Partnerka – This Is Sophisticated Online Affiliate Fraud at It’s Dirtiest

I was not aware of Sophos Security Software until a week or two ago.  And I only became aware of it because I found an interesting article on Russian fraud rings operating under the “Canadian Pharmacy” banner.

The owner of this software, is a guy by the name of  Dmitry Samosseiko.  He apparently spoke at a conference on Computer Virus’ in Geneva in Sept. 2009 and his speech was all about Internet Fraud, particularly by the Partnerka.

The Partnerka is a collection of hundreds, possibly thousands, of well organized affiliate networks that operate mainly from Russia, but also in other parts of the world as well.  I say affiliate networks, because at the heart of what they do, these “webmasters” promote false anti-spyware software, fake pills, fake dating, fake watches; almost every vertical has some level of these folks involved.

Fake in the sense that the end customer buying the product has no idea that it does nothing for their computer or them, and that these thieves are interested only in their credit card information, and not in creating a long term customer relationship.  The “webmasters” (read: affiliates) get paid for driving traffic to these false product sites and encouraging the traffic to purchase.

But what happens when the fraud starts to get out of hand, and spills over into legitimate products and services. The kind affiliate and CPA networks promote.  How does their plan work then?  Read Dmitry’s report to get the inside scoop and how you can prevent being one of those who has been taken.

Here is the Link to the Partnerka report.

Cool Tip of the Week:

When paying affiliates, look at the cashed checks through your bank’s electronic checks feature.  If you notice lots of unconnected affiliates all having the same endorser and the checks are being sent offshore, you might be the victim of a fraud ring.

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