Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Yaari - spamming in my name

Okay, I'll be the first to admit it was stupid. In my defense, Plaxo and LinkedIn also ask to login to your email accounts to see if any of your contacts are already members. So when Yaari ("India’s largest social networking site") asked me to, I foolishly said okay.

I'd gotten a request from a former colleague, now in India, that said something like:

    (former colleague) wants you to join Yaari!

    Is (former colleague) your friend?

    Yes, (former colleague) is my friend! No, (former colleague) isn't my friend.

    Please respond or (former colleague) may think you said no :(

    Thanks,
    The Yaari Team

Since I'd gotten it from an Indian colleague, it seemed at least somewhat plausible. Believing that was a big f**king mistake.

I immediately had a moment of regret and quickly logged into the email account in question and changed the password (booyah!).

Going back to Yaari proved it to be pretty much a waste of time. I figured I was done with it.

Then 2 days ago, BAM! The emails started landing in everyone's inbox: "(ME) wants you to join Yaari!" Even my inboxes (I have about a dozen email accounts).

I quickly sent an email to everyone on my contact list telling them to ignore this unsolicited bit of spammery. A little googling revealed their nefarious ways were well-known. How embarrassing.

My humiliation was complete the next day when I was forced to deal with the smirks of my IT co-workers, a number of whom had gotten first the offending Yaari-generated spam, and then my terse warning not to reply. The implication was they never would have been sucked into such a patently bogus deal (unlike me).

Humbling though this little episode was, the silver-lining was that I heard back from several folks in my contact list I hadn't heard from in a while.

Social networking indeed.

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