eBay has filed suit against Digital Point Solutions, best known as the owner of one of the more popular web site owner communities, and others over an alleged cookie stuffing scheme.

According to the filing lodged in the Northern California District Court, Shawn Hogan and Digital Point Solutions, Todd Dunning and Kessler’s Flying Circus, and Brian Dunning and Thunderwood Holdings defrauded eBay in a “cookie stuffing” scheme that made it appear that their companies should be paid commissions on eBay affiliate sales.

The scheme worked like this: users were automatically redirected to eBay without clicking on an eBay advertisement, resulting in an affiliate cookie being place on each users computer marked with the defendants affiliate code so that for future purchases they received a cut.

The complaint alleges that the defendants tried to hide their scheme, using “deceptive means to prevent it from discovering the fraud, and to conceal it.” eBay is demanding “compensatory, treble and punitive damages.”

It’s not clear whether users on Digital Point itself were redirected under the scheme, but it would appear from the filing that there was a direct relationship at least on some levels.

In one way, it’s so simple as to be brilliant, but did they really think they could get away with it, or better still that eBay wouldn’t notice?

Needless to say the scheme has been around for almost as long as the Affiliate marketing itself, however lately due to multiple posts on digitalpoint forums it must have spread out widely and gotten  out of hands.

The story is duscussed almost everywhere in the web:

 DP thread, 1, 2 , WickedFire, Sitepoint thread, blackhatworld, Digg and many more places. Will be interesting to see how it ends.

5 Responses

  1. This happens round the internet cause it’s really easy to do. Ebay should work more on fraud protection then on court stuff which wouldn’t be needed them.

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