I’ve received two e-mails in the last two weeks from people I haven’t been in touch with for ages. They’re using a service called Bebo to try to keep in touch.
The e-mails had the same content. Here’s what they said.
I am updating my address book and it would be very helpful if you could click on the
link below and enter your contact details for me:
(Link to Bebo)
I am using a service that keeps contact details current, just update your own
contact details and then the changes appear in selected friends’ address books. When I
update my contact details you will see them in your address book.
Thank you for helping.
After hearing about the service, I can see that it fills a void in how we stay in contact with friends and relatives. How many people have you lost track of because they moved or changed e-mail addresses?
I’ve changed my cell phone number several times and later found out that people tried to get in touch with on the old number and when it didn’t work, they gave up. The service also brings up some privacy concerns because if anyone had access to it, spammers would rejoice. There must be some sort of authentication or validation.
If everyone used a central repository such as this for contact information (address, phone number, e-mail address etc) then you would never lose track of people, which is a good thing in most cases. If you have a stalker, that could be a bad thing.
I’ve used at least two services like that over the years. I think the first was called the Internet Address Book, and there was another one that started with P. They obviously weren’t very effective if I can’t even remember what they were!
I’ve gotten 2 of those requests today. I won’t fill them out. I did that with someone’s last year and got spyware on my pc as well as a sudden spike in spam. I don’t trust ’em for a minute.
Renee: I should have mentioned that I didn’t respond to the two that I got either. I didn’t know either them of all that well. They probably just sent one to everyone in their address book.
I received about 4 of the requests in one day, then more came filtering in over the next two weeks or so. Obviously it’s new, and it’s spreading like wild fire. At first I ignored them, figuring the people who run Bebo just sell all the e-mail address they get (they sure would make a killing out of it). But after awhile, I became curious, and decided I’d sign up because I knew it would be a useful service. As a precaution, I used an e-mail address I don’t use much.
As a matter of policy, we do not sell, rent or lend any of your personal information to third parties other than in accordance with this policy without your consent. However, the following describes some of the ways that your personal information may be used in the normal routine to provide our range of services to you.
I have received two email from two granddaughters to fill out these forms. I need reliable information as I feel leary about this program.
BE WARNED!! If you click on the bebo.com link, they will acquire your address book and send their email to everyone on your list as though YOU are sending it.
This is NOT JUST SPAM, IT IS A VIRUS!!!
Interesting. Judging from the comments, it looks like you shouldn’t reply to those e-mails.
I operate the website bebo.com and am interested to read your comments. We don’t send spam and this isn’t a virus. Any emails from us will be clearly marked as such and you can unsubscribe at any time, we only send emails that are relevant and interesting to you. You choose which emails to receive (or not to receive). This service relies upon members staying members, if we annoy members they go away, so we always treat members with respect. We don’t send emails to any friends unless you specifically request us to do so. If you have further questions or concerns please contact us using the contact us link on the site. We respond to all questions promptly. We’re simply trying to create a service that people find useful and fun, not to annoy people. We’re open about who we are and include information about us on our site.
It’s pretty easy to mistake what bebo wants. I shouldn’t have typed in my yahoo password. I don’t know know why I did . I was updating my info for someone, and next thing I know it’s sending out the same bs to all my 800 contacts. Bebo sux… just say no to bebo
It’s not a virus or spam, but it might as well be… I suppose it has good intentions, but the way the screens come up…that it wants you to make a password for the Bebo site… one just feels they need to keep the momentum going, and type in a password, because you’ve already gone this far… and it seems safe… but don’t do it… or all your contacts will get the same… “it would be very helpful” bull—- sent to them that you just got sent… I’m fine with updating contact info manually…
and I found the idea, or the fact, actually, that it was sending out a robot message with my name attached to it, arrogant for them to do so… especially, when I didn’t realize at all that something like that was going to happen… Who has time to read all their stupid bull—- about what bebo is about, etc… and realize what you are actually doing? I was just trying to get the updated info out to a contact and get the he– out of there…
Question to comment #8
Why is one asked to enter passwords?
I was not asked to enter passwords for anything other than creating one for the site. I also would like to point out that you can opt out of receiving emails, which I did. I have had it for a couple of weeks and have not seen a spike in emails nor have I heard from Bebo on anything except when someone responds.
The only thing I would like is the ability to export or at least print the info.
I don’t know, but I have a changed one now… after a weak moment…
When you get through updating info for the friend that asked you for the update, it asks you to create a username and password for the “bebo” world, or I guess I did the info updating and sent it and didn’t realize username and password were required fields. And then in the confusion after that I got asked for my yahoo password which I coughed up for some reason… I haven’t done that before… it was late and I forgot what I was doing and I had just typed my password for yahoo on a yahoo site and did it again on bebo unfortunately…
Please ignore Mike, all extremly negative comments were from him and he’s clearly spreading FUD about this service.
I got through the registry progress and found that bebo asked ME to copy a text and send it to my contacts.
