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Tuesday, 24 February 2009

A new twist to an old scam

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If you go to http://coreyhasmoney.com, you will see a photo of a bright young man in a tux, informing you that he is originally from your home town, but now he's a millionaire making his money by posting links on Google.

Don't you believe a word of it. Corey Peters is one big urban myth, and the swindler behind this website has figured out how to tap into your computer and identify the location of your web server in order to make you think that Corey's your homeboy. What he wants is your credit card number, and you're going to give it to him because you just can't believe that a nice guy from your home town is lying to you through his pearly white teeth. So what we need to establish right away is that he's not your homeboy, and he is a colossal liar. Here's how we'll do it:

This blog gets hits from every continent but Antarctica (and probably only because there's no ISP HQ'd there--but this post did incite one from north of the 72nd parallel), including a lot of viewers that do an excellent job of concealing their ISP; some are no more specific than the continent, and a rare few are even less so. I'd love to hear back from you as to where 'Corey' claimed to you that he's originally from. Just leave your comments below; and also please tell me whether or not you ran across Corey on Facebook.

Edited five hours later with the following revision: Come on, people. I'm getting hits on this post from several countries--probably at least one of them from Corey himself. Just to make it easy I've removed comment moderation to make it real easy to post comments (anyone who isn't a robot can participate). Please, tell me where Corey Peters told you he's from. And while you're at it, let me know what he's changed his name to this time. "Corey Peters" is less than a week into its run.

Added 2-26: Okay, folks, we can consider this project a success. A commenter alerted me to the following announcement posted to Facebook:

**Alert to Facebook Users**

You may have seen ads appearing on your FB profile in which a young man named Corey Peters or Mike Miller, and who claims to be from or near your home town, explains how he makes thousands of dollars posting links to websites. He claims that Google pays him to do this.

Some websites associated with this are:
coreyhasmoney.com
alexgetsgreen.com
mikemintsit.com

An American blogger asked people to send him a note to tell him where Corey was telling them he was "from" in his ad.
The answers he got back... Bedford, MA... Montreal, Quebec... and New Delhi, India.
Either Corey is quite the globe-hopping guy, or he has great software which detects your ISP address and then adjusts the ad to reflect a better "connection" to you.

When you go to these sites, they will ask you for your credit card information to sign up for a "Google Cash Kit".

Here are some comments from ComplaintsBoard, an online site dedicated to exposing web scams:
"ppl sign up for a google money system kit and have a couple $100 charged on their credit account. emails to contact them bounce back, the kit doesn't come and by the sound of it, neither does the promised cheque
13 days ago by T.Khan
I also did the same, no confirmation or e-mails, no such log in website. I found the ad on facebook and thought it was reliable. I am just waiting to see what i can do if they end up attacking my credit card. Such scammers..."

Other commentators on the ComplaintBoard explain how difficult it was to get the Google Cash Kit subscription cancelled... and many, many cases of people having to cancel their credit cards in order to stop the monthly payments.


RECENT NEWS

Official response from Google to an enquiry regarding CoreyHasMoney.com

"Ads like these appear to be the latest iteration of a trend we have observed for some time. Our Legal team reviews them and takes appropriate action if necessary. As Google is not affiliated with these sites, though, we can't comment on individual claims. We recommend that users exercise the same amount of caution they would when evaluating other types of get rich quick claims."

Update March 21, 2009

Well, this post continues to get dozens of hits a day--including one recently from Google Inc., so let's hope they do something about it. In any case, today I did something I'm not ever supposed to do--I actually read one of the ads that I've allowed Google to post on this blog. Boy, was I ever surprized to read a corey-peters type scam from cathysteeth.com being advertized right on my blog! Supposedly Google will cancel my Adsense account for doing this, but I'm going to cancel it anyway, maugre the money I'll be out for doing so. I refuse to participate in these sort of scams. Just look at the fine print for this "free trial offer:"

You have 14-days from the date that your order ships to use the product and evaluate the results. If you enjoy the system, simply do nothing. You will be billed the low price of $78.93 at the end of your 14-day trial period. Additionally, you will be automatically enrolled in the AlwaysBright™ Membership Program and every 30 days from your trial signup, you will receive a new 30-day supply of Bright Teeth™ Whitening Gel (10cc) and Remineralization Gel (3cc) at the low price of $80.93, plus $4.99 shipping and handling, totalling $85.92. . .

