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FTC v. Carlos Pereira

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Citation Edit

Federal Trade Comm'n v. Carlos Pereira d/b/a, FTC File No. 992 3264 (E.D. Va. Sept. 22, 1999)

Overview Edit

In a practice called pagejacking, the defendants made exact copies of Web pages posted by unrelated parties, including the embedded text that informs search engines about the subject matter of the site. Then they made one change that was hidden from view: they inserted a command to "redirect" any surfer coming to the site to another website that contained sexually-explicit, adult-oriented material. Internet surfers searching for subjects as innocuous as "Oklahoma tornadoes" or "child car seats" would type those terms into a search engine and the search results would list a variety of related sites, including the bogus, copycat site of the defendants.

Surfers assumed from the listings that the defendants' sites contained the information they were seeking and clicked on the listing. The "redirect" command embedded in the copycat site immediately rerouted the consumer to an adult site hosted by the defendants. Once there, consumers were victimized by another scam. The defendants "mousetrapped" consumers by incapacitating their Internet browser's "back" and "close" buttons, so that while they were trying to exit the defendants' site, they were sent to additional adult sites in an unavoidable, seemingly endless loop.

Trial Court Proceedings Edit

The FTC obtained a court order stopping the scheme and suspending the defendants’ website registrations. A final judgment and permanent injunction order was entered on January 25, 2005.

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