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Spam Suspects: LeadTerminus.com and A-1 Mortgage

- $1,150,000.00 USD in statutory damages (and counting)

Case Facts:

  Total number of spams sent: 608   CAN-SPAM Damages:TBA
  Number of days (776.2(c)): 24   15 O.S. 776.1 et sec: $1,175,000.00
  Number of days (776.7(c)): 23   Other Damages: 0.00
  Total distinct days: 47   Total Damages: $1,175,000.00

spam timeline:

2004/09/07 - SPAM - Received 8 spams dated 09/07/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/09/08 - SPAM - Received 31 spams dated 09/08/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/09/09 - SPAM - Received 51 spams dated 09/09/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/09/10 - SPAM - Received 83 spams dated 09/10/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/09/11 - SPAM - Received 57 spams dated 09/11/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/09/12 - SPAM - Received 63 spams dated 09/12/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/09/13 - SPAM - Received 42 spams dated 09/13/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/09/14 - SPAM - Received 3 spams dated 09/14/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/09/15 - SPAM - Received 13 spams dated 09/15/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/09/15 - CALL - Telephone Call #1 dated 09/15/2004 at 11:09 AM CST
Left message for someone to call me back at LeadTerminus.com
2004/09/15 - CALL - Telephone Call #2 dated 09/15/2004 at 12:55 PM CST
Telephone Call from Scott Colker at InternationalWebWorks.com
2004/09/15 - CALL - Telephone Call #3 dated 09/15/2004 at 1:50 PM CST
Left message for Scott Colker to call me back at LeadTerminus.com
2004/09/15 - CALL - Telephone Call #4 dated 09/15/2004 at 2:05 PM CST
Telephone Call from Scott Colker at InternationalWebWorks.com
2004/09/16 - SPAM - Received 10 spams dated 09/16/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/09/16 - CALL - Telephone Call #5 dated 09/16/2004 at 12:48 PM CST
Telephone Call to Greg at InternationalWebWorks.com left a voicemail for Greg Waltour, he never calls back
2004/09/16 - CALL - Telephone Call #6 dated 09/16/2004 at 2:43 PM CST
Telephone Call to Scott at InternationalWebWorks.com left a voicemail for Scott Colker, to report that spam is still coming
2004/09/16 - CALL - Telephone Call #7 dated 09/16/2004 at 3:44 PM CST
Telephone Call to Greg at InternationalWebWorks.com left a voicemail for Greg Waltour, advised I was still receiving spam and for them to stop.
2004/09/17 - SPAM - Received 12 spams dated 09/17/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/09/16 - CALL - Telephone Call #8 dated 09/17/2004 at 3:54 PM CST
Telephone Call to Janice at InternationalWebWorks.com and requested no future email from sender as provided by §5[a](3)(A)(i) of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003
2004/09/18 - SPAM - Received 2 spams dated 09/18/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/09/19 - SPAM - Received 3 spams dated 09/19/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/09/20 - SPAM - Received 7 spams dated 09/20/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/09/21 - SPAM - Received 18 spams dated 09/21/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/09/22 - SPAM - Received 17 spams dated 09/22/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/09/23 - SPAM - Received 10 spams dated 09/23/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/09/24 - SPAM - Received 4 spams dated 09/24/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/09/26 - OPTOUT - CAN-SPAM compliant Opt-Out request matures
Sender had only 10 days to comply with opt out request as provided by §5[a](3)(A)(i) of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003
2004/10/04 - SPAM - Received 3 spams dated 10/04/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/10/05 - SPAM - Received 1 spams dated 10/05/2004 ($25,000 in damages)
2004/10/07 - SPAM - Received 36 spams dated 10/07/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/10/08 - SPAM - Received 48 Spams dated 10/08/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/10/11 - SPAM - Received 52 spams dated 10/11/2004 ($50,000 in damages)
2004/10/12 - SPAM - Received 34 spams dated 10/12/2004 ($50,000 in damages)

Quick Links:

  1. Original Spam Message (in email form | in PDF form)
  2. Other Spam Messages (360 and counting)
  3. Form filled out on Spamvertised Web Site - using bogus name "David James"
  4. Telephone Call from A-1 Mortgage dated 9/15/2004 @ 10:51 AM
  5. Telephone Call to Michele B. Fagin dated 9/20/2004 @ 4:17 PM
  6. Demand for payment sent to Michele B. Fagin dated 2/14/2005 @ 9:53 AM
  7. Other Evidence so far
(To open any of these evidentiary files in a new window simply hold down your shift key while clicking any link below.)

UPDATE: September 20, 2004 - IWW admits no wrongdoing OTHER THAN selling a lead that was generated by spam



Synopsis

On or about September 9th, 2004 a company by the name of LeadTerminus.com sold a “spam generated” lead to A-1 Mortgage in Tulsa Oklahoma. An individual by the name of Mike Stephen called shortly thereafter asking for “David James”. LeadTerminus’ very own attorney admits that her client sold the lead to A-1 Mortgage. None of the remaining facts presented on this page have been disputed by LeadTerminus.com or their attorney.

LeadTerminus.com appears to be a subsidiary of International Webworks.com, LLC, a Colorado Limited Liability Company in good standing. This International WebWorks.com outfit, by all appearances, is a sweetheart of a company that even incorporated as an LLC on Valentine’s day in the year 2000. Their president, Greg Walthour was kind enough to pose for a picture



On September 20, 2004 the company’s hired gun, attorney Michele B. Fagin was kind enough to confirm the fact that LeadTerminus.com sold the lead in question to A-1 Mortgage. She also emailed me this letter.