It goes on to say as much as that unless you cancel your credit or debit card, these charges will go on indefinitely. Because of course, you'll never be able to get through on their toll-free line, with thousands of other people from Pond Inlet to New Delhi all trying to cancel too.

Well, thanks to corey peters, I've gotten more hits in less than a month than I typically got in a year. But in the end, by participating in such scams, Google Inc. lost my Adsense business. And, I expect, unless they face the music soon, that of a lot of other bloggers as well.

There are ways to make money, and there are ways to take money. This is clearly one of the latter, and I will have none of it.

Update 3/23/09
To the kind folks at Google, Inc., who frequently check this post for new comments:
1) Thanks for deleting my Adsense account. You can keep the change.
2) I'm sorry I'm not able to keep up on approving comments as fast as they come in. I trust, however, that you've seen enough by now to get the picture. So I think I'll be taking this post down again; I could use a break from this issue for a while. Unless you take decisive action, it's not going to go away.

Update 3/26/09 I'm taking this offline again. Way too many hits to handle!

Update:  2013: This post has finally fallen out of my 'top ten' so I'm bringing it back up.

71 comments:

  1. Corey is claiming he's from Bedford, MA. Which is weird because I don't live there... it might be along the traceroute to his website, though. :)

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  2. That's interesting, because your ISP is located in Hudson, MA.

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  3. I saw Corey on Facebook and he says he is from Montreal, Qc Wow I didn't know Corey was from Canada...

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  4. Corey's from New Delhi this time around!

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. Montreal, Quebec checks out as the ISP Bell Canada. But naukri.com is located in Delhi.
    Corey must have a disgronifier that translates actual ISP addresses into one more germane to the area.

    I'm getting a greater variety of international hits on this post than any other--keep the comments coming!

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  7. North Vancouver, BC, Canada.

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  8. What is the relationship of this website to Google?
    The Corey Peters ad I saw states that Google pays him to post ads on websites.
    Does Google know about this?

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  9. Since Corey keeps morphing from one name and website to another, apparently Google hasn't thought it worth their legal time to go after him for abusing their brand name.

    Facebook, shame on them, needs ad revenue bad enough to take these people's ill-gotten money.

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  10. Ad on Facebook today: My name is Mike Miller. Married 3 years to Audrey...."Mike Mints It" same story, same check photos with same guy holding the check as shown in Corey Peters from "toledo" who also was on Facebook sidebar ad today. Silly thieves....

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. Okay, I'm going back to comment moderation. I have evidence from 3 different countries that the Corey Peters story is a scam from beginning to end. Thanks to the last commenter from Toledo, we now know that Corey has more sophisticated ISP detection software than my site meter does, as it didn't even give me the state of that last hit. Most commenters, though, didn't follow my instructions and tell me where their Corey was from, thus limiting the usefulness of keeping comments open any further.

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  13. Manchester, I2 area

    (I'm in The UK)

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  14. You are all mistaken, Corey is from St. George, UT and it looks like he skipped school because his spelling is pretty bad. Affiliate marketing is one thing but this guy is just a scammer. Blackhat POS

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  15. Still appearing on Facebook. It says he's in the London , H9 area. No such postal code in London. There's a piece of javascript in the web page that is pulling in the reader's location.

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  16. Saw Corey on Facebook. This one coming from Louisville,KY. Ty

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  17. yup, still on an ad on Facebook, and now he's from Waltham, MA.

    also, he even misspelled a link to his own website! "coreyhasmomeny.com"

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  18. No, our friend 'Corey' is from Hubert, NC, as are all those hot babes I can have tonight. Funny thing is, there are only about 1,000 people in Hubert. Reckon they're all hot-to-trot, or, like 'Corey,' have left for greener pastures.
    Shame FB knows about these scams, but still insists on making money from them, at our expense.

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  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  20. Now he's from San Marcos, TX and still on Facebook.

