Sunny South Florida – spam/scam central

Can I get away from the spammers? It is more than irony that I grew up in South Florida, and wound up in Colorado. Both are home to big time spam operations (although one might be on its deathbed about now), yet I put Spamroll together for an unrelated reason. Huh. Maybe there is something to all that “fate” malarkey.

Anyway, the Sun Sentinel put together this piece which outlines exactly how big the problem is in the lower Sunshine State. A full quarter of the top spam dogs tracked by Spamhaus are in the area.

That doesn’t surprise me.

Florida has always had a reputation as a scammers paradise. The combination of sunny weather (albeit swelteringly hot at times), an ample supply of naive retirees, easy access to offshore banks, and a whole lotta drug money has always attracted less that legitimate enterprise. And as the article pointed out, the FBI puts folks that complain about million-dollar-plus scams on a list – “we’ll get to you sooner or later,” they say.

Getting to the point, here are some things you can watch out for coming from this spam haven (meaning, avoid doing business with them if you can):

– “Fountain of Youth” scams (including human growth hormone) popular among the elderly
– Bucket shops – small securities firms pumping “growth” stocks and sure-fire private investments – there are tons of them in the South Florida area; if you are hell-bent on buying into one of the investment pitches, check the NASD’s BrokerCheck website first; you can find out a lot about brokers and their firms there – before you do business with them;
– Medical supply (including pharmaceuticals) companies that offer easy distribution without your physicians’ consent
– Work-at-home businesses – the rule of thumb is..if they require you buy some starter kit, it is likely a scam.

That should get you started. If you see one of the above, you can bet they originated in South Florida, or through some spammer’s affiliate linked to the immediate vicinity. Keep your eyes peeled, and stay out of trouble.

***UPDATE***

The Slashdot finally had their say, which you can pick up here.

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