back to article Spam King Ralsky indicted over stock spam scam

Notorious spammer Alan Ralsky and ten others have been indicted in the US over the alleged use of junk mail to promote stock fraud scams. Ralsky (a long term fixture in Spamhaus's list of known spammers) his son-in-law Scott K Bradley and others, including a dual national of Canada and Hong Kong and individuals from Russia, …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    How do people fall for this??

    Oh, a company I've never heard of that has ludicrously cheap stock is being recommended in an email from someone I've also never heard of. That sounds like a good way to spend my money.

    Honestly. It's not even as if they're promised the millions that the Lads(TM) are offering...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    becouse they're American and believe firmly in get rich quick.

  3. David Harper

    Re. How do people fall for this??

    As P.T. Barnum once (allegedly) said, there's a sucker born every minute.

  4. Andy Worth

    Re:How do people fall for this??

    Perhaps because they are stupid and/or greedy? Sometimes people are blinded by the dollar signs appearing in front of their eyes.

  5. Matt West
    Paris Hilton

    It might just work

    A few people believe that if you react fast enough to the spam and sell up in time then you too can make money. All the spammers have to do is put up comments and blogs encouraging this belief and potential victims will be queuing up to be scammed. I don't seem to get stock spam anymore so I guess people wised up. Either that or Viagra spam is more profitable.

  6. Dave

    Combined Effect

    If you could just get them to combine the Viagra spam with the stock spam, wouldn't you end up with something that could raise its own value for a while without needing any other help?

    Now, where did I leave my coat?

  7. Aram

    Hui's on first base, How's on second base

    > How Wai John Hui, 49, of Vancouver, Canada and Hong Kong,

    > allegedly acted as a link between the spammers and their Chinese contacts.

    There was a moment of confusion with that word at the beginning of the sentence since I was expecting the sentence to continue...

  8. Anonymous Coward

    I also believe firmy in get rich quick..

    ... as a matter of fact I've got $20,000,000 USD holed up in my uncle's account, a former African dictator.. I'd like to transfer it over to the UK with your help of course at a nominal fee.

  9. Ian Michael Gumby

    Dear Friend...

    Hi, I'm the couzin of Rawlsky and he contacted me because he nneded help in moving his offshore funds to on-shore accounts so he can pay for his legal fees.

    If you would be so kind as to help an honest biznessman out from the ilegal persecution of the US government, he'll gladly give you a 15% cut of any money he moves through your account....

    Hmmm maybe I should move to Lagos? :-)

  10. Herby

    Why it (spam) is done

    Its pretty simple, people SPAM because it works. It got these people a couple of $$$ in their scheme. Most of the junk in your imbox is there because on some level it works. It works because even though the participation rate is miniscule (1 per million), millions of SPAM letters are sent. So what if only 100 or so people respond, that is enough to rake in the big bucks.

    Yes, everyone who even considers SPAM is guilty of helping out. Just delete it and go on with your life. The trouble on the prosecuting end is that there is not enough individual harm (only a couple of bucks each sucker) to get any district attorney interested. Until they think in the aggreate, nothing is going to get done!

    Just a case of making money a dollar at a time. Oh, well....

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Some one had to do it!

    Come on guys, they were just performing an invaluable service to the society.

    It's immoral to let a sucker keep his money

  12. Steve Roper

    And what's the bet that...

    ...once the dust has settled, the court cases are done, and the judges and lawyers appropriately paid, that these scum will walk away with only say $2m in fines and fees? While they have made probably $20 million in scam money. Maybe they'll do a couple of years just to make it look good. Next stop, a nice mansion in Bermuda or the Bahamas and it's yachts and banana daiquiris for the rest of their worthless lives.

    Cybercrime pays, obviously, if you actually make enough to buy your justice. I'll have to have a look at doing some of this shit myself...

  13. kain preacher

    @Steve Roper

    Little side note about American law. The US gov can make him prove that the things he has was bought with legit money. If he cant the gov can take it. If he is caught spending the money caught from spamming after coming out of jail, he can be charged with money laundering

  14. Acme Fixer

    Already a convictd felon

    IIRC, he's already been convicted of insurance fraud. What amazed me is that it has taken *three* years to get this recidivist criminal. Shame, since they have spammed billions of spams over that time, and eliminating them earlier would have taken a tremendous load off the network and email servers.

    And instead of getting more sophisticated, I would've been so much more relieved to hear that their operation had been hampered by anti-spam software. But sadly, such was not the case.

  15. Steve Browne
    Thumb Up

    Bit like the war on drugs

    They caught someone, wonderful. Now someone else will pop up.

    I used to get a similar problem, well before Al Gore invented the internet, with people offering to employ my ex wife's worthless brother. You see, it was what she wanted to hear, so it must have been true. (Note, use of HAVE and not OF). All it took was to lend this guy £10 (whatever) and get her brother down here (more expense). Needless to say, the first £10 was a down payment, several other techniques coming into play shortly thereafter. I knew that my brother in law was not going to get a job and told her, but would she listen, never. As long as she heard what she wanted to hear, then it was absolute truth. I got her money back by going around every pub and asking everyone in it if they had seen whatever his name was and showing them all the bounced cheque. He came looking for me to give it back !! so I would stop damaging his reputation !! He even asked what he had done to get me to do these nasty things to him!

    Now we have spam. All it has done is to de personalise the introduction. You still have people who hear what they want to hear, read what they want to read and believe what they are told as long as it is what they want to believe. Bit like the government believing IT consultants will save them money.

  16. Mark

    Why it wiorks

    Like all cons it works on greed, someone will always believe they can make extra cash, or sucker the person who is conning them, all cons work like this, doesnt matter if its spam or someone selling you goverment diamonds that are going below market rate on a limited offer.

  17. Paul Murray
    Paris Hilton

    Re:How do people fall for this??

    It takes a couple of years for boffins like us to really understand this simple fact: most people, *most* people, are bloody stupid. Those people on Big brother and game shows, people that buy lottery tickes, are average. It is normal for people to be that dumb.

    Once you appreciate this, really grasp it, the world makes a lot more sense.

  18. Keith T
    Gates Halo

    In some cases, senile dementia

    Why do people fall for fraudulent emails?

    Sometimes because their circumstances make the email really convincing. Investment spam is targeted at investors, not at IT types.

    If you were an investor and your in-basket was full of investment related emails, a well written investment-related spam email would not stand out.

    Sometimes the victims suffer from senile dementias, like Alzheimers disease. Many elderly people have a lot of money to invest, and many manage their investments themselves.

    We ourselves maybe someday be suckered, if we live long enough.

  19. Billy Verreynne

    The Hilton Angle

    @Paul Murray

    Exactly.. which is why us 'boffins' are such a miserable and sad bunch. We Hiltonise our responses (just like you did now) in honour of the Bloody Stupidest Blond of Them All... simply because we have this short circuit at times between our brains and balls.

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