reported that “Self-Professed ‘King of Fraud’ Aleksandr Zhukov…faked both the users and the webpages: he and his co-conspirators programmed computers that they had rented from commercial data centers in the United States and elsewhere to load advertisements on fabricated webpages, via an automated program, in order to fraudulently obtain digital advertising revenue.”  The May 31, 2021 article entitled “$7 Million Digital Advertising Scam: Russian Man Convicted” included these comments about the conviction “by a federal jury of four charges – including wire fraud and money laundering – as part of the so-called Methbot scheme”:

The gang allegedly referred to its scheme as “Metan” – the Russian word for methane – although it’s also been referred to as Methbot by the FBI and prosecutors, and later as Media Methane, which was the name of the company owned by Zhukov, with offices in Russia and Bulgaria.

Zhukov and other members of his operation secured agreements with advertising networks to display their ads on sites, then earned a commission for every ad that someone viewed.

But according to court documents, from September 2014 through December 2016, Zhukov and his associates instead created fake sites, and programmed data centers to create fake users, to make it appear that real individuals were viewing the advertising.

Old news….criminals continue to profit on the Internet with Scams!

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