Azerbaijan Will Make Sure Your Spam-Ordered Items Get to You
At least, Azerbaijan will help as the middle man. We already know about Azerbaijan’s role in internet fraudulence, and we also know about Azerbaijanis’ fluency with online ordering and shipping. Why not give them a shot at financing spam transactions (pdf):
One of the most interesting details in the study is this: almost all spam sales worldwide are handled by just three banks.
The banks? They were:
- DnB NOR (a Norwegian bank)
- St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank (in the Caribbean)
- Azerigazbank (from Azerbaijan)
All that dirt comes from a report put together by a collection of computer scientists in the US. RFE/RL is on the scoop:
“In particular, the number-one bank [Azerigazbank] which was the one located in Azerbaijan, was responsible for the total of 60 percent of all the spam we saw,” Pistillidis says. “And when we say, ‘all the spam we saw,’ we are talking about roughly 1 billion messages over a period of three months.”
Alakbar Aliyev, head of Azerigasbank’s public-relations department, tells RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service that the bank is striving to be a leader in e-commerce and is not breaking any laws by processing these transactions.
“We consider electronic trade to be very important,” Aliyev says. “In this case, clients are trading as they wish. If this does not contradict legislation, we cannot interfere with the process. Our activity is based on Visa and Master Card regulations and also Azerbaijani laws. We have never violated these rules.”
And this is my favorite part:
While doing some spam research a couple of years ago, we did a series of test purchases from spam e-mails.
We bought pills, software, cigarettes, et cetera. We were a bit surprised that almost all of the orders went through and actually delivered goods. Sure, the Windows CD we got was a poor clone and the Rolex was obviously fake, but at least they sent us something.
We were carefully watching the credit card accounts we created for our tests but we never saw any fraudulent use of them.
The most surprising outcome from this test was that we didn’t see more spam to the e-mail addresses we used to order the goods.
There’s actually an Azerigazbank right nearby my apartment building. I’ve never seen anyone go there, but it exists. Maybe I should drop in sometime, inquire about counterfeit pharmaceuticals.