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Does the small print legitimise a fraud?

FCRO Subsection: 
Editorial Staff

Spammers have long been involved in directory fraud of one sort or another. Just as in the days of paper, letters are carefully phrased to make victims think they must make a payment. Then, hidden away at the bottom of the page is a note saying "this is not an invoice" and something along the lines of "you only have to pay if you want the service." These days, the spam-scammers also include something to tell you that they are complying with the USA's spam facilitation Act, mysteriously known as the Can Spam Act. And this one doesn't even tell victims what service they are supposedly subscribed to.

This one is from a do not reply address info@dragonfirehot.com and that domain hosts the landing page for those who are taken in by the fraud.

No matter what the supposed disclaimer says about the note not being an invoice, it is written in terms that clearly constitute a fraud.

thelegalprofessional.com Final Notice

not received

thelegalprofessional.com
Important
Domain service notice Notice#: 345831
Date: 01.28.2019
Dear Vortex Centrum Limited, Vortex Centrum
Limited,We are reaching out to let you know that your
notice #345831 is 5 days overdue.We are keeping your service online, as your are
still within our grace period, and we want ensure the best possible service
for you.
Your account is in danger of being suspended if
we do not receive your payment soon. Please pay your notice here to avoid
service disruption.

SECURE ONLINE
PAYMENT[Links to https://dragonfirehot.com/link...
ACT IMMEDIATELY

Domain Name: Status: Price: Term:
thelegalprofessional.com Pending (Unpaid) €86.00 1 Year

SECURE ONLINE
PAYMENT[Links to https://dragonfirehot.com/link...
ACT IMMEDIATELY

Copyright © 2018 Domain Serice, All rights reserved. Unsubscribe here from this newsletter. You
have received this message because you elected to receive notification. If
you have multiple accounts with us, you must opt out for each one
individually to unlike receiving notifications. We are a search engine
optimization company. We do not directly register or renew domain names.
This is not a bill. You dont need to pay the amount unless you accept this
notification. This message, which contains promotional material strictly
along the guidelines of the Can-Spam act of 2003. We have clearly mentioned
the source mail-id of this email, also clearly mentioned our subject lines
and they are in no way misleading. Please do not reply to this email, as we
are not able to respond to messages sent to this address. Should you have
any questions, please feel free to open a support ticket. We will be happy
to help at any time.

Why is this a fraud? First, we have no idea who these people are and we have never done business with them. We have never approved their supply of any service. The supposed Can-Spam Act disclaimer says that the heading is in no way misleading: we take the view that any correspondence headed "Final Notice" is an implied threat and therefore extortion at worst and, because what we are threatened with losing is something we do not have, a fraud at best. Also, the "notice" is non-compliant because it does not include a real-world address.

It contains lies. It says ". You have received this message because you elected to receive notification. If you have multiple accounts with us, you must opt out for each one individually to unlike receiving notifications." The first statement is not true. The second statement implies an untruth i.e. that we have one or more accounts with whoever these people are.

The question is whether the words "This is not a bill. You dont need to pay the amount unless you accept this notification " negate the tone and content of the body of the mail. We would argue not. Nothing in the body of the mail says exactly what is being provided: it doesn't claim to be a directory, or any

 


 

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