Recently we have seen email spam promoting two particularly vile medical scams. Both of these scams appear to be operated from the same source, a ClickBank affiliate called “traffictem”. The spammer promoting them is may not be directly connected with the scams but is simply being paid for traffic via the ClickBank affiliate program. Here’s what the diabetes spam looks like.
Though it looks as if the email contains text, in fact it just contains links to images which are hosted on the spammer’s server. The links are obfuscated using a URL shortener, and the HTML contains a style tag with random words in it in an attempt to confuse spam filters. (Good luck with that, buddy!)
Clicking on the images takes you to a landing page that looks like this.
The main pitch comes from the 40 minute video which is hosted on YouTube. This sells a $37 online training course that claims to be able to cure type one and type two diabetes by following simple instructions for four to six minutes a day.
The eyesight spam follows a similar pattern. The landing page also has a forty minute video, which claims that you can have perfect vision in just seven day by following simple exercises. Though visually a little different from the diabetes spam, the HTML of the landing page contains large blocks that are identical. The purchase pages for both scams are also almost identical, right down to the $37 price tag marked down from $197.
Both products are sold by ClickBank, a business which allows affiliate vendors to sell digital goods and has a network of affiliate advertisers to promote them. In both these sales pages the affiliate ID is listed at the bottom as “traffictem”, so they are almost certainly coming from the same scammer. While ClickBank does have some legitimate clients, according to one consumer group, “…it is commonly the service provider to the ‘get rich quick’ or ‘learn the secrets that they don’t want you to know’ kind of Internet marketers… a good rule of thumb for any consumer is that when you order a product or service and you are forwarded to a ClickBank secure payment form, red lights should be flashing.”
Whoever is behind these phony cures has gone to some lengths to promote them, by setting up fake reviews promoting the product, and using SEO to make sure that they are at the top of Google search results for “Dr. Pearson’s Diabetes Cure”, or “Quantum Vision System“. In fact, only two of the hits on the first page of search results are critical of the diabetes scam. However, we can fix this with a little search engine optimization. If you own a web site, consider adding a link on the words “Dr. Pearson’s Diabetes Cure” to David Mendoza’s article on diabetes scams at http://www.mendosa.com/blog/?p=114 or Adrian Nasager’s article on this particular scam at http://naturopathicdoctoronline.com/category/diabetes/ . For “Quantum Vision System” a link to http://www.sandiegocan.org/2015/01/14/alert-quantum-vision-system-scam-save-your-money/ would help. If you don’t have a web site you can still help by entering that Google search and clicking on the links to those pages (but not the phony reviews), which will help move them up the search rankings.