Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
Have you used Reunion.com? We have received a report that it is a scam and received the spam ourselves, so we have firsthand evidence of the misleading emails they create. We'd like your experiences (good or bad) about Reunion.com, as well.
When we receive an inquiry about a website, like Reunion.com, we first look for the signs of both a scam and a reputable company. There is no one indicator that is proof positive of a scam, but if a website exhibits a number of these, we rate it is a likely scam. See this page for our checklist of some of the things we look for.
Example of spam / scam from Reunion.com:
I looked for you on Reunion.com, but you weren't there. I use Reunion.com to search for lost friends and contacts, and to stay connected with people I know, so please connect with me.
RESPOND TO KATHLENE:
Connect with Kathlene Now! - You'll also find out if anyone else is searching for you.
Or go to http://www.reunion.com/showInviteRegistration.do?uid=257117725
Reunion.com - Life Changes. Keep in Touch.™
You have received this email because a Reunion.com Member sent an invitation to
this email address. For assistance, please refer to our FAQ or Contact Us.
Our Address: 2118 Wilshire Blvd., Box 1008, Santa Monica, CA 90403-5784
Since the email above was sent to a generic website, one with no human name attached to it, it is not possible that "Kathlene" could know anyone at the email address. There is no human being's name associated with the email address to which this spam and therefore, scam, was sent.
Here's how the scam works:
You receive an email like the one above, using a common name (who in the U.S. doesn't know at least one "Kathlene"?)
You click on the link to "connect with Kathlene".
You must sign up, supposedly for free.
During the process, you are asked to let Reunion.com autosearch your address book.It will then spam everyone in your address book (and essentially, blame you!)
After you sign up, you discover that to actually correspond with the person, you must provide a credit card and pay a fee.
To test the system, we clicked on the link to connect with "Kathlene" and created a fake identity, "Tom Johansen". After entering a name, gender, email address, date of birth and zip code, AND declining the "Autosearch your email address book" screen, we saw this:
Hey! How about that, not a word about the elusive "Kathlene" but immediately there is someone from Orlando, FL looking for "Tom Johansen"!
Gee, whaddya know! We have to PAY to actually connect with this mysterious person who is trying to find our fictional character!
But wait, MAYBE there just happens to have been a "Tom Johansen who did know someone from Orlando. Let's try this again with a truly unique name, Murgatroid Fluglenatz.
This time, no one is looking for poor Murgatroid.
It is possible that there are real people register with Reunion.com and one of them is looking for someone named "Tom Johansen" . But that certainly could not have been us. In other words, it appears that their software simply matches names. If you have a common name, then this service would appear to be worthless, and even an implied scam, since you would have to pay to find out if you are the right person and not just the same name as someone is seeking.
A bigger scam is the misleading way that reunion.com presents its "autosearch". Once you allow them to autosearch, they send everyone in your address book an email either inviting them to join or like the one above, saying someone is looking for them; even though, in almost all cases, that is NOT true for you - you ALREADY have their email address!)
Now, there is still another issue: unhappy customers:
There are many, many reports of unhappy customers. Below are links to reports of customers who feel scammed and ripped off, and had to fight through their banks to get charges reversed!
Los Angeles Times: April 15, 2008: The social-networking site uses members' e-mail address books to try to boost its roster. The CEO admits: "the sending of e-mails to everyone in a person's address book .... users aren't in fact searching for anyone when they agree to invite others to join."
Reunion.com spamming your address book without your permission - From: Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.Filed under: Ripoffs and Scams, Consumer Complaints. I recently received a message from Reunion.com that looked like it was from a former employee who was .
"Reunion.com is a scam. they pulled $120. out of my account and will not refund it. i did get through to a phone number but the guy was very rude stating ..."
Rip Off Report: "Reunion.com peoplesearch.com classmates.com Scamed me out of $72.00. They advertise that the cost is only $2.00 per month"
Rip-off Report: Reunion.com SCAM, SCAM, SCAM Santa Monica, California
Reunion.com is a SCAM! You can join for free but need to pay to view
information but what is worse is they scam you to believe there is
information on your ..."
Reunion.com is a scam? - Yahoo! Answers: NEVER use reunion.com. They charged me for another..."
Please help me, I don't know how go get any help. To all, please read so that you do not fall victim to Reunion.com scam!! I fell for it and now I am having to try to fight to get my money back."
Complaints Board | Reunion.com - Unethical behavior by REUNION! Reunion.com - Unauthorized billing! Reunion.com - Cancellation scam!
Complaints Board | Reunion.com - If I don't get a refund, I will dedicate $4 an hour times 30 hours =$120, to spread the word for scam artists and frauds like reunion.com ..."
Caribbean Surname Index - Reunion.com is a SCAM Reunion.com is a SCAM... info inside. Replies, Author, Views, Last Post. No new posts, My "issues" with reunion.com.
Finally, there are also numerous reports substantiating our experience that these contacts who are supposedly trying to "connect" back with you, either don't exist, or are unaware that Reunion.com is sending out the emails using their name.
Avoid Reunion.com - at best, it is a rip-off, and according to many reports it is a blatant scam!
Of course, in all cases, you can start by reporting it to us, using this form. We will use the information to warn other consumers and help you to direct it to law enforcement agencies.
A catch-all for bringing internet scams to the attention of the FBI and FTC is the U.S. government's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at Internet Fraud Complaints Center. If you are looking for your local FBI Office Listings to report a crime or scam, click here.
Do you want to report a fraud, scam or crime to the FBI (the Federal Bureau of Investigation), but can't find the phone number for your nearest local FBI office? See this page to find the closest office!
For other government agencies to report scams, see this page. And of course, write us! We are always interested in hearing about any potential scams!