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Would You Like Some Quechup With Your Spam?

A fair number of bloggers and readers have complained of being duped into handing over the e-mail and instant messaging addresses of their friends and family to a new social-networking site called "Quechup," which tends to welcome new members by spamming everyone who is close to them. While the site's marketing practices are no doubt annoying, the all-to-common fool-me-once-shame-on-me response from new users taken in by the ploy shows that a great many otherwise intelligent people lack basic Internet street smarts.

Pop the term "quechup" into your favorite Web search engine and you're bound to find thousands of sites and blog posts from people who were bamboozled after receiving an invitation to join the network from one of their online acquaintances.

What's remarkable is not how many people who received the invite link clicked on it and decided to join, but that so many completed the registration process, which actually asks prospective members to fork over their user name and password for the account they use to send e-mail and/or instant messages online. Not only that, but the site states in plain vew that it will use your information to send Quechup membership invites to all of your friends.

In fact, within a few minutes of completing your registration, Quechup will interactively log on to your e-mail or instant messenger account and blast out an invite to everyone in your contacts or buddies list.

Please don't misunderstand me: I am not in any way condoning the marketing practices of this so-called social networking site. Frankly, I don't see how any company that pursues such a marketing strategy can succeed in the long run. However, it does underscore the reality that far too many people fail to see their e-mail address, password, computer or instant message credentials for the real-world commodities that they are.

By Brian Krebs  |  September 13, 2007; 3:27 PM ET
Categories:  Latest Warnings  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: AOL's Free Anti-Virus Switcheroo
Next: Report: Four Percent of E-Crime From Fortune 100

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