Monday, February 06, 2006

MySpace Vigilante: Blogster Against Fraudster

MySpace has 50 million members. Fifty million people have gone to and set up a personal web page. It's a social networking site. You get to put up a web page about yourself, complete with pictures and sound recordings, even bits of video. Many post blog entries (blog = web log = journal, diary, column, anything). You can browse profiles, select interesting people to be your friend. Then you can see who your friend's friends are.

More than one celebrity uses MySpace to put up a fan web page easily, and to make it easy to chat and correspond with fans (and other celebrities, even). You can find real celebs on my own friends list, some I've eaten chatted with in real time. Well, Alyssa Milano, anyway. The others are there just because it's fun being able to say "well, on MySpace, I'm friends with Britney Spears, Hilary Duff, Adam Sandler, even Lou Black.

Not to mention the Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, all five pairs of them. Yeah, five. Not every profile on MySpace resembles the person who posted it. And any system that can be misused can be misused for illegal profit. On this note, let me transition from long preamble to actual story.

I got a peculiar message on my MySpace account, from a guy who said a close female friend of his had formed a crush on me based on my profile. It looked an awful lot like one of those porn site come-ons that we see in so many spam e-mails. But I checked the site, and there were no links to any porn sites or anything commercial at all. Looked like a real MySpace woman. A real attractive woman, too. With attractive but normal-looking women on her list of friends.

I checked out the blog of one of those friends of the woman who allegedly had this enormous crush on me. In an entry to readers who may have received "strange messages" she starts off:

Okay....If you have been receiving weird messages from anna, cindy, barbi,or diana...this may be of some help to you.....First off I do not know these people I have never added them to myspace and never intend to..

So I did a little research and wrote a response to her. This letter might be of general interest to anyone annoyed by porn-spam or imposters. Or anyone who's rather enamored of this cozy little village of 50 million people called MySpace. Or anyone interested in seeing massive-scale fraud get punished properly.

Dear Jami,

Thank you so much for posting this. You're an innocent victim of a nasty spam/scam/con game. All this is designed to drive traffic to a cam/porn site. All of these "girls" are really probably just one ugly hacker on a PC somewhere. He's probably fat, bald, ugly, and smells bad. This is all about money.

Here's the scam. The "girls" have a "best friend" send messages to a random MySpace guy, informing him that a hot babe has a cyber crush on him. Only by adding her to his friends list can he contact her. The MySpace "girl" has a profile set to private. A "top 8" friend list is there, but this isn't a true top 8 list -- those are not visible in hidden profiles. This is just hacked html code made to look like a real MySpace "top 8" display. Look very carefully: the hacked code has been inserted into the "who I'd like to meet" section. The con man just picked 8 attractive young female MySpace members to show as the "girl"s friends. Congratulations, you won a beauty contest you never wanted to enter.

My own e-mail came from "Milan" ... Milan's profile is:

His e-mail pointed me to the babe with the crush on me, Liz. Her profile:

Her picture:

So, the "mark" (that's me) adds "Liz" to his friend's list, but can't see her full profile, post comments, or send an e-mail. (A con man's victim is called his "mark," so lets call this victim Mark. Mark is me.) Mark has no way to reach "Liz", even after putting her on his friends list, until he sees a BULLETIN pointing him to a letter posted online elsewhere. Here's the bulletin that "Liz" posted to for all her Marks to see:

Which reads:

Okay so here we go. It's me,the one who wanted to meet you. Your profile really fascinated me. I am a shy girl and really have a hard time meeting people that I am truely interested in.

I wanted to be as clear as possible with you because I have faith that there could be a future with us. I wrote up my webpage explaining who I am, what I do as to why I am shy, and what i want to

I hope this works. I have faith
My personal letter to you
Yours Truely

Following the money, we see that we're given a link that points to

It would seem that all this chaos on MySpace is being caused by a customer of, that customer being "user7629". I'll be sending a letter of complaint to I'm sure the con man called user7629 has a whole bunch of pages for anna, cindy, barbi, diana, carmen, kelli, janis, paula, manda, courtney, and nicole. Continuing to follow the trail, Liz's posted love letter to Mark directs each of us victims to a link:

That page has code that automatically redirects our browser to the sign-up page for the cam/porn site:

So our con man is user7629 at and also your_eyes_only at Looking into, I suspect that your_eyes-only isn't just a customer of some server hosting business.... has a home page that is almost blank, and is identical to our con man's own account's page. It is reasonable to suppose that is a domain name owned by our con man. But it's possible the owner of the site is merely another victim of our con man's game. Perhaps we should all contact the URL site owner to convey our commiseration.

We can do a whois query (at, e.g., to figure out who owns :
Registrant Name: CHARLES JOHNSON
Registrant Organization: 08820
Registrant Address1: 35 SWISS CIR
Registrant City: Beverly Hills
Registrant State/Province: CA
Registrant Postal Code: 90210
Registrant Country: United States
Registrant Country Code: US
Registrant Phone Number: +01.3474520842
Registrant Email:
Administrative Contact ID: CJ45344-NBAY
Administrative Contact Name: CHARLES JOHNSON
Administrative Contact Organization: CHARLES JOHNSON
Administrative Contact Address1: 35 SWISS CIR
Administrative Contact City: Beverly Hills
Administrative Contact State/Province: CA
Administrative Contact Postal Code: 90210
Administrative Contact Facsimile Number: +1.013474520842

Now, whoever has sent all this spam/porn stuff is trying to lure people into a business transaction (signing up at a porn site for $) under false pretenses...the impression that a very attractive young woman is available there and already has a crush on the victim.

This is fraud. Not just figuratively speaking, this is a crime. Across state lines, this violates federal fraud statutes. I belive the FBI would have jurisdiction. Anyone care to forward this matter to their local FBI office? Hundreds or thousands of counts of fraud (each electronically recorded in precise detail!!!), times perhaps a year in federal prison for each count....whoever is responsible could end up wishing he'd been convicted of homicide instead. Literally.

Where do all of us victims go from here? I'd suggest contacting a few people, maybe cut+paste this text, and add your own details. The people to contact would be MySpace's own customer service:
MySpace Customer Service

and your local FBI office, perhaps:

If you're really mad about this, you could print out all this information and walk into your local FBI office. The directory is here:

Interested in follow-up? I'll continue posting about this tawdry little cyber crime on my blog:

Want to reach me?

Best wishes,


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