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Saturday, July 26, 2008

WAYN.com is a malicious spam scam!!! (stay away!!)

NOTICE: This blog is no longer currently maintained. This article has been re-posted to my new blog MileHighTechGuy here (please post any comments there): http://milehightechguy.com/wayncom-is-a-malicious-spam-scam-stay-away/


Stay far away from WAYN.com, it is a malicious spam website that pretends to be a legitimate social networking site by helping you to 'Keep track of each others whereabouts, friends and meet people around the world.', but it appears to be a malicious spam scam!!!


Today my wife received an email invitation from WAYN.com (stands for Where Are You Now), claiming that a friend of hers had added her to their 'friends' list on this so called social networking site.

So she went to the site and signed up by creating a password. Then apparently the site brings up a pop-up that shows all of the contacts in your POP3 email account such as Yahoo or Gmail. I'm not sure how they get the address list, but the site automatically selects ALL of your email contacts (including those from work) in order to send them an email invitation to join WAYN. My wife didn't want to send invitations to all of her contacts, and allegedly the site doesn't show a clear choice for not sending them all invitations, so she simply deselected all of the contacts, deselected the 'Select All' option, then clicked on the 'X' to close the window.

The next thing you know, later that day I received an email invitation in MY email saying my wife had added me as a friend, and asking if I wanted to join, and also that I had 6 messages waiting in my WAYN inbox.

To be perfectly clear, my wife DESELECTED all of the contacts, did NOT send the invitations, and did NOT add anyone as a 'friend' in her WAYN account. This apparently malicious website allegedly took over and apparently added all of these contacts on its own, and spammed every contact from her computer it could get a hold of (over 800 contacts).

One thing is not clear, and that is how did WAYN get these contacts? My wife says that it was not really a complete list from her Yahoo account or from her Outlook, but a mish-mash of emails/contacts. (This site even sent an invitation to my son from her address book.)

What made it even worse was that by the end of the same day I had received over 13 emails from others in my wife's address book saying they had signed up to WAYN. So I can only guess that these other 13 people (only 1 day so far) had also received the fraudulent invitation saying my wife had added them as 'friends' and that she wanted to invite them to join, and that they too had filled out a profile. Doubtless to say, these people will likely have their entire contact list spammed as well.

One person that had received the invitation (that was supposedly sent from my wife) responded to the invitation via email. This enabled us to see what the invitation looked like. It clearly said that she had 'added you as a friend on WAYN', which was a misrepresentation and a lie:

"FirstName LastName has added you as a friend on WAYN."

And the site sends the email like this:
"From: FirstName LastName [mailto:invitation@whereareyounow.net]"

(FirstName LastName is the First and Last name of my wife, hidden here for protective reasons)

So the email appears to come from my wife, but in reality it is the website sending it on her behalf but disguising this.


I did a little research on the web after I received over 13 emails in one day from this site (around midnight, so it was not an exhaustive search). I found several other complaints out there about WAYN, and I found a few people defending the complaints...but I don't buy it. Especially after what I saw happen to my wife and the way the site misused her contact list.

I recommended she needs to send an apology email to all of the contacts in her Yahoo account (as a start) to warn them to NOT sign up for the WAYN website, state in the email that she did not add them as a 'friend', that this site is apparently using web trickery to maliciously crawl her contact email list and spam everyone with the intent of building their registered user list, and finally that if they really are interested in social networking that there are sites like LinkedIn, FaceBook, or even MySpace that are much better social networking sites than the SPAMMING WAYN!


The horror continues... My wife tried to opt out of the site. The only choice you have to cancel your WAYN account is to email these people and rely on them to cancel your account. Meanwhile my wife's entire address book has been compromised and WAYN has apparently spammed all 800 of them.

While she was on the wicked WAYN site for purpose of opting out and canceling her account, she noticed that it now had listed all of her work contacts from Outlook. She is now in the process of contacting her work IT department with an urgent message to see if there's any way to defend against this allegedly malicious spam scheme before it takes over her work contacts.

I've heard of viral marketing and gorilla marketing, but this site seems to be intent on malicious spam!


At this point I'm not willing to sign up for WAYN for myself to test it out (maybe I'll try it later with a fictitious email account). So I'd like to hear of other people's experiences...(please leave a comment). Since after deselecting all of her contacts my wife closed the contact list by selecting the 'X' button to close the window without continuing, maybe her incidence is isolated??

You can draw your own conclusions, but as a precaution you may want to warn your friends and co-workers to stay away from WAYN.
NOTICE: This blog is no longer currently maintained. This article has been re-posted to my new blog MileHighTechGuy here (please post any comments there): http://milehightechguy.com/wayncom-is-a-malicious-spam-scam-stay-away/


Jeff Kemp (Golden, CO), www.jeff-kemp.com.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are other travel community sites you can use with no spam worries:

www.triptouch.com
www.dopplr.com
www.driftr.com

Anonymous said...

