I've been had. Hoodwinked. Sadly and inadvertently I may have brought you into the mess. There is a new service out there called Quechup (I will not link to it) which is posing as a legit social network. It is NOT.
This all started when I received an invite from a trusted friend. Somebody whom I respect and admire, but the email came (unknown to me) without his consent. Here is how this new scheme works. On a number of sites from Twitter to LinkedIn, you can log in to your Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail address book to see if any of your contacts already use the service. Normally, they just show you who has joined already and let you connect with them. This Quechup site did the same thing except they SPAMMED my entire contact list! What the hell is up with that?
I am sorry and totally sick about falling for this stupid trick. Their site is horrible and obviously run by people who either don't know how this works or are just unethical in their handling of data.
Here are steps you should take to make sure this does not happen to you:
- Do a Google blog search and Technorati search before you sign up
- Do not use your Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail login unless you 100% want the people in your contact list to be contacted for whatever you are logging in for (even if you trust the company)
- Even if you trust the person you are getting an invite from, follow up with them and ask if it's legit
- Give every invite at least 48 hours before you jump in
I will be following these steps and I hope you do too. If you got an invite from me, please send it to the trash and accept my heartfelt apology. Just say no to these jerks.
P.S. If anybody from Google, Yahoo or Microsoft reads this you should look into blocking their API access since they're violating your agreements. If you know anybody at these companies please feel free to pass this post to them.
- Google: Send an email about their scam to email@example.com and be specific to their URL and what they did wrong.
- Yahoo: Complete this form stating your Yahoo ID and other pertinent info
- Federal Trade Commission: Fill out this form to report them to the FTC
If you find another option to report them please leave a link in the comments and I'll add them here.