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Updated
February 2006

   Dynamoo 2006

 

 

 

www-goto.com Spam Emails and Edgetech Services

8th February 2006

For three years now, there has been a "website directory" scam running, where webmasters are sent bogus "renewal" notices via email, encouraging them to sign up for a web directory service, various hosted at www-goto.com or dirs.org.

This scam originally started listed as the Topsites Scam, but it eventually morphed into many other different forms.

As of February 2006, the current round of spam emails are similar to these noted in Google Groups:

    From: The Editor <owner-nolist-x@www-goto.com>
    Subject: Please update the [removed] listing by Saturday, February 4. There is no charge. (Adv)
    Reply-To: <listings@www-goto.com>

    Could you please be so kind as to update the description of your website
    [removed] in our web directory by Saturday so we can continue to
    list you, if you don't mind?

    Update your listing for FREE at:

    http://www-goto.com/update.cfm?d=[removed]&e=w

    Thanks.

    To unsubscribe: http://www-goto.com/cancel.cfm?d=munged&e=w
    Media LLC, 1158a 26th St. #528, Santa Monica, CA 90403 USA

As we have already demonstrated in the past, this is part of a exercise that is designed to collect fees from webmasters from a service they did not ask for.

Over the years, the spam email have morphed somewhat. The current round of emails do make some minimal effort to comply with the law, but previous versions were simply fraudulent.

If you receive one of these emails you should report it to a service such as SpamCop - you should not click on the link, and if you are asked for any money you should either ignore it or take legal action against the sender.

Who is behind the spam?

Currently, there are two parties involved in this spamming activity. One of them is Somnath Bharti, based out of New Delhi, India. A recent article in the Indian PCQuest magazine probed the business activities of Somnath Bharti, and made reference to his spamming operations. Somnath Bharti is directly responsible for the www-goto.com and www--search.com domains - two names deliberately chosen to reduce the risk of articles such as this showing up in Google. At present, this sites are hosted on 202.14.69.117, described as "Madgen Solutions Llc Malviya Nagar New Delhi India". Madgen Solutions are a well-known spamming operation who have a listing in Spamhaus's ROKSO database as one of the top 200 spammers in the world. However, Indian anti-spam laws are very lax, which is why Somnath Bharti has escapted prosecution for so long.

The www-goto.com and www-search.com domains are registered to:

    Media LLC
    1158 26th Street #528
    Santa Monica, CA 90403
    US
    530-688-9820
    Fax:530-504-8433

We've shown in the past that these addresses are often fake, or belong to third parties who have been duped into providing services.

Edgetech Services

But, in fact the Indian spamming operation is a front for a US-based firm that bought out the original spammers in 2005. That firm is Edgetech Services (www.edgetechservices.com), a failing firm listed with the shares EDGH.OB. Edgetech appear to own the Media LLC business outright, and they are certainly responsible for many other variants of the same directory, including websbiggest.com. This so-called buyout in reality appears to be a reverse takeover of Edgetech by Paul Aunger who originated the old Topsites scam (see this company filing).

The exact relationship between Edgetech and Somnath Bharti is unclear, but it is almost definitely the case that Edgetech are fully aware of the spamming operations, a large part of which has been carried out despite the CAN SPAM act.

Edgetech Services appears to be keeping a low profile, but should you wish to serve legal documents, their current contact details appear to be:

    Edgetech Services Inc.
    501 Santa Monica Blvd
    Suite 601
    Santa Monica, CA 90401

At present, Edgetech services appears to be run by Adam Radly and Paul Aunger who appears to be the originator of the directory listing scam. Paul Aunger claims to be a Canadian cititzen, but he may now be living in the Caribbean. We have already documented that there is a long relationship between Paul Aunger, and Somnath Bharti (the spammer).

It does appear that Paul Aunger has attempted to "legitimise" the old Topsites LLC spamming outfit by engineering a reverse takeover of the failing Edgetech Services business. However, there is plenty of evidence to show that Paul Aunger has a long association with Somnath Bharti and is well aware of the continuing spamming activities.

 

 Subj: Shopping and Services

 

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