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Beware of invitation emails!

For many months I have been receiving regular emails inviting me to join a service named "". All messages claimed to be from people I more or less knew of (e.g. former students of mine). After receiving one of these emails pretending to be from a friend, I queried her about this and she denied having sent or instructed to send me any of these emails.
Trying to understand, I went to their registration page and I was amazed: innocently, as part of the registration process, they ask your hotmail login and password!
I assume people that give away their details in that way think are only going to use them to import their contacts in a passive way, as done by some other web services. The site does mention in convoluted ways that they will use the imported email addresses to "invite" people in your address book to And they do mention the clause that one should obtain his contacts' "implicit consent" (they must agree but you don't need to ask them!) before proceeding… but everything is phrased carefully to avoid startling candidates. So it is probably fair to say that a large share of the people facing this situation are no way near realizing that are going to repeatedly send spam to all their friends, in their name, until they signup or explicitly opt out.
But just imagine someone knowingly allowing to send ads to his contacts.

  • this person has made the effort to read and understand the small prints and believes it's fine
  • he finds so good—even before trying it (remember, we are still in the signup process)—that he wants to tell everyone.
I am not sure how realistic this scenario is, but I carry on: is this person authorized to disclose the email addresses contained in his address book to a third party? As far as I am concerned the answer is clearly no: if I give you my email address, I grant you the right to use it, but it is a non-transmissible right. I'm obviously not trying to show here that you should blame your friends for spamming you, but simply that makes them do things they are not entitled to do anyway.
Many reputable sites allow Alice to email a link to Bob or to refer Bob to their site. Such legitimate referrals tend to have the following properties:
  • Alice knows Bob, and believes that he—individually—would be interested in the information or service referred
  • Bob's email address is manually entered in the referral form
  • the email is sent once when Alice submits the form
  • Alice's email address is not kept by the referral system, since further emails would not be legitimate
  • the message makes the circumstances in which the email was sent clear and explicit, so that Bob knows from reading the message that Alice visited a site and genuinely thought he would be interested.

In contrast,
  • operate a bulk, automated, and non-discriminative collection of email addresses
  • they keep Bob's email address and send him recurring emails on behalf of Alice, without Alice being aware of it
  • they imply Alice was involved in sending the messages
  • Bob has to take explicit action to stop receiving emails.

I wrote to to demand they cease sending me these unsolicited emails. I noted in my email that their messages were unsolicited, automated and repeated commercial emails, with no prior contact between the parties; therefore clearly qualifying as spam. I also noted that by using your acquaintance's name in the emails they imply the messages come from him/her, which is a form of identity theft. I got a childish and contemptuous reply, but I have not received any spam from them since. So complaining to them can help your particular case, but it won't make them change their practice: boast a very large customer base, which is certainly largely due to the unethical methods they employ to enroll them. If you don't like the way they are doing business, tell their prospective customers openly.

Some actions we can take to oppose and help publicize's fraudulent practices are:

  1. systematically report their mails as spam ("report spam" button) if you are using a webmail service (Yahoo!,...)
  2. post an appropriate review on Alexa and/or blog about it
  3. make sure the person who gave out your email address to is aware of the scam.

If you have also been spammed by, please post a comment below.

All trademarks, names, and services referenced above belong to their respective owner.

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I received texts from as people below this message did. I responded with 'STOP' as instructed. The messages stopped, only to start up again a few months later. From my experience I don't think sending 'STOP' helps. I've emailed them with a threat and will contact my service provider when the next message arrives...

In the last few days, I've received 2 messages from and I'm guessing I've been charged for them. I thought it would've just been a mistake, because I've never registered my number on the site and I don't have friends on there that know my number. I sent a reply text to opt out so hopefully that'll do the trick. It's sneaky.

i have been acquainted with for some time and have been responding to the "invitations" several times, i received my telus bill and found i am being charged a text "premium" charge of 0.50 per text.
I do find it odd that I can not respond to the invitations nor has any body corresponded with me even after I invited them to be "my friend", I didn't think much of it until I saw my bill, read this website, and above all started to get repeats -- people who have been invited to be "my friend" are asking to be "my friend" again??? - why?
Having given this information to me I to will not be participating with any longer in the mean time if you read this and are getting these types of emails don't respond to them----this way it doesn't cost you anything.

Yes,'s main revenue comes from a so-called "Friends Resend Engine" which keeps sending unaUthorized invitations to those friends using the stolen information from people's address book. This is why Hotmail, Yahoo and Google block's service

Please help cease and desist these incessant messages, they are annoying and money wasting.

They somehow got my phone number and I was being charged for receiving texts from them. The text says something along the lines of '"Kim" (F:29) wants to be your friend. Reply YES-675 or STOP-456' but there's no way to reply! Therefore I got 3-4 messages per day and charges 0.25 per messages.. then the charge went up to 0.50!! My phone carrier also tried the reply codes, but that didn't work, so they tried blocking the whole service. Hopefully it works. I have no idea how these people got my CELL PHONE number!!

To opt out, call 1 888 697 6722

Not only are they spammers,now the major cellphone carriers in Canada such as Rogers Wireless will happily add these spam charges to your pre-authorized credit card account without your permission, and without you even signing up for it. Why a company like Rogers would do business with SMS Ac is beyond me. Now SMS can automatically draw against your Rogers Account.

If you have a specific complaint about unsolicited commercial e-mail (spam), use the form below. You can forward spam directly to the Commission at SPAM@UCE.GOV without using the complaint form.

Complaint Form:$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01

I have been getting these SMS invites for months now... it all started when a friend was sent one and then an invite was sent to everyone on her contact list supposedly from her (one of those people was me).
I have put'mails in my junkmail folder but im not happy with them having access to my contact list. I have tried changing my password and nothing works.

I have actually received an email from myself to myself inviting me to join I used some of your example above and sent them this email at
Recently I received invitation emails from few friends of mine. They confirmed they didn't send those emails. Reciprocally, all of them have received invites to join, apparently from me. Today I got an invitation from myself to myself stating "You have one or more friends waiting for you to join their Mobile Friends Network at". How can that be when I didn't invite myself to join? In addition, having realised months ago that is a spammer, I banned and blocked * from my computer in every way possible. I will certainly be retaining a copy of this latest email from as proof that they are spammers.

I became one of their victims as one of my best friends "invited" me to sign up (so that I recognized the name I was not to curious to sign in, but as soon as they asked me to give out emailadress and password I looked it up and found this comment. My question now. This fraudulent behavior should be stopped. The question is how?
If anyone has a good idea please tell me, I am quite furious at the moment.

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