Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 188.8.131.52
[edited by: incrediBILL at 3:59 pm (utc) on Dec. 7, 2009]
[edit reason] fixed typo [/edit]
Gather up your server logs and see if you can identify IP numbers. If it's just one IP, or a block of IP numbers, maybe you can block them at the server level. If it's a bunch of them, you probably can't. (They could also be coming through proxy servers)
Send the whole shmear to AdSense support for investigation. Be prepared to lose that extra revenue.
I've seen people banned for far less.
If you're in the US and they are too, the police can handle this easily.
If they're in a different state it's a federal issue, imagine when the FBI drops in for a chat with them ;)
As others have recommended here, I blocked the site generating the traffic spikes and took Adsense off of the pages they targeted for awhile until they got bored and moved on. That seemed to work out. I lost some money for awhile on those pages but better that than to lose my whole Adsense account.
Don't be so surprised, think DHS, online cyber attacks are a real concern.
I should think that extortion demands would be a concern for Google, too, since they threaten the integrity and profits of the AdSense network. (Remember a few years ago, when Google cooperated with the feds to nail a guy who tried to extort money from Google?)
extortion translates ( roughly ) as chantage in french
[edited by: Chrispcritters at 6:44 pm (utc) on Dec. 7, 2009]
If you don't have AdSense locked down to only accept clicks from your domain(s), they can simply copy a page from your site to somewhere else and then abuse it at will.
I would check to see if any URLs appear in AdSense channel reports that don't belong to your site.
Today I received an extortion letter indicating they'd stop if I pay them half the money. Otherwise they'd continue and get my account banned.
That type of email makes me think you are not the only one they are trying extort. Why would they go through that for one website. How much can they posibly extort from you?
I think Google already has their sites on them.
Unless you are premium publisher or some one with a good working relationship with the adSense team, you run the risk of being banned. The adSense team is not known to communicate well, listen to reason or apply any logical reasoning. At times their actions are bizzare and they take decisions to protect the integrity of their advertisers at the cost of any and every publisher. So be careful.