[DONATION POST]: Blog’s Editorial Well Has Grown To 1,681 Stories — And Thousands Of Other Links

Dear readers,

I’ve delayed putting up this month’s donation post as long as I could, but we’re at the edge of July and have a new round of bills to pay. This month’s need is on the order of $550. Please give if you’re able. By giving last month, a small handful of readers were responsible for each story you’ve read this month and for keeping our entire archive of 1,681 stories, 6,975 tags and more than 12,000 other links online.

Thank you.

Patrick

About the Author

34 Responses to “[DONATION POST]: Blog’s Editorial Well Has Grown To 1,681 Stories — And Thousands Of Other Links”

  1. Patrick, I think that you might garner more regular and more enthusiastic responses to your requests for assistance in meeting the costs of running this site if you entertained people’s curiosity by providing itemized accounting of exactly what those costs are. People are curious creatures. Feed them the details!

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  2. SD: Patrick, I think that you might garner more regular and more enthusiastic responses to your requests for assistance in meeting the costs of running this site if you entertained people’s curiosity by providing itemized accounting of exactly what those costs are. People are curious creatures. Feed them the details!

    SD,

    Although I understand your point of view, I will “feed them the details!” publicly only in a general sense. My reasoning is simple: This Blog operates in an environment that is threatening. Certain people want to harm this Blog. I cannot rule out the possibility that they also want to harm me and will use any tidbit of information I publish to do so. Certain specific information — the Blog’s monthly hosting cost, for example — can be used to make assessments about the Blog’s security architecture. I am not going to put that in the hands of those who’d like to cause harm to the Blog or me.

    That’s why I publish a “window.” And it’s not as if I do so in a vacuum. It was clear from a claim of responsibility I received in April 2011 for certain events that occurred here that an individual who described himself as the enforcer for HYIP schemes had performed an assessment of this Blog’s security platform.

    Not sure if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of vicious DDoS attacks, cyberstalking and chronic bids to chill during a major recession in your chosen trade. I can tell you that it has changed my life, made me much more security-conscious. Nothing is out of bounds to the individuals who’d do harm to this Blog.

    Last month, for instance, an individual claimed my dog died and my family members could be next because God or karma was getting back at me for what I report about HYIP schemes. Another individual who has repeatedly harassed the Blog with different usernames and email addresses and menacing language advised me I’d get “what [I] deserve” and repeatedly planted the seed that my donation posts constituted a scam.

    “They” want people to believe the Blog is a scam — while “they’re” carrying the water bucket for HYIP Ponzi schemes. This pattern dates back to the earliest days of the ASD investigation.

    This week I became aware that a certain person who is seeking to harm me and others is claiming he is keeping a “dossier” on certain individuals

    I am not going to provide details that would elevate the security risk against either the Blog or me. No sooner did I publish the donation post last month than I began to hear from people I consider dangerous.

    There have been any number of attacks against people who contribute to this Blog. Those attacks now are being carried out across multiple sites. I have concerns for their safety as well.

    SD, I do not have two nickels to rub together. Things such as keeping Internet access, hosting and a place to live and work during a severe recession in publishing are the daily concerns of my life. You can choose to believe that or not.

    The scammers won’t, to be sure.

    Patrick

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  3. SD,

    The biggest problem with providing details is the resultant spam received by people who want to stop Patrick from exposing them as the thieves and miscreants they truly are. I guess you have never seen some of the deleterious videos which populate the internet at present regarding the requests for donations already posted. Or maybe you have.

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  4. Patrick please continue the good work you are doing, your blog is one of the few remaining sources of uncovering ponzi schemes.

    Thanks,

    Daniel

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  5. Daniel: Patrick please continue the good work you are doing, your blog is one of the few remaining sources of uncovering ponzi schemes.

    I am grateful for these words, Daniel.

    Thank you.

    Patrick

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  6. Don: resultant spam

    It has been particularly heavy in threads about the purported “OneX” program.

    Patrick

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  7. Details or not, it seems odd to me that you must solicit hundreds of dollars every month to “protect” yourself. There are many other (more vocal) anti-scam blogs out there (scam.com, realscam.com, behindmlm.com etc.) that subsidize their costs with on-page advertising (i.e. AdSense) while remaining quite safe. Not to mention, I was able to determine your identity with just a few mouse clicks (or is that known?) In any case, I’m familiar with the hard costs, and hosting a blog like this does not require hundreds of dollars a month. (Tip: Take a look at NearlyFreeSpeech.net, ideal for hosting blogs like yours.) At a minimum, I think it reflects on your credibility if you’re accepting any form of payment from unknown sources. At worst, you’re profiting from the very scammers you denounce. Not saying you are, but it creates an appearance of impropriety. As someone who sniffs out scams, I’d think you’d want to avoid that.

