Three months after being awarded $873 million in a lawsuit against Atlantis Blue Capital for violating the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, Facebook earlier this week filed a federal complaint against “Spam King” Sanford Wallace in San Jose District Court. Las Vegas night club manager Adam Arzoomanian and Scott Shaw are also named as defendants in the suit.
This is not the first time Wallace or Arzoomanian have been accused of malicious marketing practices on social networks. In May of 2008, MySpace won a $234 million judgment against Wallace and business partner Walter Rines for illegal spam and phishing attacks against MySpace users. In fact, Wallace has been building his “Spam King” reputation since 1997, having been charged with various federal crimes over the last decade.
Arzoomanian (or someone using his identity) seems to have appeared on the spamming scene more recently. In November 2008, a careful Facebook user blogged about a password harvesting scam he discovered by someone using domains registered to Arzoomanian’s name. Here’s how it worked:
1. Facebook users received messages that read: “did you know your profile pic is all over [spammysitehere].com”
2. When the user visited the site, the following page appeared:
3. And then:
In other words, a classic email harvesting scheme.
This is exactly the type of malicious attack that is pursuable under CAN-SPAM, and it appears Facebook is doing just that against Wallace and Arzoomanian.
Facebook has not responded to our request for comment about the suit.