The one message I got was clearly send by the person in question via the web interface of her email service and NOT by a bot.
There goes down the “virus, grabs your address book”-theory.
After all : “You agree that we may […] deliver information to you […] such as targeted banner advertisements […]”.
Also : “We may […] outsource one or more aspects of the business.”
Also, there are NO ads on their webpage. This is VERY FISHY. When they dont use ads on their webpage, how will they finance themself?
While this service is NOT a virus, their provacy policy is VERY flexible and seams to allow them to send you spam whenever they want. And I see no other way for them to actually get revenue.
I wont give them a really email address.
Please ignore Patrick… all negative comments were not just from me. I didn’t make comment #6, or some of the other ones that were clearly negative…
Actually, don’t ignore Patrick. Make some sales calls to his cell phone. He’ll respect you for it…
My nephew recieved the e-mail from Bebo through a friend. He filled out the form and everyone on his address book revieved e-mails from Bebo. He had no idea that that was going to happen. Either the site is loosely set up or there are other intentions. I tried to do research on the site not much has shown up until this week. It is definitly a new web site (copyright is 2005).
The author of the site defends it but I would not trust it until you see what others have to say about it.
I don’t know how it happened that Bebo sent the email to everyone in your address book without your permission… At the Bebo site, you can CHOOSE to enter your Yahoo or Hotmail address AND corresponding password… then CLICK to send the message which you can view and edit.
I would definately like to know how Bebo is making their $$… pretty sketchy.
I have just received an Bebo email from my elder stepson and did a little searching on the web to see what other thought as I had also been slightly worried by their privacy statement; it really does seem to be extremely flexible and even if the current owners aren’t intending anything malicious, that does not stop someone buying them out and bombarding them with junk emails.
I am not going to jump in and enter any personal details just yet. Michael, one of the site owners, posted earlier that you could select what offers you received and didn’t receive. I certainly didn’t see how to do that on their website if you were just entering address book information and not registering.
I just feel wary about this site at the moment and so have decided not to add any information.
I’m curious as to why I just had to answer the question 2+3 to fill this out, but okay. Nobody laugh if I’ve just missed the joke…
Anyway, I also found it extremely sketchy that in order to update your address information for someone else, you were required to sign up to the service. I’m relieved to have found this blog which confirmed some of my suspicions. And really, who wants some internet startup (or any company really) to have a central address book of everyone? I’m hardly a conspiracy theory person, but I don’t see the need for this.
It’s true that you lose contact with people over the years, but sometimes it’s for the best. And besides, if you got this email from someone, that person clearly still has your correct email address in their address book, and if they really wanted to get in touch, they could have just written you an email.
Heather: The reason I ask for the answer to 2 + 3 is because I was being inundated with comment spam by automated spammers. So, I added the question to keep the automated spammers out. So far it has worked wonderfully.
Why risk it? If you change addresses,just send a message to everyone in your address book, keep the old address for a couple of months, then pitch it. If someone a) ignored the address change email and b) didn’t write you for two months, that person’s probably not going to be best man at your wedding. If you change address all the time, that might be another story.
Besides, who is to say Bebo won’t alter their user agreement later on? Even if the guy running today swears he won’t sell the info, the guy that buys it down the road might. It’s a service you just don’t need.
I don’t know for sure about this but I have to agree that anyone who can send you an email asking you to put your info on a site doesn’t need you to put your info on the site – they can just ask you directly. I can understand sites which list schools and you put your name and years you were there so others who knew you can track you down [it’s up to you if you feel safe about such sites, but at least there is a reason for them] but a centralized data base including name, email, birthday, likes, etc, etc, etc – that just sounds both pointless and very Big Brother. As for them saying they don’t use the data – so we have the word of an invisible person … we don’t even know if they are who they might claim to be. Sounds a lot like a congame to me. And you don’t get something for nothing – so why is this site there … what do THEY get? Maybe it’s a hobby, maybe they just get to feel good about themselves – but on the other hand….
Let’s not forget that several companies have claimed they don’t sell info and then they have gotten caught doing just that – the claim does not prove that they don’t do it. Anyone can claim anything – I could tell you that I was the host of a new TV show and if you send me your credit card info, I’ll put a million dollars credit on it so we can film how you spend it … but that doesn’t make it true and certainly you shouldn’t do it. Same with Bebo – just because they SAY they aren’t selling your info does not mean that they aren’t.
Dont do it!!! “we only send things interesting to [you].” They dont know me. This reeks of aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad!!!
Bebo smells like a con, looks like a con but claims not to be a con!
They might not sell your address but I bet they could make money sending adverts to you!
If I were making a living out of bebo then I’d say the same as Michael.
I’ve been using Bebo, and I haven’t had any eveil effects. imho, they seem to be trustworthy, and the service is definitely worth it. As for how they make their money . . . a perfectly good question, but we might ask the same about alot of other websites which offer legit services. Maybe they’re planning to hook ppl in, then open a premium service.
