining thousands of new members each week and was on target to register 1 million members by the end of 2011.  Some Club Asteria members simultaneously were promoting a purported “opportunity” known as Centurion Wealth Circle.

In short order, Centurion’s website then disappeared amid reports of a Ponzi collapse, but later reappeared. Reports soon surfaced that Centurion intended to implement a feeder cycler known as “The Tornado” to prop up its original, collapsed cycler. Members claimed AlertPay processed payments for both Centurion and “The Tornado.”

Early reports on the MoneyMakerGroup Ponzi forum about the effectiveness of “The Tornado” in reversing the financial course of Centurion are confusing. Accompanying those reports are confusing reports that a second version of “The Tornado” is coming soon and that Centurion will contact “free” members to make sure they have a chance to pay Centurion for a membership “upgrade” that will permit them to get in on the action.

Prior to its reappearance after an absence of days, Centurion’s DNS information suggested that the firm’s website had been disabled for spamming.

Centurion, according to the MoneyMakerGroup post, now says its first implementation of “The Tornado” resulted in “13 HUNDRED POSITIONS earning many members good commissions & bonuses all round.”

The firm, according to the MoneyMakerGroup post, did not say how much money it gathered in the first use of “The Tornado.”

But a second implementation of “The Tornado” will be tweaked to make it even more “exciting” than the recently completed first, according to the MoneyMakerGroup post, which was dated today.

“The next Tornado will run for 24 hours only,” Centurion was quoted in the MoneyMakerGroup post as saying. “It will consist of just one phase at 200%. The most exciting part is [. . .] we will run a a (sic) two way cycler that wont (sic) cross over each other. What this means is when the left-to-right cycler meets the right-to-left cycler they will both start again!!

“This spreads the profits more evenly and ensures more positions profit – especially the later entries!” Centurion was quoted as saying. “All entries in the Tornado are worth 2 Product Tokens and these will be added to members main account! A Brand NEW Wealth Creation System is coming – Premium Members Only!”

Earlier this year, AlertPay processed payments for Exotic FX, another program widely promoted on the Ponzi boards. Some Club Asteria members also promoted Exotic, which billed itself a “PRIVATE ASSET HAVEN.”

Exotic appears to have collapsed in the spring, roughly at the same time Club Asteria was collapsing. The dollar value of Exotic member losses is unclear, and the firm’s website no longer loads. There were reports that AlertPay had blocked Exotic’s access to funds prior to the collapse. Exotic’s domain now resolves to a page that beams ads.

AlertPay also processed payments for Pathway to Prosperity, which the U.S. Postal Inspection Service described last year as a collapsed $70 million Ponzi scheme that had spread to 120 countries over the Internet and created 40,000 victims.

Separately, AlertPay’s name is referenced in U.S. Secret Service allegations against AdSurfDaily, an autosurf  company accused of propping itself up by creating at least three other feeder Ponzi schemes after its original Ponzi scheme collapsed in 2007. The ASD scheme allegedly gathered at least $110 million though a series of payment processors. The firm also used Bank of America to collect payments, according to filings by federal prosecutors and a private racketeering lawsuit brought against ASD President Andy Bowdoin by three ASD members in January 2009.

Hank Needham, a Club Asteria principal, also was an ASD pitchman, according to web records. Club Asteria launched in the aftermath of the Secret Service seizure of tens of millions of dollars from Bowdoin in 2008.

Like Club Asteria, Centurion Wealth Circle, “The Tornado,” Exotic FX and Pathway To Prosperity, ASD also was promoted on the Ponzi boards.

It is common on the Ponzi boards for members to promote two or more fraud schemes simultaneously. One Club Asteria member who also promoted Centurion has claimed he participates in 35 forums.

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2 Responses to “AlertPay Says It Was Targeted In DDoS Attack Last Week; Unclear Who Launched Assault; Site Processed Payments For Club Asteria And Other Collapsed HYIP And Money-Cycler ‘Programs’ Promoted On Ponzi Boards”

  1. I wonder how much money Andy Bowdoin has stashed at Alert Pay??

  2. Indeed. And judging by the refunds from Solid Trust pay publicly announced by ASD members, of the several million court records indicate he had there, how much was refunded and how much was kept by STP as “fees” for processing those refunds? DOn’t be shocked if it comes out that STP refunded about 10% of the ASD suspended funds and kept the other 90% (of millions) for their trouble sending you you pennies on the dollar.

    The payment processors are the key to finally destroying this industry of crime.