Dubious SEO services have long been around. From link directories through content scraping to article spinning. It has always been around but on the side as part of blackhat/greyhat subculture.
Not any more. I have to block and delete EDU blog, link piramid and article submission posts almost every day now on linkedin. These crestures have risen from the bottom and followed the money trail. Shameless and unafraid, they keep spamming.
I may not be able to erase and rewind time, but I have something just as good.