U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft on Aug. 26 announced that since the June launch of the Justice Department’s Operation Web Snare, it has arrested 103 Internet spammers, gotten 53 convictions, and filed 117 criminal complaints and indictments. The spammers were caught using deceptive e-mail, denial of service attacks, and other forms of online fraud.
The Direct Marketing Association funded much of the investigation leading to the arrests. “We are letting spammers know that we aren’t going to give up on the promise of e-mail as a trusted and reliable vehicle for global commerce, communication, and education, without putting up a very hard fight,” DMA president/CEO John Greco said in a statement.
The government sting built up a list of suspected and known spammers, using federal and private industry data, and used decoys to nab the spammers by trying to buy their products and services.