“At the Bebo site, you can CHOOSE to enter your Yahoo or Hotmail address AND corresponding passwordâ€¦ then CLICK to send the message which you can view and edit.”
Options (the reader may choose their own):
1) used to happen, doesn’t anymore for obvious reasons
2) I’m a schmuck and couldn’t get it to ask me but it does ask
3) FUD if you’re kind, outright lie if you’re not
bebo sounds awful
i agree with your conserns greatly, but mostly for idealogical reasons.
i belive there is a reason for why we loose touch with people and that is a very deliate brain function which shouldnt be messed with
why do we have to assign a computer with this task which is so well managed by our own brains? why cant NOT tell people when we change our phone number? i realise that i dont have to use this service but why do i have to be punished for this with annoying email bombs?
why do i want to know everything about people who i cant even keep up to date with? and who wants these emails getting into your inbox from people who you received a forward from ONCE!!!
micheal sounds like a punk, maybe i read too many sci fi books but i feel like im plugging my self in a little too much these days.
The birthday alarms website which is also run by the same people has been used by many people that I know for quite a while with no problems so I do trust these guys, whether that is a good idea or not. I’ve signed up and not had any problems so far. What I’d have liked to be the case, since 2 of the guys running it are British, for them to be under English law because it is much tougher and stricter than California law!
Does anyone know how to remove the bebo virus, i am a computer retard and not best pleased by the virus, my email addy is [email protected], i would be soooooooooo grateful for any help!
I think the people who are running it are trying to run a decent service, but are maybe being a bit naive.
Any site that asks you for a password for your hotmail account is just plain dodgy, even if it’s optional.
Do not listen to the Bebo person. This is a VIRUS and it is SPAM, call it a SPIRUS! I received one of these emails re: Bebo from my good friend. He says he did not send it. He received a similar email and it grabbed his address book and sent out this email to everyone in his contacts as if he sent it. DO NOT FALL FOR IT.!
Well it seems that they also run the website http://www.birthdayalarm.com which has been around since 2001 (at least the domain was registered back then). So the guy has obviously been around for a while, personally I agree that if someone wants to get in touch with me they can phone/email me, and if I do change that info its up to me to get in touch with them ;)
THIS SITE IS A FAKE SCAMMERS HIDEOUT!
I signed up for a fake acount just to see what info they ask you for then i came across “Please type in your Hotmail address and password, and you can see who else is using Bebo.com”
I have reseved emails from people i dont even know and freinds that claim that they havent sent!!
i do not think this site is trustworthy and i think shud be closed down!
Loads of my mates have realised that they shoukdnt of put there info in, but theres no turning back!
ive told loads of people on MSN not to enter such info but they still are as they think its from people they trust!
My bulk mail folder seems to have spiked up in number since I accidently coughed up my yahoo password to Bebo…occaisionally seeping through to my regular inbox…
I am continually receiving Bebo emails from friends and family who, when I contact them, have not even signed up for the Bebo service! If this is not a virus, then how does that work?! Come on!
I signed up for this service in a moment of stupidity, then realised the potential dangers – read the small print – they can sell on the company all the information they hold on you. i feel really stupid…don’t do it, it’s too dodgy.
This is pure spam and should be illegal. I run a help desk for a large international company and I have been getting calls on this all day. We have entered the bebo.com info into our spam filter and suggest everyone else to the same. No company has ANY right to contact anyone one a personal address list. If there is information that needs to be distributed. I will decide who and when it recieved. My contacts are my business and no elses. It is an invasion of privacy.
How confusing, is it or isn’t it a virus? Lord only knows!!!
Man, I hope it’s legit…I signed up for it today and sent it to people in my address book. I was swept away with the idea of having others update their information in my address book. It’s a scary step to take…I hope it doesn’t backfire on me…….and if it does…..I can always change my email address and start over. I like hearing that it’s the same company as “Birthday Reminders”….that has been a decent service. I understand why everyone is cautious in today’s world of computer technology…what with all the viruses and such. Why do I have a feeling this service is going to be all over the cover of my TIME magazine within the next few months? Oh Boy.
I just received the request from a person i havnt seen for 4 years. I was a bit suspicious because I received an e-mail from this person that turned out to have a virus attached, but it seemed legit, and to be honest if this person had sent the e-mail and wanted to keep in touch I didnt want to hurt his feelings – so I proceeded. Luckily I stopped when it asked for my hotmail password. I thought hold on, if they have my e-mail and my password they can access my e-mail account. I have in there e-mails from my bank, credit cards, etc etc. I think the company is legit, but to anybody who has signed up and they wants the peace of mind of knowing others dont have access to your e-mails then I’d change my adress
How many up-to-date E-mail address books has Bebo collected in just the past week alone?
I’m sure this “company” exists solely to collect valid e-mail addresses to be sold to spammers.
Don’t be surprised if your E-mail box starts to get flooded worse than ever with garbage in the coming weeks.
I think people are overreacting here.
