Fact Check

Dark Profits

Published Sep 20, 2003

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Inboxer Rebellion (Dark Profits)

Joe Job:   The DarkProfits web site offers all sorts of illegal goods and services for sale.

Status:   False.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2003]

Welcome to the site www.darkprofits.com, it's us again, now we extended our offerings, here is a list:

1. Heroin, in liquid and crystal form.
2. Rocket fuel and Tomohawk rockets (serious enquiries only).
3. Other rockets (Air-to-Air), orders in batches of 10.
4. New shipment of cocaine has arrived, buy 9 grams and get 10th for free.
5. We also offer gay-slaves for sale, we offer only such service on the NET, you can choose the one you like, then get straight to business.
6. Fake currencies, such as Euros and US dollars, prices would match competition.
7. Also, as always, we offer widest range of child pornography and exclusive lolita galleries, to keep out clients busy.

Everyone is welcome, be it in States or any other place worldwide.

ATTENTION. Clearance offer. Buy 30 grams of heroin, get 5 free. Prepay your batch of rockets (air-to-air) and recieve a portable rocket-lacuncher for free.


This offer won't last! Only until 20th of August all our clients will also recieve a pack of 2 CDs, with best selection of child pornography.

Origins:   Many

netters in August 2003 were disconcerted to receive the above mass-mailed message, purportedly advertising a web site called DarkProfits through which one could purchase all sorts of illegal goods and services. Although the DarkProfits site is real, it hosts an "Underworld Entrepreneurs Network" message board; it doesn't offer visitors the opportunity to buy illegal drugs, munitions, slaves, or child pornography.

As a

disclaimer on the DarkProfits site explained (with a touch of sarcasm), the August 2003 spam was yet another "joe job," the sending out of spam using someone else's return address (and thus getting a bunch of people mistakenly riled up about that someone else):

Please note that we do not send Spam of any kind. The Spam you received is from a disgruntled banned member of our forum. We thank our host for seeing that the claims of content are ludicrous and this is what is known as a "joe job".

We apologize for the Spammer's actions and if you are here looking for what is contained in the Spam you will be disappointed. We do not have any porn for you perverts. We also do not have any nuclear weapons or pounds of drugs for you junkies. We are also fresh out of gay slaves, hookers and the like.

Please check the headers of your Spam and complain to the true senders account.

Sagonet.com, the ISP which hosts the DarkProfits web site, responded to complaints as follows:

The email you received is what is known as a joe-job. A joe-job is when a spammer fakes a spam so that it appears to be from an innocent third party (or appears to advertize an innocent third party), in order to damage their reputation and possibly to trick their provider into revoking their Internet access.

Sago Networks has a strict anti-spam policy and we terminate several clients every day for spam or other abusive activities. Rest assured, we sell Wireless Internet, Dedicated Servers, and Co-Location. We do not sell nuclear missiles, stolen American military helicopters, heroin, cocaine, Marijuana, sex-slaves, child pornography, or biological weapons; nor do we intend to begin selling these items.

Unfortunately, since we do not have anything to do with the mailing, or any mailing for that matter, we cannot contact the spammer to ask them to remove your name. If we could, rest assured we would be pursuing a full menu of litigation against them.

It is interesting to note that the spam-vertised website in the email (https://www.darkprofits.com/) is on our network. We have elected not to remove this website after contacting our local FBI office to investigate.
It appears that this website is being joe-jobbed as well. The site is a sarcastic forum for young gamers (the owner in fact lives in Colorado according to our customer) and actually makes fun of spammers, hackers and hacking activity. Apparently they are being targeted by a spammer who does not find this amusing. We have verified repeatedly that this site is (a) not for profit and (b) not engaged in the activity advertised in the email.

Thanks for your understanding and please forward any information you might have concerning the source of this email to your local authorities.

If DarkProfits were truly selling what these advertisements offer, they wouldn't have to spam the Internet — they'd have all the word-of-mouth business they could handle.

DarkProfits was later targeted by other "joe jobs" — an October 2003 mailing that stated the recipient's credit card had been charged an unspecified amount by Dark Profits for unspecified services, and one that appeared in January 2004 that announced the recipient's credit card had been charged $149.95 by DarkProfits.com for "1 Month Child Porn Unlimited Online Access." Both of these were just more of the same leg pull.

Last updated:   30 January 2004


David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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