Maddened Moms Updates

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Apparently we got someone's attention!

The message board is difficult to access today because of "too many connections." HOLY COW! Well, I suppose that means we got *someone's* attention.

Who the heck is logging onto the board?! (lol)

"Thanbks!," johnb!

Dear John (giggle)-
Thanks for the great linkage on your blog. We'd link back to you, but that might get you more attention than you'd prefer from senorita psycho, so just let us know what you'd prefer!

The lawsuit update:

Lolita's attorney sent Guido over to our home at 7:30 Friday morning to hand deliver her demand that we immediately remove the website, blog, message board, etc. (by Sunday) or that she'd be filing the attached complaint in LA District Court Tuesday (guess that's today!).

I guess they had to have Guido messenger it over because the whole thing was so full of lies that they didn't want to add mail fraud to the list of charges against them.

As you can see, the website didn't go anywhere. For everyone that's been e-mailing, here is the lawsuit update:

The California Anti-SLAPP Project has offered to represent anyone named as a "doe" defendent in this case. At this time, we do not anticipate any upfront fees to those who seek help through this group, as they will be paid by Lolita/Modern Mom when the suit is dismissed.

Paul Clifford is truly great, and Mark Goldowitz is THE guy for SLAPP stuff, so we're very lucky that they've taken such an interest in this case. You may visit them on the web at www.casp.net
and fill out their "Report a SLAPP" form if you're concerned about being named. They have all of the info about this case, and are expecting your calls, so don't hesitate to seek their help!

"Jim" and I will need to proceed separately from the rest of the group because of the potential of a countersuit. What's best for us is different from what's best for the "does," so we'll be retaining our own representation. We're not naming names yet, but we're thrilled that the EFF has taken such an interest in our cause ;). www.eff.org

I don't know if they'll actually file this or not. We have asked for the terms of their settlement agreement, but have no idea what that agreement will entail, and can promise everyone that this website isn't going anywhere! We won't sign anything that in any way infringes on our right to freely publish the truth, or our right to petition the government in redress of grievances.

I cannot post the precise text of the joke of a lawsuit here, but yes, they are actually suing me for complaining to the BBB, and other government regulatory groups.

We have a "mole" in the courthouse who will notify us if anything is filed, and should they seek an injunction to shut down our websites, we will have someone there to make sure that no TRO is granted.

Hundreds (or more!) of women still have not received refunds from this company, so it is vital that this information remain in the public domain for those who need this documentation to file the appropriate disputes with their banks or who wish to make regulatory groups aware of the way Modern Mom does business.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Game on!

Though I had suspected for some time that Lolita Carrico had been inappropriately collecting information about me, I became positive of this fact on February 13th. In response to that, plus repeated violations of the cease and desist order I had sent to her, I demanded her attorney's contact information.

Lolita refused to provide it (surprise, surprise). Finally, her attorney contacted me. I can only imagine that this is the beginning of a SLAPP (google the term if you're unfamiliar). Here's the response we sent to Lolita's lawyer:

http://momoms.forumsplace.com/post-1238.html#1238

At this point, Lolita can either leave us alone, or she can try to sue us. Any bets????

We'll keep you updated.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Apparently this scam was bigger than we thought (and more "virus" udpates)

As if this situation weren't bad enough, we have determined that there are apparently significantly more victims of Modern Mom than we thought. Members of sweepstakes message boards across the internet have apparently won prizes from Modern Mom that they have never received (though they apparently get no shortage of excuses from Lolita).

A quick google search yields several boards with 20+ PAGES of posts on the subject of Modern Mom and women who never received what they were promised. On each of these boards it appears that a very small number received the full Mothers Day gifts, a few more received "something" for Mothers Day, and everyone else received zilch.

Based on the sweepstakes ripoffs, and other boards across the internet reporting the same experiences with Modern Moms Clubs, I am putting a conservative estimate on the number "taken" by Modern Mom at 500, with the actual number somewhere between 500-1000, based on the fact that there are 300+ known victims already.

This must be stopped! NO ONE received what Modern Mom promised:
  • Only a few received the Mothers Day bags at all.
  • Members who received Mothers Day gifts without tote bags (the majority) never received the promised totes, though they were promised several times.
  • The Fathers Day bags didn't contain anything approaching what was advertised.
  • Back to School and Holiday Bags were never shipped.
  • Modern Moms Clubs seem to have disbanded in January. Most bought a 1-year membership in May or June of 2005.
As I've said elsewhere, this isn't just deceptive advertising and lousy business practice/ethics anymore. This is out and out fraud.

No gifts + No club + No refunds for ALL members = Lolita belongs in jail.
We'll be working on ways to get this website and our message boards to show up on a google search. The best way for us to accomplish that is for you to LINK TO US!!!!

