Eric Mitchell Porat – Business Profiles – Is Eric Porat a scammer?

7labs

Has anyone named Eric Mitchell Porat, Eric Porat, or Eric P ever approached you with a business proposition? If so, you should consider reading this article before proceeding any further.

Eric Mitchell Porat - Business Profiles - Is Eric Porat a scammer?

Who is Eric Mitchell Porat?

If you search online for Eric Mitchell Porat, you’ll likely come across several business profiles of a Brooklyn-based individual, who is the CEO & co-founder of several companies. He has profiles on LinkedIn, CrunchBase, RocketReach, and many other professional networking platforms.

Full Name: Eric Mitchell Porat
Also Known As: Eric Porat, Eric Mitchell, Eric P, Eric M. Porat
Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Education: Bachelors in CIS, Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY)
Email Addresses: eric@vayg.com, ericp@vayg.com, admin@yestoapps.com
Associated Organizations: Mutually LLC, Vayg Media, GEOIQ, One Acquire Media LLC, DroidViews, Yestoapps LLC, DiscountedPurchases, Extension Metric, Digital Discovered
Profiles: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, CrunchBase, GitHub, RocketReach

Our recent experience with the individual and one of his companies has raised serious ethical concerns about his way of doing business. And based on all the information that we have collected so far, we feel that he might even qualify as a fraudster or a scammer.

The alleged scams of Eric Mitchell Porat

Case 1: Vayg Media Subdomain Leasing

Eric Mitchell Porat (from Vayg.com, Mutually LLC) had first approached us in mid-2019 with the proposal to take one of our subdomains on a long-term lease. When we did not agree to certain terms of the contract (he was interested in our analytics data), he offered to purchase the entire 7labs.io domain, which we denied.

Finally, he revised his subdomain leasing proposal in February 2020, which we agreed, and then the episode did not go down well to say the least. You can read the full story about our experience with him.

Long story short, Eric Mitchell Porat and his associates utilized our subdomain without due approval, violated their own terms, and even hurt our brand. Moreover, even after making a legitimate payment, they filed a payment dispute based on false claims to reverse the transaction.

Update: Soon after this article was published, on May 22, Eric Porat’s subdomain leasing website (Vayg.com) went down. As of May 27, the website is still unavailable.

During the whole experience, we came across additional information about Eric Porat from various online sources, some of which are quite intriguing.

Case 2: Hostile Takeover of Websites like DroidViews.com

Among many of the websites owned by Eric Porat, DroidViews.com is perhaps the one with the most Domain Authority. But it has come to our knowledge that the particular website was allegedly robbed from its original owner.

Just after we originally published this article, Rakesh Shukla, who identified himself as the former owner of DroidViews.com, published his own experience with Eric Mitchell Porat in the comments below.

According to Rakesh Shukla, Eric Porat approached him with a subdomain leasing proposal, in a similar manner to how he had approached us.

Eventually, Eric convinced him to sell the domain for a hefty sum of money, took control of the domain by making a partial payment, and then refused further payments based on allegedly bogus claims.

So, Rakesh requested Eric to return the domain, even offering more money than what he had originally received. Eric Porat allegedly denied his request, blocked him, and then disputed all of the previous business transactions made to Rakesh via PayPal.

DroidViews.com was Rakesh Shukla’s primary source of income, and according to him, Eric ruined his peaceful life, and even put his family’s future in jeopardy, all by gaining his trust and later exploiting him to the fullest.

The fact that Rakesh Shukla was the original owner of DroidViews.com is publicly verifiable. If you visit the web archive link of the DroidViews website before March 2020, you’ll find links to DroidViews’ social media channels on the top right corner, which are still owned by Rakesh Shukla to date. These links were later suspiciously removed from the website after March 18.

Eric Mitchell Porat DroidViews.com Hostile Takeover of Websites Scam

We have good reason to believe that the DroidViews incident is just one of the many alleged hostile domain takeover scams that Eric Porat may be directly involved in.

Case 3: Chrome Extension Hijacking Scam

While conducting our research, we came across a Google forum post that seemed to indicate a decent number of users reporting about a suspicious activity, where a specific set of websites were opening automatically as a new window in Chrome, and remained hidden from view. The list of such websites included igcritic.com, ppcorn.com, thedesigninspiration.com, designbump.com, and more.

This immediately led us to link this activity to Eric Mitchell, as the same set of websites are listed as partner brands on Eric’s subdomain leasing website, Vayg.com, along with other sites, like Definithing.com, FunnyAnd.com, TheFunnyBeaver.com, Dreamlandia.com, Mutually.com, SoCawlege.com, NaturalHealthyLiving.com, etc.

But, we didn’t stop there. Eventually, our investigation brought us to multiple forum threads, including this one, which reported that several popular Chrome extensions had been compromised with an analytics code that maliciously opened random webpages from the previously listed websites in the background.

