This cupcake is not a dessert. In fact, there’s nothing sweet about it.
Cupcake in this instance is a cyberscammer who used more than 5,500 copycat web addresses to divert surfers from their intended internet destinations to one of his sites. Once you got there you were held captive while being pelted with ads.
In a move called mousetrapping, surfers were unable to close their browsers or go back to the previous page. And if that wasn’t bad enough, children who were held hostage by the sites were exposed to solicitations for gambling, psychics and pornography. The Federal Trade Commission has charged John Zuccarini and his various enterprises, including 22 names using “cupcake” in the title, with violating federal laws.
But wait, if you are thinking crime doesn’t pay, consider that the FTC estimates Zuccarini earned nearly $1million annually from his scheme by charging advertisers whose banner ads were included on his websites. Well, hopefully, crime won’t pay because the FTC is seeking a court order to force the defendant to give up his ill-gotten gains.