I am getting back to my email spammer series with Michael Dolan as he was recently (a few days ago) sentenced in Connecticut federal court to seven years in jail plus three years of supervised release. He’s pled guilty to fraud and aggravated identity theft.
His crime (along with others who all pleaded guilty, as did Michael Dolan in 2007) was to hunt through AOL chat rooms for user ids. Those user’s would get a “greeting card” spam seeming to come from places like Hallmark.com or BlueMountain.com.
These email spams would actually installed malware (programs which spied on all the activities you did on your computer and sent the information to someone) on the victim’s computers. So, the next time the victim attempted to log onto AOL, the malware would ask for credit card numbers, bank accounts, and other personal info. If the user refused to cough up, the malware prevented them from logging in.
Allegedly Michael Dolan engaged in various forms of witness tampering, including a death threat, during the trial.
Dolan’s scam brought in over $400,000 from 250 victims.
Previous criminal record (he is only 24 years old) include being sentenced to two years of probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of accessing a computer without authorization. His probation was revoked in 2006, after the ruling judge discovered that he had taken several trips out of state, including at least one trip overseas. Dolan was then sentenced to nine months of imprisonment, and was charged in the AOL scam on September 28, 2006.