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Two sentenced in major email spam scam

Beware of get-rich-quick emails

Two Russian emigres will serve more than two years in jail for their part in an email spam scam that clogged US ISPs with more than 50 million emails and defrauded victims of more than £166,000.

Steve Shklovskiy and Yan Shtok, both 23, were sentenced 27 December for masterminding the email scheme that took place in September of 1999 and wreaked havoc on a number of ISPs.

A US District Court judge fined them £70,000 and sentenced them to 27 months in jail.

Shklovskiy and Shtok in September of 1999 with the use of some commercial software were able to harvest email addresses and then send out more than 50 million emails through a FlashNet email account.

The two sent out emails that asked job seekers to pay £23.26 to learn how to make thousands of dollars by working out of their homes stuffing envelopes. On one occasion, the pair spent 24 hours sending spam.

Many of the messages were targeted at colleges or markets where typically people are in need of work. The job seekers were supposed to send the registration fee to a post office box in Los Angeles.

Search warrants were issued and used to search the homes of Shklovskiy and Shtok. Prosecutors learned the two had ties to Russian organised crime.


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