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Networking Sites Spur Another Look at Bogus E-Mails

When people joined the site, Reunion.com asked them to provide their e-mail addresses and passwords. But what some people didn’t realize was that the site would then send solicitations to all their e-mail contacts—including their bosses and business associates, and even exes. What’s more, the ads made it appear as if the new members were searching for their e-mail contacts on the Reunion site.

“This company hacked my e-mail system, falsely telling my contacts that I was ‘looking for them’ on their social networking website,” one disgruntled user said, according to FTC reports.

“This has hurt my professional credibility, as several of my contacts who have received this e-mail (and confronted me about it) are colleagues, clients and my professional superiors. In addition it is a huge embarrassment,” complained another.

The e-mails “will reflect poorly on me,” lamented yet another.

Reunion isn’t the only company to draw complaints. Other social networking sites like Tagged also ask people to provide their e-mail log-ins upon joining and, in some cases, send invitations to everyone in registrants’ address books.

Privacy experts worry that people often sign up for sites quickly, without reading the fine print that tells them how their information will be used.


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