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Spam Kings by Brian S McWilliams

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Fighting Dr. Fatburn

Aside from Davis Hawke, Dr. Fatburn had few major problems with his downline distributors or sales affiliates. In 2002, their spams—for diet pills, colon cleanser, and herbal Viagra—helped make him a wealthy man. As proof, Dr. Fatburn posted scans of his commission checks at his web site, ultimatediets.com, showing he had made up to $14,000 in a single month. (That was just the tip of the iceberg. Fatburn would later make nearly that much daily selling counterfeit anti-virus software.)

He boasted that his income enabled him to purchase, without a mortgage, "a new 2,400-square-foot home in a very nice area of Maryland." In less than twelve months, Fatburn had gone from being a chickenboner to being quoted in mainstream press articles about email advertising. In December 2002, his photograph even graced the pages of a Newsweek article about spam.

The beauty of it was that Dr. Fatburn had stopped pushing the send button himself around August 2002. He paid marketing affiliates a commission of nearly 60 percent to do that dirty work, but the hefty fee was worth it to insulate him from the hassles of drumming up sales. Unfortunately, his web sites remained under constant attack from anti-spammers and had been listed on blacklists such as Spews for months. But that didn't stop him from publishing his name, home address, and telephone numbers in big print on his sites. His mindset remained the same as it had when he put his name on his first spams in 2001: he was an honest, ...

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