For those who are still affected by virus warnings:

We've checked everything possible. The only affected users are using Internet Explorer. As a first step, I suggest using a "real" browser ;). Mozilla Firefox is our first choice. You are either getting false alarms, or you have spyware running in your background that you are not aware of.

There is a detailed "geek thread" on the forums discussing these issues and helping those affected identify the source of their problems. Anyone who has a virus and needs help getting rid of it is welcome to contact us (see geek thread) for help even though you didn't catch it from us ;).

We have identified what is triggering these false alarms and will be altering the offending html by the first of the week (so hopefully that problem will be fixed). We have also put a javascript on the pdf download pages (as well as the index, faq, and sitemap pages) that will scan your computer for viruses and warn you BEFORE you view pdfs, or anything else that might trigger a conflict with your spyware.

Hopefully that will alieviate the anixiety ;).

Friday, February 10, 2006

Is your McAfee Alarm going nuts, or do you seem to have downloaded a virus from viewing pdfs on our site?

Blessedly, we have determined what caused the McAfee alerts and problems for people who viewed the website and have had their computer overrun by spyware. You did NOT download a virus or trojan from our website, but something that was already on your computer was activated by keywords (or viewing files) that were on our website.

You most likely would have encountered this problem wherever the conditions were next met, whether it was our website or another. My understanding is that the affected members have had something "take over" their computer, and spy sheriff, etc. have been installed. This attack is designed to force you to download their software (that you pay for) in order to regain control of your computer (and have spyware "conviniently" reinstalled for you).

You most likely downloaded this program bundled in with something you thought was safe. The offending program is called "webhancer." It is lovingly referred to as "webcancer" as removing it incorrectly can impair your internet access.

The most common places it is bundled are through AudioGalaxy, Flash and Grokster. You would have downloaded an executable file to get this infestation. There are NO executable files on our website, and there is no way you could have gotten this simply from viewing one of the pdf files on our website. I've sent this company a certified nastygram and suggest that while we are complaining about Modern Mom, we also complain about this company .

Again, I am truly very sorry that something on our website triggered the trojan "logic bomb" hiding on your computer. But, we know how to remove it reasonably quickly and safely. If you have experienced these problems, please e-mail or call me (email me for phone number) so that we can help you fix this!

Anyone who has a virus protection program that is blocking access to the pdf files should contact me as well so that we can tell you how to remove the spyware that is stuck on your computer but unable to be activated. I'll also post instructions to get rid of it in the blog. Thanks again for your time and patience. And once more, I can't tell you how sorry I am that this happened!

Here is information on what was infesting your computer. If you are showing zone/McAfee alarms, you have this on your computer, but whatever activates this nasty program is blocked from accessing your computer to activate it:

Here is information on what was infesting your computer. It is most commonly bundled with Grokster or AudioGalaxy downloads. There is no way you could have downloaded this from a pdf file or on our website.

WebHancer provides a traffic measurement service that uses a client agent that is installed on user machines, gathering detailed data about sites visited, their performance and, most important, what the user actually does while there. WebHancer is reportedly on ten million user desktops in 192 countries, placed there by partners such as companies that provide free software on the Web. Download an MP3 player, and you may be offered a chance to play in the measurement game by also loading the WebHancer agent. This model is opt-in, with an explicit license agreement. WebHancer claims that its agent doesn't gather any personal information about end users. Installation is transparent, but incorrect removal procedures will destroy your Internet connection.

If you are showing zone/McAfee alarms, you have this on your computer, but whatever activates this nasty program is blocked from accessing your computer to activate it:

http://www.cexx.org/webhancer.htm

It is VITAL that you remove this program correctly in order to avoid disabling your web access. You can see the suggested steps for that here:

http://webhancer.com/support/index.asp?s=31

Unfortunately, most people don't intentionally download this garbage, so they have no idea it must be removed a "special way." If you have already removed something that has damaged your Windows Socket config, please click here to see the suggested fixes:

http://www.cexx.org/lspfix.htm

You may also safely remove these programs with Ad-Aware and Spybot Search&Destroy.

Because this evil trash comes bundled with other evil trash you didn't want or mean to get, the code can become corrupted, making a full deletion of this program stinking near impossible. Please, if you encounter trouble, contact us immediately so that we can help you get rid of it without damaging your computer! Again, please accept our apologies! Though you didn't download the offending software from our site, I am truly sorry that the trigger for activating this malware came while you were visiting our site!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Here we go!

Well, our site is getting ready to go "live." We've been testing it for a few days, and I'm sure there's still some kinks to work out, but it will work for in the mean time.

PLEASE sign our petition and show your support for mothers who have been stolen from across the country by linking to our site!

Check back frequently for more updates. There is lots more that we will be adding to our documentation section (we ran out of time to get things compiled in one place). If anyone viewing this site has more documentation for us, please contact the site owner!

It is my sincere hope that this will quickly bring a graceful close to this terrible situation.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Site almost ready!