They are self-proclaimed “experts in internet marketing” yet they can’t seem to determine where their own leads are coming from. ”Their unnamed supplier” (hereinafter referred to as “The Lead Fairy”) allegedly broke their contract. By all accounts this company is making a profit albeit the low budget office space they have (or had) according to this news story.

The Lead Fairy sent the spam from misleading email addresses. None of the “from” email addresses on the 300+ spams seem to be the same.

This spam was sent to a made-up list of addresses that all resolve back to my domain. This is known as a “dictionary attack”.
What is a Dictionary Attack? A Dictionary Attack is an attempt by a spammer (in this case, The Lead Fairy) to get a spam message to as many people in your organization as possible. The spammer accomplishes this by sending the message to every name combination imaginable at your domain. The spam email gets through to the name “guesses” that are valid.
There are two problems with this.

#1. All email addresses sent to webguy.net end up in my email box.

#2. This is an aggravated violation of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 which states:
Section 5(b) Aggravated Violations Relating to Commercial Electronic Mail-
 (1) Address harvesting and dictionary attacks-
  (A) IN GENERAL- It is unlawful for any person to initiate the transmission, to a protected computer, of a commercial electronic mail message that is unlawful under subsection (a), or to assist in the origination of such message through the provision or selection of addresses to which the message will be transmitted, if such person had actual knowledge, or knowledge fairly implied on the basis of objective circumstances, that--
   (i) the electronic mail address of the recipient was obtained using an automated means from an Internet website or proprietary online service operated by another person, and such website or online service included, at the time the address was obtained, a notice stating that the operator of such website or online service will not give, sell, or otherwise transfer addresses maintained by such website or online service to any other party for the purposes of initiating, or enabling others to initiate, electronic mail messages; or
   (ii) the electronic mail address of the recipient was obtained using an automated means that generates possible electronic mail addresses by combining names, letters, or numbers into numerous permutations.
There is no opt-out mechanism, there is no identification that the messages are advertisements or solicitations and there is no mention of a valid physical postal address of the sender, all as required by the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 which states:
Section (5) INCLUSION OF IDENTIFIER, OPT-OUT, AND PHYSICAL ADDRESS IN COMMERCIAL ELECTRONIC MAIL- (A) It is unlawful for any person to initiate the transmission of any commercial electronic mail message to a protected computer unless the message provides--

   (i) clear and conspicuous identification that the message is an advertisement or solicitation;
   (ii) clear and conspicuous notice of the opportunity under paragraph (3) to decline to receive further commercial electronic mail messages from the sender; and
   (iii) a valid physical postal address of the sender.
By sending (or causing to send) email that contains bogus return email addresses and or falsifies the point of origin of the email, The Lead Fairy is in violation of Oklahoma Statutes Title 15 Section 776.1(A)(1) and 776.1(A)(2)
§ 776.1

A. It shall be unlawful for a person to initiate an electronic mail message that the sender knows, or has reason to know:

1. Misrepresents any information in identifying the point of origin or the transmission path of the electronic mail message;
2. Does not contain information identifying the point of origin or the transmission path of the electronic mail message;
or
3. Contains false, malicious, or misleading information which purposely or negligently injures a person.
By sending (or causing to send) email that falsifies the transmission information within the email, The Lead Fairy is in violation of Oklahoma Statutes Title 15 Section 776.6(A)(1)
§ 776.6

A. It shall be unlawful for a person to initiate an electronic mail message that the sender knows, or has reason to know:

1. Falsifies electronic mail transmission information or other routing information for the unsolicited commercial electronic message;
or
2. Contains false or misleading information in the subject line.

Liability of the Sender(s)

WebGuy Internet Solutions meets the definition of an email service provider as defined by Oklahoma Statutes Title 15 Section 776.4(5) which states:
§ 776.4
5. "Electronic mail service provider" means any person who:

   a. is an intermediary in sending or receiving electronic mail, and
   b. provides to end-users of electronic mail services the ability to send or receive electronic mail.
WebGuy Internet Solutions wishes to pursue a lawsuit for statutory damages in the amount of $1,150,000.00 as provided for by Oklahoma Statutes Title 15 Section 776.2(C) which states:
§ 776.2
   C. If the injury arises from the transmission of fraudulent electronic mail, an injured electronic mail service provider may also recover attorney fees and costs. In lieu of actual damages, the injured electronic mail service provider may elect to recover the greater of Ten Dollars ($10.00) for each fraudulent electronic mail message transmitted in violation of this act, or Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00) per day.
as well as: Oklahoma Statutes Title 15 Section 776.7(C) which states:
§ 776.7
   C. If the injury arises from the transmission of unsolicited or commercial electronic mail messages, an injured electronic mail service provider may also recover attorneys’ fees and costs and may elect, in lieu of actual damages, to recover the greater of Ten Dollars ($10.00) for each and every unsolicited commercial electronic mail message transmitted in violation of this act, or Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00) per day.


Other Spams advertising besttimeisnow.biz

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Other evidence

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-----Original Message-----
From: Carney [mailto:Goldberg@bellsouth.net]
Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2004 4:18 PM
To: steele@webguy.net
Subject:


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