Basically its a very useful service, hence why someone might set it up. Don’t you all remember the Internet boom when anything cool people thought they could do with the Internet they just did. Anyone use bigfoot.com email forwarding? Very useful, entirely free and not dodgy (as far as I know).
There are plenty of banner adds on the site by the way.
The logging on of the website to your yahoo/hotmail account is also very useful, although suspicious I accept. If you’re worried about it, go change your password now. Simple solution.
As for those who have sent out lots of emails to people without meaning to. This is probably because the website defaults this option to on, which it probably shouldn’t, and people haven’t taken the time to read what they’re doing.
As for companies selling on personal information. If they sell the whole company then the data goes with it. This is pretty much always the case (you’re giving the data protection consent to bebo.com not the individual owner). If the owner changes then bebo.com still is entitled to use it in the way of the original consent. They can’t change the scope of the permission.
Admittedly unscrupulous people/owners will ignore the consent anyway, which is a fair point.
Seems legit so far, so that’s what I think.
We have received a number of bebo and plaxo (identical) emails today. Worryingly, my wife received an email from plaxo which contained all her contact information – cell phone, home telephone etc. She has had no contact with this company and has not given her permission to have these details. The data was taken from a contact’s address book, and he claims that he had know idea that this web site would be so intrusive.
Didn’t everyone think Kazza was great? Yet that had alternative motives – altnet. A bit of a trojan horse if you ask me. Come on people, don’t you think it is a little insane to dish out you password?
This company is also very new, so no one can really say what they are up to, just speculate. Perhaps bebo should, if they are legit, allow people the option not to allow their data being passed on if they sell up.
Pete said: “If the owner changes then bebo.com still is entitled to use it in the way of the original consent. They canâ€™t change the scope of the permission.”
“Acquisition. It is possible that as we continue to develop our website and our business, Bebo’s service and/or related assets might be acquired. Notwithstanding any provision in this policy to the contrary, in event of a merger or acquisition, your personal information may be transferred to the acquiring entity, and become subject to the acquirer’s data practices.”
Translation: if bebo.com gets sold, the permissions you consented to won’t be worth the keyboard you’re typing on.
Steer clear of these guys.
I just wanted to say that I signed up to bebo a couple weeks ago. I have not received any spam emails and I run a spyware/virus checker every night on my comp and it has not turned up anything new since I signed up. I think a lot of it is just plain and simple people not reading what they are signing up for. I don’t use hotmail and so was asked to copy and paste a request email into my own email client and sent it only to those people that I wanted to. As a young person I think it is a nice service because many of the people I know move frequently (in university) and it is hard to keep up with current phone numbers etc. It also has a place to share photos and a journal. Not that I see myself writing a journal (unless I was travelling or something) but I like the idea of having a place to put up photos so that my friends can see them. And as someone else said you do not have to receive any emails at all unless you specifically check the box to do so.
Please use this product, we need to make money off you and your friends without their permission! Sure, you gave us permission to have your information, but did we get permission to use your friends contact information from them? No… But, who really cares? Sure viruses like the mydoom virus do this too, but we’re more creative then they are…we get you to sign a contract first. So sign on up! You don’t need friends! Sign your soul to us! Thx and have a nice day!
I received an e-mail like this from someone who claimed to know me i didnt know them at all, then it was asking for me hotmail password!!! a bit sus someones after me hotmail account me thinks!!!!
What a load of sad losers here – have a look next time – you are in control all the way through the proccess and get to chose who it sends the e-mails to.
I got 9 bounced back as undeliverable from people who haven’t told me theyd changed e-mails. the return message comes from the Birthday Alarm company which many people have been using for ages.
sign up keep your freinds, stop whinging and scare tactics. In twelve months time you’ll be wishing you’d bought shares in the bloody company
This kind of service is useful – but I don’t like Bebo. It seems to ask recipients of a ‘please update your details’ email to register with the service first.
A lot of business contacts I know have been using Plaxo (a virtually identical service) for maybe a couple of years. As I work in the computing business, if there was a problem with it I expect I’d know by now.
So if you like the idea of keeping your contacts up to date – but don’t like BeBo, try Plaxo.
(I used neither BTW ;-) )
Are you actually part of the company already chumbawumba? The intent with the people who didn’t mean to sign up goes something like this: I got an e-mail from someone that wanted me to sign up to update an address book. Being a courteous nice guy I filled out the info so I could keep a friend up-to-date. Then I realized it wanted me to sign up for Bebo… which I didn’t think there would be a problem with…but it truly is annoying… I’m sick of you people who think people have a right to spam and to call your phone and try to sell you crap.
Any site that asks for your username (or email address) and password should set off some serious red flags.
I’m staying far away from this site/service. The comments made here regarding why you would need it are completely valid. You don’t need it, the risk is not worth the reward. Plus if i change email addresses and people don’t want to update my contact info locally, I’ll chalk it up to Darwinism.
I also jumped in and even blogged on my Bebo journal…but I immediately went to Hotmail and changed my password from the one that was given to Bebo. I believe (and hope) it’s legit, but it is very simple to protect your Inbox regardless.
