Internet scams get a French facelift

It seems that the beautiful Melissa Theuriau, a well-regarded French television presenter, has become the unwitting face of a series of internet scams. The Age this morning reported that Theuriau’s image has been used, under a series of different monikers, in fake online advertisements promoting products and services ranging from low-fat teas to, yes, colon cleansing. The ads, many of which are reportedly linked to shady Canadian internet figure Jesse Willms, use “free trials” as bait to “mask the fact that consumers are actually signing up for a month-by-month contract and are likely to be charged for items they do not think they have ordered.” — Crikey intern Nick Johns-Wickberg

One HD basketball ad branded ‘racist’

One HD’s chaotic new basketball advertisement, which depicts, among other things, a black basketballer jumping into bed with a white married couple and then snuggling up with the woman, has been labelled racist by several Australian basketball icons, the Herald Sun reported today. In the article, African-American former NBL player Darryl McDonald said that the ad “puts black Americans in a bad light. That commercial has nothing to do with basketball”. However, at the time of this post’s publication, an online poll attached to the articled showed that, after more than 1600 votes, 83% of readers think that the ad is not racist, and should be regarded as “just a bit of fun”.  — Crikey intern Nick Johns-Wickberg

News of the World to give online readers a Pound-ing

“News International said the website of the Sunday red-top,, would relaunch next month with readers charged £1 for a day’s access and £1.99 for a four-week subscription.” The Guardian

‘Paedophile’ Facebook stalker is actually a 12-year-old girl

“Police have been left dumbfounded by the discovery that the person who harassed and sent pornographic images to the girl via the site was another 12-year-old girl.”Sydney Morning Herald

New app to keep taxi fares under Czech

“A Czech firm, Et netera, said on Tuesday it had developed a weapon to eradicate the long-lasting problem, a mobile phone application using the global positioning system that measures the distance and calculates the proper fare.” Los Angeles Times