Best news article yet, a great read:Rogue Pharma, Fake AV Vendors feel credit card crunch
Researchers have been doing trial purchases, tracking the money trail, and (together with brand-holders) pressuring the credit card companies (in this case Visa) to take action on the few merchant banks involved. This has proven highly successful, and the scammer forums have admitted that they are being burned.
The research paper
Right now most affiliate programs have a mass of declines, cancels and pendings, and it doesn’t depend much on the program IMHO, there is a general sad picture, f*cking Visa is burning us with napalm.”
is also available in PDF format;, all credit to George Mason University, UCSD and the International Computer Science Institute.
The proof? The effect on the recently prevalent counterfeit software and counterfeit luxury goods categories has been dramatic -
Pharma scam rates are still the major survivor. The scammers are trying to work around the copyright infringement issue by using the ingredient names rather than the trademark names, but time will tell on that. Now that the credit card companies have finally started bringing down the curtain, we may see more significant inroads into the pharma category.