Spamford Wallace Accused Of Spamming MySpace

from the just-can't-let-go dept

Sanford "Spamford" Wallace was the original spam king -- and he was proud of the label. Back in the late 90's he was basically the face of the first generation of spammers. After running into trouble with the law, he promised that he had reformed himself and gone into the nightclub/DJ business. However, the lure of questionable online marketing practices was apparently too much. A few years ago, it was discovered that he was in the spyware/adware business. When the FTC cracked down on him for that, he disappeared for a while before eventually being fined $4 million. You would think that after getting in trouble twice for questionable online marketing, he would have learned to stay away -- but Wallace apparently just can't let go. News Corp. is now suing Wallace for setting up 11,000 fake profiles in MySpace, and using them to redirect visitors to various marketing websites. The article isn't entirely clear on the charges, but it includes charging Wallace with violating CAN SPAM -- suggesting he was also spamming people via email to get them to visit these sites. Either way, someone might want to suggest to Wallace that he not get involved in various online marketing schemes for a while.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Gwen, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 3:47pm

    Hmmm....does the "Three Strikes" rule apply to him? One can hope can't they?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Jeff, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 3:54pm

    Get a Free iPod...

    Now I know who to strangle. I want this jackass in jail.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Chris, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 3:58pm


    the biggest problem is that MySpace lets you report spam messages, but not spam friend requests. The spammers figured that out and just started making all those fake profiles and requesting to ad everybody they could. Tom (dude who 'runs' MySpace) posted a bulletin the other day saying that legal action was imminent and that new controls are going to be put in place to prevent this from happening. It makes me wonder though, what's the difference between a porno site setting up a page on MySpace to advertise and say, Transformers The Movie having their page being whored by MySpace itself? I guess U have to pay MySpace if U want to spam it's users.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    jeremy, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 4:31pm

    I've never been asked by, say, "Transformers: The Movie" to be its friend though.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    joe, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 4:43pm


    MySpace sucks the big one in the first place. So who really cares about the tons of fake accounts. Those are all still just a drop int he bucket compared to the Chinese and Russian spams that are still running rampant.

    Three Strikes is usually reserved for violent repeat offenders. Though who truly knows these days.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Awesome Mr Ethan, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 7:08pm

    Spam King? Nonsense.

    Sanford wasn't the original spam king. Vardan Kushnir was, with the whole American Language Center gig. Or if he wasn't the original, he at least preceeded Sanford!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    RandomThoughts, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 7:28pm

    You are looking at this from the wrong perspective. It is all a risk/reward equation. Sure, Sanford paid his fines, but how much did he make? Think there wasn't tons of profit there?

    Think its limited to Spam? Look at the fines Wall Street pays to the SEC. Think they lose money on those? Choicepoint paid a $15 million fine, how much did they profit?

    They pay million dollar fines but make billion dollar profits. I am not an accountant, but I know that works out well. Breaking the law and paying fines are a business expense. A cost of doing business. Thats the way things work.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    reality_check, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 7:30pm

    reality check

    Do you realize if he didn't someone else would?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    RandomThoughts, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 7:49pm

    Oh, and I read that when they nailed Sanford, spam levels were around 10% of all email sent. Today they say the spam levels are around 90% of all emails sent?

    Yeah, the fines really hurt the spam industry.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    thecaptain, Mar 28th, 2007 @ 5:47am

    What's the point of fines?

    I've been digging around and I wish someone would point me to a good explanation.

    What the hell is the point of fining this guy? The article says he was fined FOUR BILLION dollars. FOUR BILLION.
    He was rich before, but I don't think it was in the billions.

    So if he's bankrupt, how the hell is he still managing to create havoc like this? Where does he get the cash?

    If the fine doesn't hurt him much, what was the point in the first place?

    This guy's like the Woody Woodpecker of spam.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Rich Kulawiec, Mar 28th, 2007 @ 6:02am

    This is why spamming should be punishable by death

    Consider how much aggregate time this scumbag has chewed up
    in his "career". Between the spam, the junk faxing, the spyware,
    and everything else....he has eaten up the equivalent of many,
    MANY human lifetimes. Consumed the one thing we can never
    buy more of, the most precious thing we have. He's a psychopath.

    He deserves to die.

    But aside from that, there are two other lessons here that those of
    us who work in this area have known for years (or decades):

    1. There is no such thing as an "ex-spammer".

    2. Spam is often not the worst thing they do.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Brad, Mar 28th, 2007 @ 10:54am

    Re: This is why spamming should be punishable by d

    "He's a psychopath.

    He deserves to die."
    -Rich Kulawiec

    Hey Pot, have you met Kettle?

    Seriously, scamming stupid people and cluttering up the internet is a financial crime, so the response should be financial. He shouldn't be killed for inconveniencing people. That's just plain idiotic. Who's the psychopath, really? You're advocating someone be killed because you don't like their business practices. I hope you never get into a position of authority.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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