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  8. cyveil,

    You sound a lot like one of the scammers that get reported here. And while there “may” be ,ore informative blogs around, that’s immaterial. If you like them so well, why are you here?

    The sources are not unknown, all are named when they make a donation, donation being the operative word. You miss the point entirely.

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  9. There was a time in which I used AdSense. That resulted in attacks against me that YouTube apparently was pleased to beam to the world. A cyberstalker effectively videotaped himself harassing the Blog. He posted his harassment on YouTube. Neither Google nor YouTube did anything.

    This particular cyberstalker now appears to have inspired another one. Like the first cyberstalker, the second one is trying to smear people with sexual innuendo.

    cyveil: Details or not, it seems odd to me that you must solicit hundreds of dollars every month to “protect” yourself.

    But you’re not in my shoes. Right, cyveil? I keep this Blog going because I am a journalist covering the story of a lifetime: how Internet criminals across the globe are affecting the security not only of individuals, but of nations.

    And I keep it going because it is important to victims and to researchers, including members of the law-enforcement community. The overall publishing economy isn’t getting any healthier, and I am hanging on for dear life while trying to serve the public good in the grandest tradition of my trade.

    It is absolutely true that I am less open than I use to be. As the attacks against me and the Blog increased, I have become less public.

    cyveil: At a minimum, I think it reflects on your credibility if you’re accepting any form of payment from unknown sources. At worst, you’re profiting from the very scammers you denounce. Not saying you are, but it creates an appearance of impropriety. As someone who sniffs out scams, I’d think you’d want to avoid that.

    I accept payment from a small number of PayPal users. They generally are the same people, with an exception here and there. I have no reason to believe they are anything less than noble.

    But you do bring up the possibility that even scammers can infiltrate PayPal. That is the modern reality and points to the very real dangers that can surface online.

    You may perceive the appearance of impropriety. Readers who’ve been with me a long time do not — except those readers who want to destroy this Blog and me personally, of course.

    I do not have the resources to maintain this Blog and a minimalist existence for myself without the help of readers who believe that I am doing very important work.

    Patrick

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  10. admin: But you do bring up the possibility that even scammers can infiltrate PayPal. That is the modern reality and points to the very real dangers that can surface online.

    I guess that’s part of what doesn’t feel right to me. All the threats and stalkers, all the concerns about shielding yourself – yet you leave an opening to accept donations via PayPal?

    admin: I am a journalist covering the story of a lifetime

    admin: I am hanging on for dear life while trying to serve the public good in the grandest tradition of my trade.

    Journalists in the grandest tradition of the trade don’t usually take donations via PayPal :) In any case, if things are that tight for you, I wish you many donations. Thanks for your reply.

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  11. cyveil: All the threats and stalkers, all the concerns about shielding yourself – yet you leave an opening to accept donations via PayPal?

    It took me a long time and much soul-searching before I added the donation button. Because of the history of attacks against this Blog, I knew the button alone would be seized upon by scammers as a means of planting the seed that the Blog is a scam. It happened almost immediately.

    Prior to that, the ASD/AVG people planted the seed I was running an advertising scam. An infamous cyberstalker planted the seed I was ripping off senior citizens and Ponzi scheme victims. Beyond that, he went on and on about the ads on the Blog.

    cyveil: Journalists in the grandest tradition of the trade don’t usually take donations via PayPal :)

    Maybe not in the pre-Internet days, back when they had stable jobs and careers.

    cyveil: In any case, if things are that tight for you, I wish you many donations. Thanks for your reply.

    You’re welcome for the reply, and I appreciate the sentiment. Thank you.

    Patrick

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  12. Plenty of “journalists” work for Huffpost… where they get practically nothing. :)

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  13. K. Chang: Plenty of “journalists” work for Huffpost… where they get practically nothing. :)

    Hi K. Chang,

    Here’s the Huffpost on the layoffs at the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/12/new-orleans-times-picayune-layoffs_n_1590317.html

    Patrick

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  14. I’ve just been made aware that someone is spreading a vicious email and somehow is contacting some of my longtime readers. It is an out-and-out smear job.

    Patrick

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  15. Patrick,

    We all know bullshit when we see it. Not to worry, let Law Enforcement deal with this jerk.

