California Man and Others Indicted for Freeride Click Fraud

April 1, 2006 · 0 comments

On Tuesday, a 32 year old man from the San Francisco Bay area named Allen Tam was indicted (along with some un-named co-conspirators) for using a computer program to generate clicks at Freeride in violation of their terms of service. The click fraud occured between 2000 and 2002, and the guy obtained the program from his employer at the time. He’s facing federal charges of conspiracy, mail fraud, and wire fraud… and they want him to “forfeit” the items he cashed out his ill-gotten points for, including digital cameras, video games, and DVDs. The full story is here.
Okay, my dates are a little fuzzy here, but I’m thinking this occurred during the first version of Freeride (and maybe during their second version, which had a trial run in early ’02). If this guy and his cheating partners were even a LITTLE bit responsible for bringing down what was once an AWESOME rewards program…well, boo, hiss on them. (Though Freeride deserves some blame for not having the controls in place to catch it.)
I found it curious that they’re asking him to “forfeit” the items he received with the fraudulent points… I mean, it’s 4 to 6 years later; they’re not going to have the same value even if still in the original packages and unused. (Compare a 2000 digital camera to a 2006 one. It’s a dinosaur now.) He needs to be responsible for the value at the time of the theft, in my opinion.
I would also like to know the identities of the other people involved.
A few bad apples spoil the barrel.
I’ll update this as more information becomes available.

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