Evolution Of A Moneymaking Tactic

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Since January, I've been following a particular kind of moneymaking scheme with interest. Originally, you paid a "small shipping fee" to have information on Government loans (that you could get for free anyway) sent to your door - then finding yourself being billed every month. From there, it evolved into coughing up a shipping fee in return for some magical "make money from Google" program, but the basic idea remained the same.

Shall we take a look how this one has progressed?

First, they presented you with the Obama Stimulus Program.

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Then they wheeled out a moneymaking man of mystery (that would be "Kevin Hoeffer") who couldn't decide if he was making a fortune from Government Grants or Google.

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To go with the fake blogs, fake blog comments were thrown into the mix that actually made it a lot easier to keep track of all the fake Kevins. Or Jeffs. Or...whatever his name is / was.


Kevin Hoeffer recently returned, complete with what must have been some pretty extensive plastic surgery and a brand new website pimping his "Two Step Formula". Check out his "new ride":

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Someone better tell him to call the police, because Steve Pickens has apparently stolen his car.

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...and on it goes.

The most recent version was highligted by Kevin Poulsen of Wired fame. A good portion of the URLs mentioned in this post now link to the new site, which is designed to look like a genuine news website:

Live at 5, this site is a fake, originally uploaded by Paperghost.

I'm still trying to get my hands on the URLs involved (and I'll update the post as I get them), but the one cited by Kevin is


and there's also another one (called the "Bakersfield Gazette News") at


All these sites currently lead to something called the "Cash Secret Club" (ooh!) which uses a fake countdown timer and the panic inducing tactic of claiming they only have "42 slots open" to get you to part with your cash.

Cash Secret Club, originally uploaded by Paperghost.

As you probably guessed, the URL for that site is


with another one located at


so feel free to add them all to your blocklists, unless the thought of paying $1.00 for shipping...."something"....to your home address while potentially having billing issues (to the tune of $79.95) like this person did is an appealing one.

Which it isn't. And that's the truth whether your name is Kevin, Jeff or Joey Joe Joe Jones Junior Shabadoo...


Good post. Loved the comment about Kevin Hoeffer's "extensive plastic surgery"!

There is a list of many of the fake news sites here: http://electronplumber.com/the-los-angeles-tribune-news-scam/ (in the comments)

A good investigation into this web of Google Kit scams here:

And a good post on the rise of the flog (fake blog) here:

With a follow up at:

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This page contains a single entry by Christopher Boyd published on June 19, 2009 11:44 AM.

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