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  16. I have forwarded a copy of the email to a federal law-enforcement agency, which I called today at 4:21 p.m. to report this incident.

    Patrick

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  17. I wish to donate but do not want to do so via PayPal. My credit cards are already attached to PayPal accounts and I my last attempt at using a VISA gift card on PayPal resulted in a storm of verification issues.

    Do you take SolidTrustPay by chance? :)

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  18. Jimmy: Do you take SolidTrustPay by chance?

    Sorry, Jimmy. PayPal only. Thanks for the thought, though.

    Patrick

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  19. Got a Cyveil over at BehindMLM defending Dawn’s snafu. Same person?

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  20. Yes I’m the same person, and yes I discovered this blog by reading the Zeek-related posts at BehindMLM. But my post here had nothing to do with my posts there. Sheesh, lighten up – not everything is a conspiracy.

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  21. Didn’t say it was a conspiracy. Perhaps some paranoia on your part? :D (Just kidding, lighten up yourself)

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  22. Zeek Rewards is the new home to many former ASD members and ponzi promoters. I suppose it is Guilt By Association. Any “program” that had Schweitzer and Disner (ASD Justice) in it is automatically suspicious.

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  23. SD: Patrick, I think that you might garner more regular and more enthusiastic responses to your requests for assistance in meeting the costs of running this site if you entertained people’s curiosity by providing itemized accounting of exactly what those costs are.People are curious creatures.Feed them the details!

    Then you would be wrong. The contributors to this blog and its regular readers know well that it is a work of conscience as opposed. This might be a difficult concept for scammers and cynics, but is not one that is alien to the scammed and those who give a damn about it.

    Anyone who has any idea about the costs of running a blog that is regularly subject to DDOS attacks and other irritations (probably from those who know of no other way of defending their scams) will know that the “cheap and cheerful” hosting options are not a possiblity, as more sophisticated online protections are called for than those provided by the 24$ a month providers.

    Those that choose to donate do so because they are aware of these issues and wish this blog and the service it provides to the public to continue.

    And remember. Curiosity killed the cat.

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  24. cyveil:
    I guess that’s part of what doesn’t feel right to me.All the threats and stalkers, all the concerns about shielding yourself – yet you leave an opening to accept donations via PayPal?Journalists in the grandest tradition of the trade don’t usually take donations via PayPal :)In any case, if things are that tight for you, I wish you many donations.Thanks for your reply.

    Umm….honest people don’t mess with peoples’ paypal accounts. That’s something that crooks do and paypal are not know to be very friendly towards people who mess with their site.

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  25. Patrick,

    There’s an old political addage – “When you’re explaining, you’re losing.” You owe your readership only what you are already giving them day after day, week after week, month after month, to the tune of now nearly 1,700 posts and some 4 years of coverage – authoritative, dogged, masterful investigative reporting into the myriad malignancies called HYIPs spawned by the age of digital financial crime. And you owe them nothing more.

    This entire notion that you somehow need to “justify” requesting donations to offset costs (oohh, what a radical, shocking and highly suspicious concept THAT is) and “explain” to total strangers that yours is a hard-scrabble existence is not only absurd but grossly inappropriate and in this instance potentially even more compromising than any attack on the blog’s architecture.

    Protect your personal integrity with the same vigilance and passion that you protect your journalistic integrity and the technical integrity of your blog. Your loyal readership, which is considerable, those who know you to be a world-class reporter providing an ocean of information about one of the most critical issues of our time and also a man of honesty and character, already understand what they need to. Those you would attempt to somehow “sway” with explanations, justifications, rationales and tales of woe are precisely your self-righteous, self-deluded critics who are swayed not a whit by such sermons. Indeed, such things, for such people, only put the smell of blood in the water and invite them to spew more bile, as they predictably did upon Maddy’s passing.

    You do not have to seek what you already have – the support of those you serve with relentless, authoritative reporting. You should stop seeking what you can NEVER have – a pass from the delusional morons who mindlessly recite the HYIP catechisms and justify to themselves and the world the financial rape of honest, hard-working people.

    You need to stop “needing” to hear this, but should embrace the confidence to merely tell it to yourself with the same confidence with which you report. This is, at the end of the day, no big deal, and no tortured construction could ever make it a “big deal”. You’ve got bills to pay. So what? Welcome to the world. Stop allowing yourself to be guilted into explaining, or more accurately apologizing for, this elementary reality like you’re apologizing for running over someone’s cat.

