Convicted Phisher Faces Jail Time

In what is the first jury conviction of a “phisher” under the US CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, Jeffrey Goodin faces significant jail time when the case goes to sentencing in June, 2007.  Goodin used an elaborate phishing scheme to defraud AOL users out of sensitive credit card and personal information.  Aside from the obvious financial harm done to victims whose credit card information is harvested and misused, this kind of scheme invariably includes trade-mark infringement and other intellectual property rights violations.  In this case, Goodin sent authentic-looking email (displaying the AOL trade-mark) to AOL customers posing as AOL’s billing department.  Victims were directed to a fraudulent web page (also displaying AOL trade-marks), where their credit card information was collected.

While there is no anti-spam legislation in Canada, the problem is just as pervasive here as it is south of the border.  A few weeks ago, the Federal Department of Finance issued a news release warning of an email fraud scheme in which a phisher tried to lure victims to disclose personal financial information through a “tax refund request” form.  This is just one example among many of the overlap of privacy rights, internet law and intellectual property law in the world of phishing.

Calgary – 22:28 MST

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