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Police Grabs Online Dating Site’s Owner For Scamming

SophosLabs, the global network of Sophos for virus, spam, and spyware analysis centers, has sent out warnings to companies that they should follow anti-spam laws. The warning came after the detention of a man who was suspected to have launched 5.4 billion spam mails to promote his dating Web site.

Aged 47, Yoshimitsu Hirono - president of Tokyo based dating website Takumi Tsushin was - was taken into custody along with three other accomplices. Hirono was pleaded guilty of breaching an email law by forging sender data.

The four culprits were reportedly said to have confessed the charges against them.

The miscreants, according to the police, had set up 128 computer systems in a building in the Heilongjiang province of China. The scammers then carried out the scam remotely from Japan. They sent out 5.4 billion spam messages to Internet users during July & August last year (2006).

This was for the first time that the police was able to crack down one of the largest dating Web site operators in Japan.

Graham Cluley - Sophos' senior technology consultant - divulged in the news published on Info Zine on 19 January 2007 said, "Competition between websites is fierce, and if found guilty these men would not be the first to have used illegal means to get an edge over their rivals." He continued, "In increasingly aggressive markets some businesses may turn to illegal spamming in their attempt to increase market share. Companies need to know by spamming they could find themselves drawing attention from the international law enforcement agencies, and end up with a unpleasant date in court."

The offenders, specifically Hirono, were accused of automatically sending 4 unsolicited emails to a financial corporation between 17 & 19 August last year. The spam mails were sent for the purpose of advertising the services offered by their dating website.

"China ranks as the second-worst country in the world for relaying spam, but that doesn't mean that the spammers themselves are based there", divulged Cluley. "Spammers may make use of computers in China to make investigations more complicated and to take advantage of lower infrastructure costs", he added further.

According to the police Hirono had bought nearly 23 billion email addresses for individuals and corporations in Japan. The accused distributed around 90 million spam mails every day. Investigators are suspecting that the reason why these miscreants placed the computer systems in China could be of mystifying the police from tracking them down. Also, they might have wanted to enable low information technology infrastructure costs.

The website is able to rake in120 million Yen per month and is reported to have been gathering its members via email ads.

Related article: Police Arrests Six Suspects Associated With TJX Credit Scam

» SPAMfighter News - 1/24/2007

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