In doing research for a June 7, 2011 blog entry, I found that the PFS website was registered to a Cody Moya, of Short Hills, New Jersey. I didn't think much about it, as a lot of people use bogus entities to register their websites.
But today's statistical report showed that someone had come across my blog by searching for the keywords "cody moya scams." Seeing that name for a second time, especially associated with the word "scams," got my radar buzzing. So I tried the Web search myself.
As the plumber said about the clogged toilet in the cathedral: Holy crap.
It turns out that Moya makes a living out of repackaging and reselling free software. His wares are advertised using websites with a tone and style frighteningly similar to the tone and style of all the PFS websites we've seen. He is not without his detractors or enemies, however. A lot of people have written a lot of stuff about him, none of it good. According to these writers, once he gets your email address, he will send you an endless stream of email trying to sell you more stuff - and once he gets your money, you will never see it again. There's also some speculation that "Cody Moya" isn't a real person - kind of like "Dan Freeman" of PFS.
Here are some comments left on http://www.imreportcard.com/people/cody-moya:
"Products sold on his site are mostly owned by others and are of rather dubious quality. Give your Address mail to sign on as myself and I had to change my mail address because I was constantly bombarded with spam several times a day, otherwise your inbox will become a landfill of spam."
"I think this Cody Moya is not real, and you know everyday my email is full with his offers of spam email, and that is very disgusting. Also his product is a junky product and very, very worthless and I think this guy is a scammer. "
Two years before I ran across his name, an entry on The Scammers Manifesto reported that Cody Moya was nothing but a scammer. It's a short piece, worth reading for yourself.
And here's some of Moya's own advice, from one of his own blog entries called "Churning out eZine Content": (redirected from http://www.codymoya.com)
"Another little known and underused method in getting your own content is via public domains. If you are not familiar with the term “public domain”, “public domain” simply means anything that is NOT protected under US copyright law.
This includes ALL works published before 1923 and, under certain conditions, works published up to 1978. And in this case, we are referring “works” to written materials such as reports, articles and books. Republishing and repackaging public domain information can help you save time and effort from creating new ideas and content as they are readily available. On top of that, you do not have to pay royalties or copyright fees on that work.
If you fancy the idea of publishing content without any writing on your part, this method is for you."
I haven't yet figured out the connection yet between Cody Moya and ProFlightSimulator, but the similarities are convincing: a loudmouthed huckster, carefully hiding his identity and contact information, repackaging free software, hyping it and selling it for as much as he can get away with, then running away with the suckers' money. It's a 21st-century version of a con game as old as civilization.