Hi, I got an email from some mates about this bebo thing, logged in on my dad’s PC and forgot about it. Then his computer crashed, and I got an email from my uni that it is a virus, and you SHOULD NOT TOUCH IT. Am going to change my hotmail password very soon so my inbox is protected. Is a very bad idea to submit passwords and personal info online in my opinion. btw, why must we answer what ‘2+3=’? Can sum1 explain?
Interesting comments here – i dont know what to think really but ill go with the majority – is it really worth it???
If you are worried, i think you can withdraw your details, and you probably should change the password you gave!
There are too many of these websites around to keep track of which is legit and which is dodgy, so keep your sign ups to a minimum in general!
I think the 2+3 thing is …. original…. :/
The 2+3 question is to keep comment spammers from blasting my site with automated comment spam.
It’s similar to the spam you get in your inbox, except that they post hundreds of comments to sites like mine with all sorts of links to less than reputable sites. Since it’s automated, they don’t know that they have to provide the answer to 2+3, so their spam doesn’t get through. A regular person however, has no problem answering the question.
Must be working since there are really relevant comments on this page, im impressed – first blog ive ever seen with people who actually want to contribute and not irritate people!
I conclude that we should simply avoid sign ups whenever we can.
BEBOs motives must have some sort of underlying secret!
Ok, im aware i did say that 2 posts ago, i am now repeating myself.
Right, i think i should get back to my dreaded english AS level coursework on Alan Bennetts talking heads. Its really irritating me since its in for tomorrow and it doesnt really seem like my usual standard.
Now im contradicting myself and saying this page is full of relevance when ive just typed irrelevant things.
By the way, it isnt 3pm
It is in MST, which is where the blog is based.
I can’t stand bebo myself, i got loads of emails trying to get me to sign up, such a bad wesite, it runs completely off email(bad sign).
Only one good network i found is “mybeehive.net”, no spam no emails, made by students, they have no money, no agenda they just built a cool site that works. internal messages to other contacts and an ability to search for new contacts by location,occupation,username and the like.
Sorry for ranting but it is actually a good site with no spaming at all
One thing worth recalling is that if you sign up for a service such as Hotmail and set up a username and password, you are usually held legally responsible for maintaining the integrity of the password. For example, the Yahoo! Mail terms of service include the following:
“You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of the password and account, and are fully responsible for all activities that occur under your password or account.”
What this means is that you are required *not* to enter your username and password into a form on a third party website such as Bebo. (If you do so, you are not maintaining the confidentiality of the password and account, since you’ve just given the information to someone you don’t know.)
If a website asks you to, its creators are either being stupid/ignorant, or they are being deliberately malicious. I tend to suspect the latter, and so I play it safe.
I understand how one might fill in a form in the heat of the moment, and I understand that forms can be deceptive-looking. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of thinking “they’re asking me for my password for someone else’s website: be suspicious!!”.
Ok i have been a bit suspect of bebo, so i have created a brand new email account and signed up with them, my plan being to see if i recieve any spam or similar. I will not use the account i have created for anything other than this experiment and i will let you all know how it goes.
the reason i am doing this is because after initially signing up for bebo the first time i seem to be recieveing many more spam emails, it has actually gone up from about 5 a week to about 4 a day.
anyway, any mail going into this new account will soley be from bebo.
will keep you posted
Bebo is a very very viral website – NOT in the computing sense but in the marketing sense. The people behind it build social networks for a living. Well actually they encourage you to do it for them…
These guys are out to take your personal information, create a huge community and then sell the company to market research companies.
In return they give you a unique way to keep your addresses in order – only if your friends participate of course.
Viral marketing, social virus, virus virus virus!!!
If you fancy delving deeper checkout these links. Yawn…
There’s something spooky about several very similar emails being genuinely sent by friends asking you to join and add your data…
Seems too similar to a computer virus or SPAM or a cult! So I wonder if it will backfire before the company can make money. Hah!
I always use the same spam email address(gmail lots of space).i sign up to stuff with that one, no harm done i rarely check it. I then have college emails and the like and they are always clean.
For all those people who registered their e mail passwords with bebo perhaps you had better take heed of this warning i recently got sent:
>I got forwarded this by a bloke at home. Normally I hate these hoax
>e-mail warnings, but this one is for real. Send this warning to
>everyone on your e-mail list.
>If a man comes to your front door and says he is conducting a survey
>and asks you to show him your yam yam, DO NOT show him your yam yam. This
>is a scam; he only wants to see your yam yam.
>I wish I’d got this email yesterday. I feel so stupid and cheap.
yam yam? lol
I had an email request from a friend to join bebo. It did not ask me for my hotmail or yahoo password.
Here’s a thought I haven’t seen anyone suggest:
Spammers/hackers have cottoned on that this is a legit service & are sending out their own versions of the real bebo ones, but which DO ask for passwords to hotmail & yahoo accounts.
This would explain why some ppl are so convinced that viruses, trojans & spamming are all part of the deal.
