April 3, 2007
Not everyone knows this, but Pinoy Money Talk (PMT) owes its existence primarily to Studio Traffic or ST, the de facto "mother" of all autosurf programs.
It was early 2005. Studio Traffic was growing, and more and more Filipinos were joining the autosurf bandwagon. Pinoy ST members often found themselves gathering in the official Studio Traffic forum at www.studiotraffic.org/forum (now offline).
Despotic rules in the ST forum, however — such as absolute ban on links to external sites, on signatures, on posting contact information, and on non-English posts, among others — prevented Filipino and non-Filipino ST members alike from actually discussing what they want to talk about. Any negative post in the forum is outrightly deleted, and those who continue posting account-related questions are banned.
Pinoys eventually found the need for a less-strict forum where they can freely talk about ST without the fear of being banned. In response, the Pinoy Money Talk forum was born.
December 21, 2006
We've heard it before — even straight from StudioTraffic moderators themselves — that the now-defunct and now-a-scam program StudioTraffic (also "Studio Traffic" or simply "ST") was being investigated by the FBI. Today I received mail from the Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov) that seemed to officially confirm this.
The letter from IC3 goes:
Dear (my full and real name here):
Studiopay/Studiotraffic is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and Onondaga County Sheriffs Department. Investigation of this matter has developed information that you have had financial transactions with one, or both, of these companies. If you have been victimized by either of these companies please file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at the following website:
Please reference Studiopay as the subject of the investigation when filing your complaint. Provide as much detail as possible pertaining to monies invested, individuals contacted, method of contact (telephone, mail, E-mail etc…), amounts, and dates of payment and any amounts received from Studiopay. If possible, include dates of contact, the Studiopay employees contacted and brief summaries of the conversations.
Of course, I had to check first whether this was a genuine IC3 letter. The email header seems to prove this. Part of the header goes:
Received: from smtp.ic3.gov (smtp.ic3.gov [188.8.131.52])
Received-SPF: pass (google.com: domain of email@example.com designates 184.108.40.206 as permitted sender)
Checking the IP address shows this:
IP Information: 220.127.116.11
IP Location: United States – Virginia – Richmond – National White Collar Crime Center
Reverse DNS: smtp.ic3.gov
Also, the mail addressed me using my full and real name. I don't think there's any way for IC3 to associate me with StudioTraffic or Studio Pay (SP), unless they have information that ST or SP used to own. Like the rest of ST and SP members, I divulged my personal information when we were asked to verify our accounts, especially the StudioPay account. It appears IC3 is now in possession of this ST or SP database.
September 20, 2006
While cleaning my mailbox today, I found this email from StudioTraffic sent a year ago. It makes me chuckle thinking all the cheers and praises in the mail mean nothing anymore.
High-yield investing is indeed risky, just look at what can happen in an HYIP/autosurf program in a matter of a year.
Email from StudioTraffic sent September 10, 2005:
Good News! According to a popular online statistics, StudioTraffic is ranked 708 on 3rd of September. This means that StudioTraffic is ranked 708 of the most popular site among billions of websites. We are no longer a small unknown company. We are a strong company where hundreds of thousands of people come together everyday, spending at least 10% of their day, surfing at StudioTraffic. Yes, people are willing to spend that much of their time with us.