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sending spam through my email account

Complaint Rating:  89 % with 9 votes
89% 9
Contact information:
San Francisco, California
United States
I received an email from a Dutch friend, inviting me to view his photos. He's an artistic person, so I was eager to see what he wanted to share. It was on a site I didn't know about, Zoosk, which required that I create an account. I did so. Part of the sign-up was to enter my email login to see which of my friends are on the site. I did that, though now see that my guard was down.
After seeing that my friend had no photos shared and that the site was a dating site, I left.
Then, I started getting emails and calls from friends and colleagues. Zoosk had hijacked my email account to send everyone an email invitation from me to see my photos. It went through my contact list - every personal and business listing, and spammed them an invitation to see my photos on a dating site.
I called to complain and get a log of the messages it sent out through my email account, and was given the "I understand your frustration..." message. They said that if I'd read the signup very very carefully, I would have seen that it promised to do this evil deed.
If this is not outright illegal, it should be. It's deceptive, damaging, compromises privacy and security.
Complaint comments Comments (13) Complaint country United States Complaint category Internet Services


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N  8th of Nov, 2012 by    0 Votes
Yes I perfectly understand you. Match.Com did some bad stuff to me too. So many acai berry addies now (and they CHARGED ME MONEY TO SIGN UP!)

Better to use secondary email address and use free options like okcupid.com or 123bit.com or heck even a site like MySpace.Com (which isnt for dating but whatever)
A  9th of Nov, 2012 by    0 Votes
Actually, I wasn't looking to sign up at a dating site, but to see a friend's photos. This site deceptively sent me an invite to see a friend's photos when there were none and the friend had not authorized that invitation. That's outright fraud. It then did the same to my contact list, sending out a thousand invitations to see my non-existent photos. This is outright fraud.

The company is funded by a legitimate venture firm and pretends to be a legit site. It is running this fraud to trick people into becoming members to crank up its user count to increase its valuation. A fraud on the investor community, also.
N  9th of Nov, 2012 by    -1 Votes
Hi radumas,

The "Invite Your Friends" feature is a new one on Zoosk, and we're still fine-tuning how it should work. I'm sharing your complaint with our Product Development team, to help us avoid mistaken invitations like yours in the future.

Just so you know, after the initial invitation, Zoosk sends two reminders, then ceases all communication. And, of course, anyone receiving email from Zoosk can click "Unsubscribe" at the bottom of the email to stop communication right away.

We're sorry for the inconvenience.
N  9th of Nov, 2012 by    0 Votes
Zoosk: Your system is running a fraud. The whole chain of people caught in fraudulent invitations is pissed. When you join a social site, it's common to allow the site to peek in your phone book to see which of your contacts is already on the site. Zoosk uses that expectation to trick the new member into allowing spam to be sent to their contact list with the fraudulent invitation to come see non-existent photos.
It's not a voluntary "invite your friends" but a forced step in the account creation process. You can't just see the photos your friend invited to see, you have to click through all this stuff before you get to the (non-existent) photos, and that click through form-completion maze is where the fraud is perpetrated.
I had to drop everything and reach out to 1000 contacts - business, social, family - to apologize and warn. Time consuming and embarrassing.
SF DA is being alerted.
A  9th of Nov, 2012 by    +1 Votes
Wait, did you write that Zoosk 'sends two reminders'?? After it spams my entire contact list, it is going to do it twice again?

Crank up the volume of this complaint. It's spam fraud X 3.
N  12th of Nov, 2012 by    +1 Votes
The inviations Zoosk sends via my email account damages my reputation. It is my work account which I use to communicate with academics and government officials and I don't even want to know what they think when they receive invitations for a dating site under my name. I truly regret that this company could fool me, and if I'd ever come across someone who works for them, I will punch him in the face.
N  12th of Nov, 2012 by    0 Votes
I placed a section in the Zoosk Wikipedia profile informing people of this practice. Somehow, it was deleted. Zoosk doesn't want people to know about their email hijacking spam scheme until they've been victimized by it.

A  12th of Nov, 2012 by    0 Votes
I deleted the Zoosk account that I was tricked into creating and called them to assure that it is deleted. I changed the password on my email account to make sure Zoosk wasn't going to hijack it again to spam my contact list. Today, another blast of emails is going out to my contact list using a different email account I have. I don't know if it was hacked by zoosk or it is sending through its own email server, but faking the sender. Whatever it is, it is criminal.
N  12th of Nov, 2012 by    0 Votes
Today, after my account was closed and deleted, Zoosk send out another email blast to my contact list, posing as me. They sent out the second spam blast posing as a different email account of mine. This is egregious. David (refused to provide last name) at Zoosk says there is no automated emailing such as I described.
N  15th of Nov, 2012 by    +1 Votes
@Steve, sending emails is nothing new. Unless you deliberately try to spam, you will not. It's not an accident or flaw. It is fraud.
N  10th of Feb, 2013 by    0 Votes
I was scammed by someone on Zoosk.com named Brian Henderson...he'd send rambling messages which were written very well...almost like a book...but no real give and take conversation...he claimed to be a construction co. owner with business all over the world...was talking about getting together at Christmas...I kept saying "won't happen" and explaining why...no clue that he even saw those and would reply going on and on about the love he had for me and then this last one that I finally opened after a mth. sure enough asked for $ for his business...with my reply below that he seemed to never seven see or understand...I should have known when he said he had a house in Paris and divorced from a Super Model...hahaha
A  10th of Feb, 2013 by    0 Votes
Your experience is of a scam by a user of Zoosk. This thread is about scams and illegal activity by Zoosk itself. The practice of spamming, phishing, theft of private information, and spoofing your account in spam to your contacts.
Your complaint should probably be filed separately, that Zoosk hosts scam artists or bots. There are actually types of bots that can generate messages giving the illusion of a conversation, and Zoosk might be a platform that has weak or missing protection from those.
A  29th of Dec, 2013 by    0 Votes
@Steve at zoosk

rubbish. you and your company are full of it. this is perhaps the spiel that you are trained to tell, but it is not the truth.

I clicked on "unsubscribe" as you suggested and then i started receiving a barrage of more spam from zoosk, at least 20 times more than the infrequent spam i got before. now i get at least 2-3 per day as compared to one or two per month.

the act of "unsubscribing" verified my email address as being active and then they bombarded it with much more spam.

this company is a disgrace and facebook should be ashamed of themselves for associating themselves with it.

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