I’ve got a question that I haven’t seen anyone address (directly). Why isn’t Bebo a member of Trust-E? (www.truste.com) Should I be concerned that they are not? Most of the web services that I use are members and I’ve come to see that membership as an indicator that they do what they are doing the right things relative to privacy of my information.
Am I making more out of their lack of membership than I should?
I think the idea of this is good in principal, however a big mistake has been made in asking for e-mail passwords. In the computing world, the first thing that you are taught is to NEVER DISCLOSE PASSWORDS.
Any true computer company would not ask you for these details or would remove this functionality at the first sign of trouble (honest mistakes can be made).
I made the mistake of declaring my personal details after a request from my sister, so I will now expect some SPAM (my own fault), however common sense told me not to disclose my password.
I understand that people have not had any problems yet, but I truly believe that sometime in the future they will.
Another point to note, is that membership is not asked for until after you have entered all your details, so again if this was legitimate, it would have made this perfectly clear prior to disclosure.
I do not think that this is a computer virus, however a previous post suggested it could be a social virus. This is more probably a more accurate term, the computer itself is not infected, but everyone that uses the system for legitimate reasons may (and probably will) find their details used counter productively.
My last word of warning. Identity fraud is a hotspot in the news just now and is considered the most rapidly increaing crime in the UK (and I assume the world). Anyone that has disclosed a password and holds personal information in their e-mail should be extra vigilant when checking their statements.
good luck guys, you may need it :-)
I had heard of Bebo from a friend, so I searched for Bebo using google for more info, couldn’t find it. I then searched for Bebo.com which found it, I entered the site through the google cache option, which took me directly into someones account. (yes, you did read that right)
at first I thought it was an example page but I soon realised to my horror,it was someones actual account, maybe they had forgotten to sign out or were using the service at the time, Very weird.
I could not only see all of her details – adress, home phone number, mobile number and photographs but also all of her contacts details and photographs. The only thing I couldn’t see was her password, which was represented by ******** I signed her out, exited the site and then re-entered the site and found myself in someone elses account.
2 times this has happened out of aprox 25 entries to the Bebo site and that for me, is 2 times too many.
This site has very serious security issues, stay well clear.
I think the intent of the service is probably useful but I’m going to steer clear for now. As a note, although I don’t use it anymore, plaxo works in a similar fasion and lets you choose who to send to, when and what information. If you want this kind of a tool, I’d go that way.
This is crap! Bebo.com and other services send mass emails to people in your address book on your behalf without your consent. It is a blatant violation of your privacy and a dirty tactic to gather information.
Yep it must be a load of rubbish, I have recieved bebo request from people I don’t even know offering me o look at their photo albums.
Avoid this at all costs!!
Read the small writing, you know, all the boring stuff you’d rather not read before you click I agree, because if you read, you’ll see somewhere in the disclaimer that it says bebo isn’t thieves. Thieves on the net I say. Read the small writing. It says somewhere in the disclaimer that Bebo isn’t responsible in case of theft. Theft? Now why would that be? Could it be because you naively said to your friend, “Oh look I got, whatever, a brand new this or that, possibly posted lovely pictures to go with it,” your whole life on that website. Bebo has all your address details, knows where you work, could see if you’re at work or not, someone could raid your house while you’re out, that’s why.
I hate to be a paranoid freak, but if they have your login and password, then they can read your emails, right? Not that anyone would go trudging through millions of confirmed emails looking for a juicy tidbit, like your ssn, credit card info, bank statement, but I’m sure a computer could do that. The result, if not the intent is to gather a big ‘ole hunk of email addresses that are valuable because they are real and up-to date and they have access to a big ‘ole hunk of others. Imagine what that database is worth to lots of unscrupulous types. They don’t have to make any money now, just get a big enough database and sell it for tons of money to the highest bidder and go laughing all the way to the bank. Simply ingeneous to get you to let down your guard by making the invitation come from a friend. I’d delete anything that asks me to update anything without even opening it.
There are so many issues with this service I hope it is pretty clear to all reading these to stay clear of it. One note however. Many have stated that they won’t be giving their information to Bebo.com but note: You received an email from them which means that they already have your email address from your referring friend or other. I received a request from Bebo the other day and made it a point to contact the referring friend and had her remove my contact info from her account immediately (in hopes it wasn’t too late).
You may want to do the same. I for one am tired of all the spam that I got on my last email address due to someone entering my contact info into a site without my permission. I didn’t give permission for my personal info to be on their site so I expect it removed. It is a violation of my privacy in one way or another. They are harvesting information, plain and simple.
bebos great but i can only get access in school then the school decided to filter the site and now i cant get in touch with my old friends which is pretty rubbish
yup this is a smart pyramid mailing list…
they will behave as they advertise…until they decide they have a large enough mailing list..then they will change their terms and conditions so they can sell everyones email details…or they sell their company …
so create a new email account…you will get no spam….but they will have had access to everyone in your address book
Stay Away from Bebo !!
is ringo the same thing? I got an email from someone I haven’t talked to in ages and it was similar to bebo. just wondering
whaleman: It’s the same idea as Bebo done by different people.
