Tagged.com has been around for a few years now, but it’s spread across the Internet with a vengeance in the last few weeks. The service promotes itself by getting inside the address book or e-mail contacts of people who sign up and e-mailing everyone they know. It’s disingenuous, since the e-mail looks like an invitation from your friend or family member…but they didn’t initiate it at all.
Let this serve as a warning: don’t sign up with tagged.com, and warn anyone in your life who you think may be susceptible to this kind of scam.
The text of the message looks like this:
[Name redacted] has added you as a friend
Is [Name] your friend?
Click Yes if [Name] is your friend, otherwise click No.
But you have to click!
Please respond or [Name] may think you said no
Guilt-tripping me with a frowny face? That’s low. Now, the e-mail claims that either your friend wants to share pictures with you or has added you as a friend, but neither is true. The site has simply harvested your entire address book.
This behavior is item F under their Terms of Service:
E) Notice Regarding Commercial Email
MEMBERS CONSENT TO RECEIVE COMMERCIAL E-MAIL MESSAGES FROM TAGGED, AND ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT THEIR EMAIL ADDRESSES AND OTHER PERSONAL INFORMATION MAY BE USED BY TAGGED FOR THE PURPOSE OF INITIATING COMMERCIAL E-MAIL MESSAGES.
It’s the only item in all caps, so you know it’s important. Caps lock: cruise control for importance.
The e-mails asking you to sign up for Tagged include a URL to block all future e-mails from the service. That address is http://firstname.lastname@example.org.