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Porn publisher to refund $30m for free sex pic scam

Oldest Net con trick in the book

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An online porno publisher has to refund more than $30 million to punters fleeced after making site visits for free sex pics.

Eager sex surfers gave their credit card details to Websites run by Crescent Publishing Group as proof that they were over 18. They were then stung with a unexpected charges - between $20 and $90 a month in membership fees - after visiting the sites

Crescent publishes both Playgirl.com and Highsociety.com. The company agreed to post a $2 million bond to continue its web operations. The main men behind the business, Bruce Chew and David Bernstein, had to post $500,000 bonds or face being barred from operating sex sites.

The credit card scam is a web fraud classic and is listed in the Federal Trade Commission's Top Ten Net con tricks. Their advice is basically: Don't be stupid. Don't be greedy. Don't be stupid and greedy. If it looks too good to be true, it is too good to be true. And read the small print. ®

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FTC statement on the case

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