This is a dummy e-mail id i’m using to test a similar product called Ringo. I can confirm that the site hijacks address books after asking for gmail id and password. A very close friend of mine, received a “please update your contact details for me on Ringo” message sent from my actual Yahoo id. Thereafter everyone in his address book including me (on my actual yahoo id) got this update your details mail. I dont know if its a virus or not but I am certainly not entering any real details into a website that asks for the password to my e-mail.
Much of the stuff from man who claimed to represent one such site, seemed nonsensical and designed to fool the naive who are clearly not tech savvy enough to read the small print.
It may not be a virus but it certainly hacks every address in your address book.
In my case, I had not even heard of Ringo let alone heard of it, when I discovered that my friend had received this mail sent from my original Yahoo id.
One thing to do if you haven’t yet opened any “update your contact details …” mail is to open the mail options in whichever mail service you use and block mail which contains the word ringo, plaxo , bebo etc
Has anyone noticed that bebo.com and ringo.com operate from the same address, but claim to be completely different people? See
BobC: That’s very interesting. Maybe I was wrong about it being operated by different people.
I also received an email from ringo.. so before filling the information they asked I decide to make some research about this site.. thanks for the info..and from all this I have decided to keep myself away from all this…s–t :)
Check this out. Bebo is Ringo, is birthday alarm:
222 Sutter Street, 5th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94108
Cute family eh? What did he get those off of webshots?
I conducted a little experiment. I made several yahoo accounts and in one put all of the addresses I just made in the address book. I then signed up @ Bebo. Lo and behold, all of my address book contacts (me) received automated letters. If that isn’t an email harvester, I don’t know what it.
had this in my inbox earlier ‘from’ a pal, it was also in message boards of groups she in , in her name,its downright invasive.
I have been signed up with Bebo for a few months now, and have had ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEMS. I have been reading the above comments, which have been interesting… When I initially signed up, Bebo asks if you want to send the email to all your contacts, and it will do unless you ‘de-select’ your contacts from the list. It’s simple really. Only an idiot would who didn’t read what was happening would allow Bebo to send the introductory email to all of their contacts! – D’oh!
Bebo.com itself is not a virus. But if you are a Yahoo user, it will ask you for your login details. If you comply, it will log in to your account, spider your address book, and send an email to all of your contacts if you don’t “uncheck” them. This is possible because the Yahoo mail site is not secure (non-https connection). Legal, sneaky, yet convenient if this is your goal.
“Only an idiot would who didn’t read what was happening would allow Bebo to send the introductory email to all of their contacts! – Doh!”
Judging by the number of people who I have had contact with no more than once who have invited me to join this system – there are a lot of idiots out there.
Thanks to all those who commented above pro and con – it certainly enabled me to make a negative decision.
“You agree that Bebo and its authorised employees can access your account, including its contents ….
You agree that we may use personal information about you to improve our marketing and promotional efforts, to analyze site usage, improve our content and product offerings, and customize the Site’s content, layout, and services. These uses improve the Site and better tailor it to meet your needs, so as to provide you with a smooth, efficient, safe and customized experience while using the Site.
It is possible that as we continue to develop our website and our business, Bebo’s service and/or related assets might be acquired. Notwithstanding any provision in this policy to the contrary, in event of a merger or acquisition, your personal information may be transferred to the acquiring entity, and become subject to the acquirer’s data practices.”
Umm… No thanks!
Bebo is a load of crap
Its 4 sad little ppl who hav no friends and try 2 get some online – like buyin em ova ebay!
I am wonder, I got lot same loopby forward e-mails about
Subject: Bebo Closing? Is that true or just hoax ? If you recvice this too?
Ive been a member of bebo for over a year and its great me and my friends are constantlyn traveling and it is a safe place and easy place to share our pictures and have a log of what we are up to. when you go through the instructions bebo tells you to you will notice you can choose which friends you want on your bebo acount and who you dont, you will only ever recieve emails from Bebo when your friends update something on there Bebo.
Its great but i suppose not for everyone.
I have had bebo for 6 months and during that time my computer has become riddled with spywear, i can think of no other reason why my computer should have been infected so other than bebo!!! This has not only happened to me, but also to my friends who have a bebo account, can this be just a coincidence?? None of us use bebo any longer and I would suggest to anyone who was considering using it, not to . . .
I joined BEBO over one year ago. I just had quite a skirmish at BEBO when I raised objections to the practice of asking for e-mail passwords. They have several ‘secret’ moderators in their site blogs. 18-22 yr. old kids who are flattered by the request to moderate and who receive a BEBO cap for their efforts. Anytime a controversial question is raised, in comes one of these soldiers to divert attention and poo-poo the important questions. I fought fire with fire and brought my boss to fire off comment after comment until we wore them down. We made a strong case against the practice of requesting passwords .
I am here to tell you that , there is NO WAY BEBO is going to give up the practice.
