Don’t Use!

December 4, 2008

My dear mother just fell victim to a phishing scam from  As a result, was able to hack into and steal her entire contact list and email everyone on this list.  My mother had to email an apology to all her contacts.

Rather than explain what happened, I thought I’d reprint an edited version of her email.  It’s chock full of info — now I know where I got my Proud Geek-ness from!

Dear Friends,

I sent out an email two days ago, asking you to join and it seemed a little strange. I did some online searching and apparently this is some kind of phishing scam. Here are some links to information about the scam. You may want to alert your address book to the scam!­reunioncom-will-scrape-your-­address-book-then-spam-your-­contacts­reports/0/348/RipOff0348286.­htm

Here’s the information from this one:

This company should be banned from the Internet. Here’s what happened to me last week. First of all, let me explain that I have been a member of for about 5 years, and it is a very reputable site that does nothing illegal or objectionable.

So when I got an e-mail about in my Hotmail Inbox, I thought it was similar. WRONG! I signed up for the free service, and started typing information into my ‘Profile’, which was quite inclusive, although you could pick and choose what information to give. Here’s what they did: the idea is to keep you online long enough for them to get into your e-mail account and literally STEAL your entire CONTACTS LIST!

How do I know? Luckily, two of my best friends were online at the time, and one sent an e-mail, and one called me on the phone, asking me ‘what’s up with this invitation to join me on’ I hadn’t been on the site for more than 10 minutes and they had already hacked my e-mail!

Here’s what I did: I immediately deleted all the information I had typed in, logged out, and left the site, and my Firefox preferences prompted me to remove all my personal information from the previous session. It was too late, unfortunately, so I immediately contacted every single person on my Contacts List with a note of apology and explanation that I had been inadvertently, innocently been raided by this disgusting company before I had even finished my profile, and that in no way had I given them permission to contact my friends. I told every person to report the e-mail that they had received as a ‘Phishing Scam’ and then put the original message into their Junk Folder. and delete it.

(For those of you who don’t know what Phishing is, it’s a devious and much more effective cyber variation on the old ‘fishing expedition’ trick, wherein someone asks you a lot of personal questions in order to get something they want: your name, address, even your social security number, and then on to your whole ID.) Hotmail allows you to report any suspicious e-mail as a Phishing Scam; I don’t know about other sites, but Ã…OL makes it very difficult, it seems you can only put it in Spam,which still allows the perp to continue scamming other innocent people.

Anyway, after I did that, I went back into, and sure enough, all my info was still there. I searched around for a way to cancel my membership, and sure enough, the only way is to call the toll free number given, be put on hold forever, and only that after you navigate your way through endless prompts. I am so enraged at these people there is no way to express it. Since my info’s been out there, and even if my membership’s canceled, a whole lot of other people have it, I’ve been getting a lot of junk mail about ‘guess who’s looking for you’, ‘guess who’s got a crush on you,’ etc. etc. I trash them all.

This definitely should be a matter for the FCC, since they are using the Internet to steal people’s information nationwide, maybe even worldwide. Don’t fall for it under any circumstances. Join (((competitor’s name redacted))) instead: you’ll be glad you did.


8 Responses to “Don’t Use!”

  1. Tim Reynolds Says:

    Nice post. Thank you for the info. Keep it up.

  2. Zhi Wen Says:

    I got an invite from a friend today and fortunately I never like that idea of letting them access my email address book since they may store the password in database (they said they won’t, but I won’t trust them). And the worst, I found my pictures on it from the search function and the pictures are from facebook. These fuckers are stealing my pictures and info and post on their site.

  3. schoolin u Says:

    youre an idiot… u get an email to join “” and you actually click the link and join it??? I’m not sure if its still considered fishing if the fish are throwing themselves into your boat…


    Attention All Site Owners: The following website openly promotes unfair tactics to gain high ranking in search engines! Their members use dark art scripts free of charge. Those people are ruining the web! AVOID them at all costs!

  5. hoosierarmymom Says:

    I don’t think schooin u knows how to read or he works for There are many sites on the web that pose even worse threats. It is good to know someone is keeping people posted on what is going on.

  6. David Shabot Says:

    I received an email from indicating that some one was trying to connect with me. On the web page was an advertisement for free IPhone if I made three purchases among 20 or so offers. I bought the three items and no webpage showed up confirming that I would receive the Iphone. I tried to return to the advertisement but could not find it again. I received confirmations from the three companies indicating that my order would be processed. I emailed each back indicating that I never received confimration of my free IPhone so they should cancel my order. They all emailed be back indicating that the orders were being processed and that they couldn’t do anything. I then emailed (the webpage indicated they would reply within 24 hours) and they sent me an email in reply indicating that I needed to call them. I did so, and waited for an attendant for over 10 minutes. The person then told me that I needed to call another number because it wasn’t their responsibility. I then called this number to only be told that they didn’t know what I was talking about and didn’t know why would tell them to call. I then called and they said they could bot help me in spite of the fact that the problem was with one of their advertisers. They then hung up, telling me they could do nothing. These folks are FRAUDS. Service is atrocious.

  7. Dear ProudGeek,

    I joined a few weeks ago, and have been enjoying it, but when I read your article on it, I decided to call them. I did wait on hold for about three or four minutes, but then a rep in Santa Monica answered and explained that when one joins there is a selection for disallowing Reunion from accessing one’s contacts. I told her I couldn’t remember if I had selected “no access” so she checked, found out I hadn’t, and made the change for me.

    Still concerned, I had her escalate my call to her supervisor, who came on after about a minute and verified that the company does not use ‘phishing’ methods to recruit members. Nevertheless, I sent him an email expressing my concerns, especially because, having merged with, is becoming — or something like that — at the end of this month, and will become a much larger organization, which will either be forthright and honest or deceitful and dishonest.

    We shall see.

    Very sincerely yours,

    John H. Miller

    PS: In my email to them, I took the liberty of referring to the letter on your site, and I hope you don’t mind my doing so. I also hope you’ve contacted them yourself at 888-704-1900, and lastly, I hope your Mom either had her money refunded or was provided with a satisfactory explanation and a lifetime membership.

  8. frustrated Says:

    The people signed up my friends for spam. I had a friend with an email account that hadn’t received any spam. After getting my invitation to join, the spam has kept on pouring into the inbox.

    Don’t torture your friends. Don’t use

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