We got in touch with some of these extension developers, who filled us in on additional details. These developers were reportedly lured by Eric Mitchell into installing an “analytics.js” file to help a seemingly harmless analytics-driven project associated with ExtensionMetric.com, in exchange for up to $10,000 per month.

Eric Mitchell - ExtensionMetric.com - Scam

Eric Mitchell from Extension Metric is the same Eric associated with Vayg Media (Vayg.com)

Eric Mitchell - Extension Metric - Analytics Scam

Eric offering up to $10000 a month to install his suspicious analytics script

When multiple reports started coming in against ExtensionMetric.com, the website suddenly went offline and Eric evidently rebranded it to DigitalDiscovered.com.

Eric Mitchell - DigitalDiscovered.com - Chrome Extension Hijacking Scam

Eric Mitchell rebranding Extension Metric to Digital Discovered

Eric Mitchell - Analytics Market Insights and Research Scam

Eric Mitchell asks for “tabs” permission “to open new tabs when needed”

According to our estimates, Eric’s Extension Metric and Digital Discovered have allegedly hijacked the browsers of more than a million users via compromised Chrome extensions, as of this writing.

Note: We have noticed that DigitalDiscovered.com uses no-index robots meta, to prevent web crawlers from indexing the site. In case Eric pulls the plug on this one and rebrands to something else, here’s a snapshot of the current website for reference.

Dear Chrome Extension developers, if you come across such shady and suspicious offers to integrate third-party services or scripts, in exchange for money or otherwise, please do report these incidents and share them within the developer community to raise awareness. Optionally, you can get in touch with us to help spread the word.

We are thankful to the developers who came forward with the information.

Dear Chrome users, if you are experiencing similar issues, where Chrome automatically opens certain webpages in the background, try uninstalling your third-party extensions. While uninstalling, if any of the extensions redirect to suspicious sites like www.nativeautomation.com, www.elemserver.com, etc., report the activity to the extension developer. There’s a good chance the developer might not be aware of it.

*Names and other personally identifiable details have been redacted from the snapshots upon the developers’ requests.

Case 4: Mutually LLC Fake Products

If you head to Mutually LLC’s business profile on BBB.org, you’d find a bunch of similar customer complaints on the profile: the company tried to sell fake, counterfeit, or “knock-off” items to their customers.

Eric Porat, Mutually LLC - Review on BBB

As per BBB, Eric Porat, Mutually LLC, was running this business under the domain of [https://discountedpurchases.com]. And if you check its reviews on Trustpilot, you will notice that the reviews are mostly negative, and users are reporting the business as a scam. As of this writing, this website is no longer active.

Eric Porat, Mutually LLC - Review on Trustpilot

Moreover, BBB has provided the following comment on their website:

“On 09/10/2019 BBB wrote to Mutually LLC and asked the business to substantiate the following advertising claims: https://discountedpurchases.com/SAVE. BBB found that these claims were in violation of the BBB Code of Advertising. As of 10/15/2019, the business has failed to respond to BBB.”

Case 5: Digital River Data Breach

In 2010, an e-commerce company called Digital River Inc., sued Eric Porat (then 19-year old) over a massive data breach. He allegedly tried to sell the user data of more than 200,000 individuals to a Colorado marketing firm for $500,000.

Digital River had obtained a secret court order to block Eric Porat from selling, destroying, altering, or distributing the stolen data. Porat had said he got the information from hackers in India but didn’t say how or from whom.

References:

  1. Digital River Sues Eric Porat of Brooklyn, New York over Data Breach – CircleID
  2. Hack on e-commerce co. exposes records for 200,000 – The Register
  3. Digital River sues over data breach – StarTribune
  4. Up the Digital River without a paddle – SC Media
  5. Digital River Inc Data Breach – Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

Conclusion

Based on our recent experiences and the data that we have gathered so far, we believe that Eric Mitchell Porat also tends to abruptly stop communications whenever a concern is raised by the respective parties, and exploit the buyer protection programs of payment systems like PayPal to his advantage.

Now, there was no need to drag a 10-year old case into this, and we do believe that everyone deserves a second chance. However, our recent experience with Eric Porat has forced us to take into account his past alleged suspicious activities, and consider the possibility that Eric Porat’s business ethics are fairly questionable.

We believe that a person’s nature is inherited in the businesses they run, especially in small and mid-sized businesses. And based on our experience, we believe that one should be aware of the above information before committing to a business transaction with Mr. Porat or his companies.

Note: This article has been updated on 5/30/2020 to reflect some of the new information that has come to our attention since publishing the original article. The statements made in this article are solely based on our own experience and the other related information that we have gathered from multiple online sources. If you believe that any information stated in this article is false or misleading, please contact us along with proper references.

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