In the early to mid 2000s, I started to actively warn others about so called opportunities that I felt were scams or potential scams.
The primary company that I focused on was one that was being promoted in the work at home forums that I ran.
The company was called YMMSS and was a doubler that promised people they would double their money within 60-90 days.
It was easy enough to do the math and illustrate the unsustainable nature of the business.
My site and warnings regularly turned up on the first page of the SERPs and was usually in the top 2 or 3 results when people searched for information about YMMSS.
The company ran flawlessly for about 4 years, and then the inevitable math caught up to it and it crumbled and crashed, costing its victims millions of dollars.
I spent countless hours analyzing numbers, researching previous scams the owner of YMMSS promoted, and communicating with people who inquired about it.
Eventually, I ended up becoming a moderator at an anti-scam forum that is now defunct, but used to provide a great service to the internet community.
In addition to huge amount of time invested, that several year experience was emotionally draining. Listening to stories from many victims of internet fraud is heartbreaking if you’re somebody who gives a damn. And I do.
Sadly, those who publicly speak out against scams and scammers often become targets of those same scammers and their supporters.
When I was posting warnings regarding YMMSS, the man who was pushing it on my work at home site told me that the company was contemplating legal action against me. That particular type of threat is common and simply not a big deal. I knew the ins and outs of their comp plan and I knew the math would not hold up under legal scrutiny. Those types of threats are generally empty because the scam companies know they would end up on the losing end.
However, scammers often resort to other types of attacks that can do some damage. Many anti-scam sites are targeted by DDOS attacks and sometimes Digital Millennium Copyright Act(DMCA) takedown notices.
Both of these strategies can knock sites offline for several days at a time.
DDOS attacks can overload your hosting servers and keep traffic from getting to your site.
DMCA takedown notices can cause your host to temporarily shut your site down while the copyright violation claims are investigated. Normally, these claims that scammers file are bogus and the sites are reinstated in short order.
A perfect example of the latter of these strategies is the current offline status of BehindMLM.com, which is a site run by a person who goes by the pseudonym “Oz”.
Because Oz often uses pictures of the people who either own or promote the MLMs that he reviews, he is even more likely to suffer from a DMCA takedown notice and he has apparently had to fight more than one of them over the years.
Oz recently started targeting serial ponzi promoter Faith Sloan on his blog, using publicly available pictures for identification and parody.
Sloan filed a DMCA takedown notice claiming copyright violations. This has at least temporarily knocked BehindMLM.com offline.
It’s these types of headaches, in addition to the fact that many scammers are just plain psychos, that have at least temporarily stopped me from getting back ino the anti-scam world more heavily. I still participate in the communities a little bit, but I resist the temptation to get too heavily involved.
I will still make occasional posts regarding scams, but don’t intend to get as deeply involved as I once did.
Be careful out there and do your research.