back to article US recovers a record $15m from the 3ve ad-fraud crew

The US government has recovered over $15 million in proceeds from the 3ve digital advertising fraud operation that cost businesses more than $29 million for ads that were never viewed. "This forfeiture is the largest international cybercrime recovery in the history of the Eastern District of New York," US Attorney Breon Peace …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fraud is not fixed

    The Feds, working with Google and a collection of security companies, took down the ad-fraud operation in 2018 and they left the SPAM, fake faxes and fake phone call efforts running daily. Every couple of hours everyone gets a phone call announcing that their vehicles warranty has expired but can be renewed. If you have a fax then you get details of the new loans that are available and everyone gets a couple of dozen SPAM emails a day (our mail server is only rejecting 85% of all spams).

    1. sitta_europea

      Re: Fraud is not fixed

      I can fix your mail server for you.

  2. Snowy Silver badge

    They still kept

    They still got to keep 14million.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Minus expenses

      86,000 fake domains, C&C servers, nearly 2m pwnd machines. Playing cat and mouse with the ad networks. All that costs money.

      What's my point? it's not to be pedantic and point out that their take was smaller than the article makes it sound, or that they probably spent a lot of whats missing living like, well, lets say like organized crime figures do in the movies.

      It's this, that this crime ring spent millions and millions of dollars on services, domain registrations, etc. From companies that are themselves making millions of that fraud. Companies that aren't being asked to pay back a dime. Always follow the money.

      The reason that Robocall is still illegally dialing you in the middle of dinner is that the telcos are still getting their cut, and they don't have to pay it back. If you report a spammer and they get disconnected, the phone company just gets paid twice when they reconnect their service.

      You want have a shot at stopping this kind of fraud, claw back the bills the scammers ran up at the big registrars, ISPs, and hosting companies. Give it to the victims of the fraud( No, not the ad networks, the actual companies that paid to run their ads. And pay the small fry first) and then the telcos will pay attention because suddenly they have skin in the game.

  3. skeptical i

    re: "operation that cost businesses more than $29 million for ads that were never viewed"

    Depending on how one defines "view", this can be true of google and other ad-/track-ware slingers: does "view" mean that the image was summoned (and may have been blocked)? that the advert image actually loaded into the viewer's browser as intended (and wasn't s/adimage.gif/smilyface.gif/ by a browser extension or other end-user magic)? that the viewer actually laid eyeballs on that corner of the page? that the viewer paid enough attention to recall the product or service? Not to let Threeve off the hook, they just seem to have been more creative about exploiting a flaw in the whole concept.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'd flip that

      The more creative swindlers are the ones cheating the system that AREN'T getting hauled to court. Creative like playing ads that are off the screen at the time, or obstructed, or firing on autoplay while the computers owner is AFK on the can or making a sandwich. Plenty of money spent on ads people never see. Some of those ways are even legal.

      Lets have some more articles about THOSE guys. These guys were just successful screw-ups.

  4. Locutus_of_Borg


    Now they will view toilets and impressions of the top bunk.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So the feds went after the good guys, and left the bad guys alone.

    Anybody who is extracting ad money without humans having to see ads is a hero. Ads are the scourge of the internet, and anybody running them deserves to have automated fake ad views.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don’t be an idiot.

    2. gotes

      Nobody likes ads, but thanks to ads we can access a whole lot of stuff for "free". Or would you rather all web sites were paywalled?

      1. OhForF'

        I'd prefer ad free pages and pay walls.

        They would have to improve the quality of the "services" to get me to hand out my own money directly to get accross the pay wall and we might get less but more interesting sites.

        I'm old enough to remember the internet was a much kinder place before all the advertising/commercialization started and it did have interesting content back then.

        The most interesting parts of the web to me is usually user generated content or content generated by enthusiasts. These usually have a hard time generating enough money from advertising just to pay for the bandwith they need.

        Naming fraudsters heroes is taking it too far - i'd have more sympathy with them if they had done it to show the avertisers the futility of it instead of siphoning off the money to their own accounts.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Great news

    "A little more than half of the illicit proceeds, $15,111,453.84, has since been transferred from Swiss bank accounts to the US government"

    So Uncle Sam gets a windfall, but the companies who paid for the non-existent ad views get what ? The satisfaction that that particular crew isn't scamming them any more ?

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