CAN-SPAM Suit Targets Adult Dating Site Operator
SALT LAKE CITY — One of the Internet's largest dating site conglomerates has been hit with a federal lawsuit alleging that it violated the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM) of 2003.
Alcuda Ltd. of Edinburgh, Scotland, has been sued by ZooBuh, a safe email service for children, over claims that it spammed thousands of kids with links to adult-themed dating websites, crashing its servers, spiking bandwidth and impeding its growth and profitability.
Zoobuh said that beginning in October 2012 and to the date of the complaint that it received 20,000 email messages sent and initiated by the defendants collectively.
The Salt Lake City-based service provider, which serves 44,000 customers via an 18-server network, said in the suit that at least 17,000 can be pinpointed to Alcuda.
ZooBuh said that its customers who click on the hyperlinks in the spam messages were ultimately directed to various adult dating websites, some that included "exposed breasts, genitals and/or pubic area of persons, and/or actual or simulated sexual acts."
"Specifically, the emails advertise and provide links to the following websites owned by Alcuda: BeDiscreet.com, FreeSexMatch.com, GetAnAffair.com, HornyAsia.com, HornyPlumps.com, IWantU.com, IWantUBBW.com, IWantUMILF.com, MaritalHookup.com, MatureXMatch.com, MeetDivorced.com, MILFBerry.com, MyBBWMatch.com, PassionMature.com, SaucySingles.com, SaucySinglesLink.com, Shagaholic.com, SinfulMates.com, SugarBBW.com [and] UpForIt.com," ZooBuh said in the suit.
"[Alcuda] does not disclose that the messages are not from actual users. Rather, Alcuda hides the truth by creating fictional user profiles and sending automated messages to potential users to deceive them into paying subscription fees to join the websites and to upgrade their free user accounts."
ZooBuh is seeking a restraining order against Alcuda, $4.5 million in damages for violations of five sections of the CAN-SPAM Act and attorneys fees.
It is not the first CAN-SPAM suit to be waged by ZooBuh. The service provider has waged six other lawsuits in recent years over alleged CAN-SPAM violations against Smoke Freely, Better Broadcasting, Smokeless Cigarette, Clickbooth and Millionaire Network, as well as one suit targeting Alcuda-operated Cupid PLC and others, including eMarketCoupons.com, FTD, LoanOnMyAuto.net, Campaign Heroes, Scoop Interactive, Thompson Cigars, Triangle Media Corp., WebCashKing.com and Zeus Media.
An Alcuda spokesman declined comment to XBIZ on the lawsuit. The company, he said, has not yet been served with the complaint.