UPDATED 11:39 A.M. EDT (MARCH 21, U.S.A.) RealScam.com reports that the DDoS attack is continuing, but that measures have been taken to restore accessibility. The site is back online. Here, below, our earlier story . . .
RealScam.com, a site that concerns itself with international mass-marketing fraud, is experiencing a DDoS attack, a source told the PP Blog this afternoon.
“We’re seeing what we can do about it,” the source said.
On the plus side, the source noted, the DDoS attack suggests RealScam is meeting its mission of informing the public about scams.
The attack is occurring against the backdrop of government actions against the Profitable Sunrise HYIP “program.” RealScam posters have been following Profitable Sunrise developments closely. Forum posters also are monitoring developments concerning “Banners Broker,” another mysterious online “program.”
Precisely why RealScam.com has been targeted is unclear. At least one purported member of Profitable Sunrise — writing on another site on Saturday — said he wished the hacker’s group “Anonymous” was paying attention to negative coverage of Profitable Sunrise on the web. The poster did not reference RealScam.com in his apparent call for a DDoS attack. Instead, he referenced another site carrying negative news about Profitable Sunrise.
The attack against RealScam.com also occurs against the backdrop of remarks in Washington today by Michael J. Bresnick, executive director of President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. In an address to the Exchequer Club of Washington, D.C., Bresnick referenced mass-marketing fraud.
“. . . the Consumer Protection Working Group has prioritized the role of financial institutions in mass marketing fraud schemes — including deceptive payday loans, false offers of debt relief, fraudulent health care discount cards, and phony government grants, among other things — that cause billions of dollars in consumer losses and financially destroy some of our most vulnerable citizens,” Bresnick said. “The Working Group also is investigating the businesses that process payments on behalf of the fraudulent merchants — financial intermediaries referred to as third-party payment processors.”
Both Profitable Sunrise and Banners Broker — like many purported “opportunites” before them — have relied on banks and payment processors to keep cash flowing to the schemes. Bresnick did not mention either company in his remarks.
“The reason that we are focused on financial institutions and payment processors is because they are the so-called bottlenecks, or choke-points, in the fraud committed by so many merchants that victimize consumers and launder their illegal proceeds,” Bresnick said. “For example, third-party payment processors are frequently the means by which fraudulent merchants are able to get paid. They provide the scammers with access to the national banking system and facilitate the movement of money from the victim of the fraud to the scam artist. And financial institutions through which these fraudulent proceeds flow, we have seen, are not always blind to the fraud. In fact, we have observed that some financial institutions actually have been complicit in these schemes, ignoring their BSA/AML obligations, and either know about — or are willfully blind to — the fraudulent proceeds flowing through their institutions.”
Despite the absurd payout advertised by Profitable Sunrise (and claims that Banners Broker doubles money), some Profitable Sunrise members have complained on forums about credit unions in North Carolina and Alberta that have raised serious questions about Profitable Sunrise, a “program” that advertised a “Long Haul” plan purported to pay 2.7 percent interest a day.
Zeek Rewards, which the SEC described in August 2012 as a $600 million Ponzi and pyramd scheme operating online, complained on its own Blog about credit unions raising questions about the Zeek “program.”
The SEC later said that Zeek scammed hundreds of thousands of people by duping participants into believing that the “program’s” payout of about 1.5 percent a day came from legitimate means.