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  21. Today he was from Cumberland, RI.

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  22. Yes on Facebook. And he's from Greer, SC!!

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  23. Hamilton Ontario Canada!

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  24. I got corey saying he's from charlottetown Prince Edward Island, Canada.yeah right.I could figure this scam out quite easily.Nice try.Jerk

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  25. here is mine - Thank you for visiting my site. This is Corey Peters. I grew up in the Edmonton, AB area. This is my story on how filling out one simple online form changed my life. Basically I actually make around $5,500 to $7,000 a month from Google. Not a ton of money. But, very solid and good. I was able to replace my previous job’s income, working less than 10 hours a week on my computer at home.

    bla bla bla i don't like edmonton anyway. K.

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  26. Greely, Ontario Just south of Ottawa!

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  27. nooo, corey is from redlands ca! he seems to get around.

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  28. Sandy, Utah Today, I Hit A Link On The NCAA Play Off Home Page
    SSSSSSCCCCCCAAAAAAMMMMMM!!!!!!

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  29. St-Jean, Qc area.
    The same story as above,
    the Edmonton, Alberta.

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  30. Corey is now from Nelson BC
    Link was on ABC website

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  31. aalesund, norway - found him through abc.go.com (sponsored link)!!!

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  32. I found him on fox news...then did a google image search for corey...
    http://joemoneyblog.com/

    but it doesn't pull my location:
    My name is Corey Peters. I am originally from the , area.

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  33. Said he is Concord, NC. But I researched him considering he would be around my age and no Corey or person matching his description.

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  34. Corey is saying he is from Oak Park, IL now.

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  35. Corey Peters is now from New York, NY.

    Coinsidentally, so am I.

    Would you believe?

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  36. Well I fell for this guy's scam
    I hope someone finds him and puts him in Jail

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  37. Corey Peters is from Toledo, Ohio today. And I found his link at the bottom of an ESPN webpage.

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  38. corey lives in glencoe illinois

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  39. Corey Peters says he is from Spartanburg, SC. My friend and I were going to do this "Google Cash Kit" and I read the whole thing and got to the last page about charging $47/mo and my antennae went up and I started googling him in spartanburg and got someone else and then got to your website-thank goodness!!! You have probably saved us lots of money!!!That jerk!!!

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  40. has anyone determined where this scam is originating? Obviously whoever is getting paid has a bank account with a 'real' location, and these sites are all hosted on hosts which may be interested in knowing that one of their clients is breaking fraud and copyright infringement laws. If this individual is in the US I'd like to see some charges levelled

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  41. He was on my "recipes.com" e-mail and from Marietta, GA

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  42. YOu are all wrong!
    He is from Tampa, Fl.
    Come to think I thik I have seen his face in a local Walmart store before. Yeah right!

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  43. Lol, you are all confused. He is from Funchal, Madeira Island, some dot in the Atlantic Ocean

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  44. surprise surprise Corey is from Helsinki, Finland...

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  45. Carlsbad, NM!!!!

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  46. Saw Corey on the Google page, it sounded great so clicked on the site. With hardly any information they "Google" asked for the credit card number and that's always a red herring so I started probing and quickly found it was a scam. Hope people would first investigate before signing up or giving their credit card number.

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  47. Corey is in State College, PA for this last week

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  48. Yes, that's interesting. I followed a link to Google Sketchup and ended up at a corey clone site. This one had no fine print at all about hidden fees; you had to click on another link and it was buried under all the credit card stuff. This is obviously yet another twist in this story that just won't go away.

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  49. Corey's originally from Miami, he tells me - but that picture could be from a lot of anywhere except here. I've got a knack for locations, and can assure you the foliage is all wrong.

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  50. Corey said he hails from the BOSTON area...found on some psychic webpage.

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  51. No No No, He's from Boynton Beach, FL.

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  52. I saw CoreyHasMoney.com advertised on FoxNews.com.

    Today, Corey was from Bloomfield, NJ.

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  53. Anonymous said TODAY COREY IS FROM SOUTH EASTON MA

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  54. Venice, Florida. It came to me through Twitter.

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  55. Today Corey is from Fuzhou, Fujian, China.

