Here’s one way to eliminate spam – corporal punishment. We all hate spam, especially the ones that advertise Viagra, and pills for penis enlargement (and as I write this I’m thinking of the related ads I might trigger just by writing this). You can rest easy knowing that the man responsible for around 30% of those ads won’t be spamming you anymore. He’s dead. Or at least that’s what everyone thought. Now it appears the story is a scam.
The story made the home page of Digg, and quickly got picked up by bloggers. The story goes that a man named Alexey Tolstokozhev (which in Russian means ‘Thick Skin’) was shot in his luxury house near Moscow. Shot by Russian hit men.
Supposedly, Tolstokozhev was a black hat affiliate marketer. Links in the e-mails he sent took people to an online pharmacy. Tolstokozhev got a share of the revenue from the sales. This is a well known scheme employed by spammers worldwide. The story said Tolstokozhev is estimated to be responsible for up to 30% percent of all this type of spam.
The fictional Tolstokozhev was said to make more than $2 million last year. (That’s decent in the US but in Russia it’s a lot more since the average Russian makes less than $5k a year). This is a second murder of a spammer in Russia. Another Russian spammer, Vardan Kushnir, was assassinated in 2005. But no one can substantiate the story or the people involved.