It turns out, Jawa used to be known as "Cylon LLC" and they have been running their text messaging scams for a very long time. In fact, the company has already been exposed and a very good news story covered their entire scam more than a year ago. Watch this:
So what did Cylon do after they got caught? They changed their name to Jawa and put together a network of other LLCs to continue the same scam. It was simply too profitable to give up.
Jawa's half-a-million dollar holiday party was covered by several web sites, including this article in Gawker media. The comments on this article are very insightful. Several of the commenters, after reviewing Jawa's web site, wondered about how they make money or about its legitimacy. One particular commenter, however, seems extremely insightful:
Whoever this todbodman guy is, he seems to have all the details. One thing in particular about his comment jumps out at me: "...they are billing something crazy like 2 in 10 cell phones in the US..." Wow! There are over 290 Million cell phones in the US. Just AT&T and Verizon alone have over 180 million customers. If todbodman's comment is accurate, and as many as 2 in 10 (20%) cell phones in the US have been scammed by Jawa and their complex network of paid text message fraud, the numbers could be staggering.
Lets calculate what the numbers would be for just 20% of AT&T and Verizon customers at the lower, $3.99 per scam amount:
180 Million x 20% x $3.99 = $143 Million!
Now lets calculate the numbers for the total cell phone population of the US at the higher $9.99 per scam amount:
290 Million x 20% x $9.99 = $579 Million!
That is no chump change. Remember, that a lot of their scams are also on a monthly recurring basis, so the numbers can add up quickly. Rumor has it that they are running this scam WORLD-WIDE!
Here is something crazy to consider: If a person steals a car valued at $1,000, they'll spend years in jail for "Grand Theft Auto." What do you get when you steal hundreds of millions of dollars, $3.99 to $9.99 at a time? So far, you get to build North America's Largest House and throw some lavish parties:
Regarding the Verizon lawsuit, Jawa is going on the offensive. In a recent Press Release, Jawa claims:
"We are outraged by today's District Court action that allows Verizon Wireless to continue to abuse its dominant market position and force out smaller competitors who provide valuable mobile content to customers. It is a blatant attempt to monopolize content. We will continue to aggressively fight for our rights and hope to resolve this matter quickly. JAWA employs more than 240 people, all of whom live in the Scottsdale, Arizona area. We take great pride in our work and want nothing more than to get back to delivering superior service to our customers."
People can say whatever they want. Laywers and PR agents can make their claims seem legitimate. They very well could get away with this elaborate scam. It's possible they could "settle" the lawsuit with Verizon. After all, Verizon (and other wireless operators) make money from Jawa and Jason Hope's scams (they keep a portion of the proceeds). All they need to do is show that they are taking action to try and prevent such scams from continuing. Verizon's lawsuit has already done that. As far as Verizon is concerned, they might think they are better off to settle for a nice one-time payment, which would allow Jawa and Jason Hope to keep most of their stolen wealth and continue operating in other regions of the world where consumer protection isn't so great.
It's time to do something. This scam could be the biggest ever in the state of Arizona and there isn't a single journalist covering the story yet. It's very unfortunate.