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  56. I just came across this scam on www.pcmag.com website! How did he get his ad to be posted there! This is a reliable website, at least I thought so........
    Anyway, he is from Newport Beach, CA now........this is where I accessed his site, my job location.

    Too bad it is not true :-(
    I could use some extra cash :-)

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  57. You have it all wrong. He's from Frederick MD and he's changed his name to Scott Hunter! The ad was in a radio station's (WRQX - Washington DC) audio stream player.

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  58. He told me he was from McLean, VA and Bedford, MA, depending on which proxy server I used. :^) It's hard to believe that mainstream web sites run his ads!

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  59. Sorry folks. I had 8 comments come through all at once. One had unsavory language and in an attempt to delete it I deleted all 8. One was from Brazil, another from Tama, IA, and the one I wanted to delete from Dallas, TX. Sorry I can't remember the rest!

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  60. Googled some Lyrics to a James Taylor song & Corey was on the banner of the Lyrics page. Couldn't help but look cause I'm a huge fan of google. Glad I found ya'll cause him being "From my home town" really did make me interested in it.

    Chattanooga, TN

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  61. corey peters is from lincoln, ri this time.which is pretty close by.by gets around don"t he?

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  62. What about Bucharest, Romania? The name didn't sound Romanian at all, so the next search on google was for "corey peters scam". The sad thing is that I hit his site by clicking a link on www.foxnews.com...

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  63. I found one through an ad on Facebook, so it's clearly still going strong. The most interesting thing is, it directly targeted my major. Does this mean it's somehow pulling info from our profiles?
    Of course, the name is different, (Michael Anderson) and the site is now michaelscashblog.com. I'm guessing they never figured on reaching the Caribbean, but I'm currently located in Trinidad and Tobago, and it just says "I grew up in the area". The sidebar says he's from Miami Beach, Fl though, so I guess that's as close as he gets?

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  64. The people behind one of these scams (Google Treasure Chest aka Google Money Tree) are being taken to court - but not by Google as you may expect but by the Texas Attorney General following consumer complaints.
    See: http://strangelyperfect.tv/3099/google-treasure-chest-its-a-scam-and-a-half/

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  65. Trinidad dude,
    Your ISB is in Miami Beach, that's why Corey/Michael said he's from there. Obviously he's wised up and decided to just say he's "from the area" to further string suckers along.

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  66. I posted an ad in craigslist to sell a car and someone with this email address :
    marlenahammer4bax@gmail.com
    sent me this link to the GOOGLE cash:
    http://www.travismadecash.com/
    he also claims to be a hometown california man with a touching life story including his previous Ride, which is the auto he owned before, and the current Ride which is the one he has now after he got into the Google cash program. The following is the "Innocent" email that I received from the "Brother in law" of Travis:

    Good day
    I wanted to let you know that you don't have to sell your car to make some extra cash. My brother-in-law was recently laid off due to the economy. However, he has learned an easy way to make money online.
    Last month he made $7000 dollars working with Google.

    You can view his blog here: http://lopurl.net/0l

    Many people he has told about this have been very successful and if he can do it so can you

    Cya later
    Ben

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  67. His name is Travis this time, from Indiana
    http://travismadecash.com/

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  68. Scams are all over the internet. In 1999 I joined a chat room to cope with the loss of my mother (four years after the loss of my father). I fell into a trap (as well as getting con'd out of 2500.00$) that I have linked to a number of internet gamers. I had linked a number of their servers (including one that generates spam) together and had contacted the FBI about them - they refused to act based on way too many copouts. A list of the servers they have either used or set up will follow - please stear clear of the greedy sadistic perverts! Or better yet? Find someone who will take em out!

    ALPHAQUAD.NET
    SELENITY.NET
    EMPOKNOR.ORG
    RISANET.NET
    DILITHIUM.ORG
    WEBSOFTDEV.COM
    FSGSIMS.COM
    FSG-SIMS.COM
    HITFARM.COM

    There are more all over the world but those are their primary. If this can save even one person from suffering as I had between 2004 and 2006 then I was able to help.

    Thank you,

    Iron Will
    derwood.stephens at yahooo dot com

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