    You’re an investigative journalist whose authority and ethics are above reproach, and unreproached by a vast readership who benefits from the information and reporting on this website. Fire up a reminder each month about donations and have done with it. Those who want to help, and can, will. Those who don’t, won’t. It’s that simple.

    If tortured constructions are the stuff of HYIPs, then why allow yourself to be backed into tortured explanations that seek tortured results? Stop feeding the sharks. Keep your own wise counsel, keep your business your business, and run your website with confidence, and hang out that donation shingle with confidence, too. It’s worth it, and you and your well-served readership already know that.

    As for your critics and detractors giving you s**t about it. Here’s a newsflash for a great newsman – they give EVERYBODY s**t. Do yourself a favor – give it back.

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  26. People are going to make up sh__ to smear you if the want. No way around it.

    Just today I found that someone made up sh__ about me on Ripoff Report, claiming they lost 54000 in some “venture” involving me, called up his mother to get the money, and other hilarous sh__. Then posted some random pix of some Asian dude in LA (in front of Staples Center, dead giveaway) and basically copied my Blogger profile (I run blogs, I live in SF), and even made up a Google Plus profile (blank of course).

    Given that this was in December 2011, before Zeek or Wazzub hit the news, it pretty much had to be TVI Express defenders, and probably Filipino.

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  27. Just adding my two cents, but people don’t attack people or blogs that are not effective. They only attack those that are having success in exposing their Ponzi/scam whether it be posting in a financial Ponzi forum or a blog.

    What is also true is that the more successful we are at exposing these Ponzi’s/scams, the more people begin to see through all the detractors attacks for what they truly are; and not based on facts or truth.

    It is my hope that all who read this blog, and appreciate all your hard work, will assist with a donation to help keep it going. All it takes is 125 readers donating just $5/month or 60 readers donating just $10/month for this blog to continue. Not much when you consider the value, content, and success in exposing these Ponzi’s/scams.

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  28. @Irritable Bob

    You said it.

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  29. Which is why I offered Patrick this quote before:

    I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.
    Margaret Thatcher

    Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/margaretth114262.html#7eQEelaYewBGcm2G.99

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  30. It’s nice that you are on Patrick’s side in this, hopefully you are also donating. I do every month, a more tangible expression of my support.

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  31. K. Chang: People are going to make up sh__ to smear you if the want. No way around it.
    Just today I found that someone made up sh__ about me on Ripoff Report, claiming they lost 54000 in some “venture” involving me, called up his mother to get the money, and other hilarous sh__. Then posted some random pix of some Asian dude in LA (in front of Staples Center, dead giveaway) and basically copied my Blogger profile (I run blogs, I live in SF), and even made up a Google Plus profile (blank of course).
    Given that this was in December 2011, before Zeek or Wazzub hit the news, it pretty much had to be TVI Express defenders, and probably Filipino.

    “…and probably filipino.”?? wtf does that mean? you want to clarify what you mean by that racist “sounding” statement.

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  32. alex,

    I approved this post ONLY because it is potentially informative to my readers on the lengths to which some people will go to smear members of the antiscam community.

    K. Chang is free to respond.

    I notice that you had nothing whatsover to say about K. Chang’s assertion about what happened on Ripoff Report and instead have chosen to plant the seed that he is a racist — with a “wtf” to show your righteous indignation, of course.

    To Readers: By way of background — and I have no reason to believe “alex” was the sender — this Blog received yet another disturbing communication last night that was targeted at a thread about the JSSTripler/JustBeenPaid “program.”

    It was brief enough, but it was designed to make me look up a certain IP address and experience a chill after I looked it up.

    To “alex.”

    “They” will stop at nothing.

    Although I don’t have a sense you are part of “they,” I do believe you are pulling out the slime card. It has been pulled out many times in differing ways against members of the antiscam community.

    It is almost always the case that the slime purveyors deny their intent was to slime. And it ordinarily is the case that the slime purveyors have some tie to a “program” that is written about here or elsewhere.

    I say “ordinarily” because it’s not always the case. Sometimes the slime purveyors have no ties to the “programs”; they just prefer to slime because they’ve abandoned the better angels of their nature and see hurting people as fun, a sport, really.

    Don’t become part of “they,” alex.

    Patrick

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  33. Probably Filipino because that’s the ONLY place TVI Express still survives then.

    You’re welcome to dispute THAT fact.

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  34. Want more hate news? Some Zeekhead claimed he put up “1000K” for my identity with a picture, offered on his blog.

    Not that he posted his blog’s address, of course.

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