Scammers, beware! Egold is out to get you
December 20, 2006
Is it the end for scammers, money launderers, terrorists, child pornographers, and credit card thieves now that E-gold announced they are cooperating with the authorities in hunting down these scumbugs? E-gold's announcement was published in an article posted in Wired.com:
The founder of PayPal competitor e-gold has grown tired of the government characterizing his business as a haven for money launderers, terrorists, child pornographers and credit card thieves.
So a year after the Department of Justice raided his offices, Douglas Jackson, president of Gold and Silver Reserve, which operates e-gold, has been wading deep into his customer transaction logs to identify and fight back against people who misuse his system. In the last month, he's blocked about 2,000 accounts from his system, and he's voluntarily turned over detailed account and transaction histories to federal law enforcement. (Emphasis ours)
Those who thought they got away with scamming by using egold in the HYIPs or other programs they ran are not necessarily off the hook. E-gold records all transactions in egold accounts and can track where transactions begin and end. If these scammers were sloppy in hiding their online tracks while operating their scams, it is only a matter of time before authorities can catch up with them.
With a value independent of any national legal tender, the electronic cash has cultivated a libertarian image over the years, while drawing the ire of law enforcement agencies who frequently condemn it publicly as an anonymous, untraceable criminal haven, inaccessible to police scrutiny.
Jackson says the image is false. Although a user can open an account using a fraudulent name and a proxy server that shields his or her IP address, a permanent record of every transaction remains in the e-gold system, which can help law enforcement agencies track criminals. (Emphasis ours)
By matching other data, like time stamps, IP addresses and hashes of passwords, Jackson could sometimes identify when one person controlled or used different accounts. "The good ones will have a different IP address every time they touch the internet," he says. "But every once in a while you get one of these bad guys on one of these accounts where … he may use a fixed IP." (Emphasis ours)
Of course it will take time before scammers are pinned down especially because the police might choose to go after the "big fish" first, but let this be a warning to past and up-and-coming scammers alike: Egold is out to get you so beware!
Jackson says some culprits that authorities deemed "unfindable" were easy to track through e-gold. One appeared to be a high school kid in Louisville, Ohio, judging from information gleaned from his transactions. Jackson tracked two others to Egypt after one of them converted e-gold to cash and had an intermediary load it onto a debit card sent to him by courier.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Post them in the Egold gets tough on crime thread in the PMT Forum.