According to the FTC, since at least January 2006, the operators of several adult sites used affiliates to send spam intended to drive users to the defendants' sites -- including sexyfriendsearch[dot]com, an internet dating service -- where they collected payment for memberships. The defendants were sued because of the actions of their affiliates.
“The people who pay the individuals who send illegal spam are liable,” Steve Wernikoff, staff attorney with the FTC told SCMagazineUS Wednesday. “And we think that millions of messages were sent.”
According to the FTC, the emails deliberately contained false header information so it was difficult or impossible to determine the identity of the sender. In addition, the emails failed to provide clear notification that consumers can opt out of receiving future emails. And the emails failed to include a valid physical postal address of the sender -- all in violation of the federal CAN-SPAM Act.
Representatives for the defendant, ATM Global Systems, could not be reached for comment.