Actually I have just reviewed the process of WAYN and everything is very clear and up to the user - sounds to me that you are slagging off someone for the wrong reasons and such allegations are quite dangerous...

Jeff said...

Ok, since I haven't fully tested WAYN myself yet, I toned down the verbiage a little...

I put in 'allegedly', 'seems to', and 'apparently' in a few places; and took out 'evil' (darn, that one was fun to use).

Looking forward to your comments on your experiences with WAYN...

Angry! said...

No mate, I think you'll find WAYN is a massive waste of time and they LOVE to send out spam!!!!

And, to make matters even worse and make me quite angry, when I tried to get my details removed they replied saying this:



Thank you for your email.

I am sorry, but we are not able to locate your details with the information you have provided.
Could you please let us know as much of the following details as possible:

- Full name
- Email address - which was used to register to WAYN
- Date of Birth
- Browser
- Telephone number (if entered)

We will then try to locate your details, and answer your enquiry.



Regards,

WAYN.COM Support



So, I replied with this!

WHAT?! I've never heard anything so ridiculous!!! You can't find my details from the email address I've registered with??! What kind of database are you using that won't allow you to find a user from email address alone???

It seems to me that you simply after even MORE information from me for your 'database' so you can either send me more pointless emails trying to get me to go on to your site so you can sell advertising or simply sell my details to third parties.... and what do you need to know my BROWSER for?

From my previous email you already know my name and email address, which should be MORE than enough to enable you to find and delete my account details.

As stated in my previous email, my account is registered under the email
address:



Later the same day I recieved confirmation that they had removed me from their list.... yeah, and you didn't need to know my frikkin' browser either eh??

Anonymous said...

I tried to unsubscribe from WAYN (which actually is VAIN) today but the webpage doesnot accept my password towards an unsubscribe request. yet it lets me login to this miserable website.

Please advice any workaround.

Max

Jeff said...

Max:

You might try clearing out your browser's cache (maybe even cookies) and give it another try.

If that doesn't work contact their support via the online form. They don't post a support email on their website so you have to submit a webform.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I wrote to WAYN.COM and asked them to unsubscribe me and got this email back. I have never heard from them since (touch wood)

Thanks for your email.

We are sorry to hear that you have no interest in WAYN.com.

We can confirm that your membership has been deleted.

Please contact us again should you require any further assistance.

Regards,

WAYN.COM Support
http://www.WhereAreYouNow.com or http://www.WAYN.com

Anonymous said...

I received such an invitation for an e-mail account I very rarely use and keep (relatively) spam-free. I was curious as to who this outfit was and googled it -- that's how I came across this blog entry. I just wanted to say THANK YOU for the timely warning. I was seriously considering signing up with my usual e-mail address, which would have had as much as a disastrous outcome as your wife's experience!

Meg Kelso said...

Only an employee of WAYN would try to defend them. Thanks dude!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, this is another classic case of malicious spamming. I checked out the website once, but was savvy enough to not be fooled into entering any information to sign up. Those people are terrible. I wouldn't recommend anyone to go to that site.

Anonymous said...

wayn is a real crap..Thdey keep cluttering my mail box with spam mails...Travellers are coming n all this shit....Dont go by it....Nothing a scam....

Richard Hering said...

Exactly the same thing happened to me as to your wife, and I, like you, am very careful to avoid spammers. This site is bascially "spam city". How funny that the only defender of WAYN in the comments is "anonymous", with a rather nasty veiled threat: "such allegations are dangerous". No, brave defender of the WAYN super-spammer, They are not allegations, they are the truth, and what are you going to do about it?

Anonymous said...

I would also like to add that I visited the website in order to "opt-out" of any more notifications that I had been invited to join (by somebody I barely know). While I was on this page, Norton pops up to let me know that it has blocked a "malicious attack" on my computer, and that the severity was (red) "very high". I won't go into further details, but that is what led me to search for info on this WAYN organisation. What a scam!.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this website is a malicious spam scam! Some use human's sympathy to lie for money out of people, I had a bad experience from a friend from WAYN, he made up a story is about his daughter car accident needed deposit, or the doctor didn't save the little girl's life. I think most people from that website must work together to lie to people and to fool people. A Taiwanese.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the postings.

Anonymous said...

I don't know people what are you talking about. I've been a WAYN user for a long time and nothing like this has ever happened to me with this website. No Spam emails or other "nasty" stuff you are writting about. WAYN is fun and great website!!!

Luna said...

I am a investigative reporter for SecretWatchdog.com, and I can verify that this company is taking money under fraudulent presences.

We have been investigating them for some time now, and we are about to file a class-action lawsuit against them.

If you have paid them money, please contact us for relief. Thank you

Luna@SecretWatchdog.com

Anonymous said...

I'm not even ON Wayn and I get emails every other day from them because someone I once knew years ago seems to have joined. I want to unsubscribe from the junk mail but I don't even want to go near the website in case my 'interest' in 'not being interested' makes me get even more cruddy Wayn junk. Anyone got any tips???

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