Thursday, March 12, 2009

Does Fanbox Equal Spam and Scam? (With update that says "YES!")

Recently (3July09) a visitor came to this posting from Google using the search term "how to stop fanbox charge" (without quotes). If you have a fanbox experience you would like to share with future visitors please feel free to leave a comment. Future visitors might benefit from it. Thanks. - Prying1 -
This was originally posted on the 12th of March 2009, Update with SPAM text dated
13 MAR 09 is at the bottom of this posting!
This update line is to simply say FANBOX lies! (July 13, 09) I received an email from FANBOX saying my wife "found a hilarious YouTube video" "Using the application Youtube Video Seach!: Watch (wife's name here) video, and find more videos. (link to fanbox here)... I know for a fact my wife has not been back to FANBOX since day one! I've had several but this is the first time I thought to add this to my FANBOX SCAM posting...
Original posting follows:

Got an email yesterday. "Check out the Smile ***** sent you." Actually three of them. One person sent it to another who signed up and sent me the second which went to two email addresses. So I checked the site the emails led me to and was too busy to check it further then.

This morning I went "Digging a little deeper."

Now, dear reader, know that I have not signed up for their services so all of the following is second hand info from other websites and commenters at those sites.

Typed Fanbox into Google and came up with their site as the first hit then "Steve Riley on Security : FanBox: the latest in password scams" as the second hit. (Google list is subject to change)

The rest of the hits are pretty much of the same cut of cloth.

Came across a couple of comments on websites from (they say) ex employees that gives a little insight into the Fanbox company. Unethical is one word that describes them. Spamhuntress has a posting that tells us, turns into fanbox What once was a disreputable company has changed their name but not their modus operandi.

Here is the bottom line. When signing up for their service they ask you for your email password and if you give it to them they will start spamming your friends, business associates and acquaintances. IF YOU HAVE GIVEN THEM YOUR PASSWORD CHANGE IT IMMEDIATELY!!!

Any Cellphone numbers they are given will apparently receive 'premium' text messages that charge the cell phone user. They can get these phone numbers from email address books that unsuspecting users give them the passwords to.

They also apparently have downloads that will invade your computer and mess with your life. DELETE OR UNINSTALL ANY DOWNLOADS YOU HAVE FROM THEM.

The best advice I've seen regarding Fanbox comes from Consumer Fraud Reporting. Spam and "Welcome to FanBox"

They suggest:

Report these spammers to the government:

* To forward unwanted or deceptive spam to the Federal Trade Commission; send it to,

* Also see the FTC and here to Report Porn Spam. In California, also use In Missouri, use In Virginia, use
* If you think you have been taken advantage of by a spam scam, file a complaint with the FTC online at Complaints will help the FTC find and stop people who are using spam to defraud consumers.

Once again it comes down to Internet users getting savvy about the Internet. Just because a website has a cute smiley face does not mean you will continue smiling after you start dealing with them... Dig a Little Deeper before signing up for services. Type in the website name followed by the word Scam. This will show you if there are complaints about the site...

From: Kiss
To: *My Email Address*
Date: 13 Mar 2009 18:47:59 -0700
Subject: baby2hot4u2002 wants to kiss you on FanBox

Using the application Kiss!:

Launch the application to get your kiss, check out photos of baby2hot4u2002, and send a kiss back! **LINK**Launch Application on FanBox**ENDLINK**

On linksite:

Application for your FanBox profile:
Who kissed you? Find out who with KISS!

At the link location a window has this:

To launch this application...
Secured by MobileGuard
This only takes a few seconds.
Note: You will only need to do this once.

Enter your mobile phone information
You will never need to do this again.

Mobileguard is a website that has the claim:

The first true monetization engine built for social apps:

BREAKTHROUGH TECHNOLOGY With over 60 patents pending, mobile phones are now virtual credit cards, without users doing a thing.

SIMPLE With only two API calls, you collect money from billions of users worldwide on a recurring basis.
Users subscribe to your apps, simply by entering their phone numbers.

Every month, MobileGuard bills those numbers and pays you.

Start generating revenue today!

Running down their leaderboard Fanbox is tops in collecting cash through people putting their mobile phone numbers into the Fanbox webpages which makes me wonder if Mobileguard is just an offshoot of Fanbox.

Anyway, I'm off to forward the spam to the government.

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