More importantly, their most prominent moderator came back to tell everyone that BEBO PROMISES NOT TO KEEP THE PASSWORDS and WON’T EVEN SHARE THEM.
Here’s a quote from the blog posted today ” I have it on the word of Bebo themselves that no record of passwords are kept , however, they realise that that part of the service may be disconserting to some and will change that page to make it clear that it’s not compulsary and they promise not to save any passwords.” 18 yr. old techie, loyal to BEBO
That was supposed to placate us?
The rest of the BEBO experience has been fabulous and I consider myself “seasoned”. I have 1000 photos organized and in albums, 50 of my friends and close family members from all over the world are at my private site. You can choose to be public or private. You can also let BEO know just how many notifications you want about changes, posts to your site, etc.
The blogs are GREAT…and the white boards are very amusing.
I DO NOT appreciate their policy of asking for passwords to people’s personal e-mail accounts one bit, and that just might be enough for me to head em up and move em out.
They keep claiming it is a service to find out who are members in your contacts in your mail account. That is BS.
Thing is most people there don’t seem to care one little bit.
okay what now?i’ve been on bebo for over two months now and i was NEVER
requested to enter an e-mail password
recieved any spam email from them ???
okay i realise that because i have jumped on this commenting band-wagon a bit too late and so nobody is going to keep reading down till they get to this oh well!
This is what i wrote to them and i strongly believe it(of course i got no answer):
“You have no right to ask for anybody’s email password. It is stated clearly and almost everybody knows that he has no obligation to provide anyone with his e-mail password and no-one should ask for it FOR NO REASON except if it’s to abuse it.
What does [Someday, we may have ads on Ringo….These companies may employ cookies and action tags…] mean? Do you consider this to be ok? It may be so that the data collected from me will be anonymous but who said that i want to help anyone collect any data or be part of any statistics? IF and only IF i want to do this it will happen, otherwise you have no right to exlpoit the service you provide and your users.
I know for sure that you send e-mails to the whole contact list of your users. You have no right to do so unless it is stated clearly in the agreement (i would say with bold letters) and the user agrees explicitly to that.
If you wish to send anything to anyones contact list without his consent or knowledge you should at lest notify the user and provide him with a way to agree to this before doing it.
In my opinion you should not be called “Ringo – friends photos” but “Ringo – violate your privace and be bombed with ads”.
Do not expect any people from my cycle (including me) and my collegues and classmated to join your so-called “service”. This may mean nothing to you since we are an un-noticeable number of potential users compared to the users you have, but it means something to us.
It means that we stand up for our rights.
Hope this help you gain some consciousness of what you are REALLY doing. Not everything in life is about money.
Just think about other people that make a descent living and offer services with self-respect and respect to the community.”
Someone should do something about all this.
If anyone knows if there is a way to stop them, a petition, or a special organization that deals with this kind of things please let me know.
My email is [email protected]
Okay, I’ve been a member of Bebo.com for a while now. I’ve never been spammed by them.
They make money from Ad’s on thier site, you can clearly see that if you are a member.
The so called “VIRUS” you guys are on about sounds much more like a third party, who have nothing to do with bebo.com, using the bebo name to entice people to open it. Its piss easy to fake a reply address in an email.
That is all.
HI,ITS NICE BUT I WANT TO KNOW HOW TAKE YOUR ADDRESS BOOK
im after readin all comments about bebo in this site I feel many people have the wrong end of the stick. I am 17 and it is purely fun. I have been using it over the past year and I have obtained NO viruses!! bebo is a wicked way of keeping in touch with familys and friends anc checking out photos and cool blogs! so dont sag it wehn you dont have a clue about it!! BEBO FOREVER!!!
Bebo is spam, end of story. They also sell there email addresses, zebo.com is another site who seem to have gotten hold of my email address. Theres a never ending stream of spammers out there using the same technique. I ended up blocking ALL emails not containing my first name to stop this.
BEBO are SPAMMERS, end of story.
bebo.com does not work anymore at school does anyone know how to login in???
it seems that the majority of ppl here still haven’t realised but you’re NOT asked for your hotmail/yahoo password. you’re asked for your email address and a password for bebo. try putting in a different password to your hotmail/yahoo and you’ll se it still works…
one thing tho, i’ve never received any spam from them, but i do have this msg on my homepage:
“Your email address has not been verified.
Please click here and ensure that your primary email address is listed as verified under ‘Account Details’.
Dull stuff, we know, but it’s soooooo important.”
can anyone in the know tell me why it’s so important? no speculations please!
iv had no problemos with bebo.
has ne1 got an idea how to get on it past smart filters?
i had a code but it comes up ‘Bad Gateway’ every time >.
i would just like to say that bebo hides your contact information and only the direct friends u choose to get your contact info actually gets it! I keep up with my friends and have made more friends from where i stay than i would if i had never had bebo! just thought u should know the positives of bebo! xx
HEY I JUST WANA SAY DAT I’VE BEEN ON BEBO OVA YR NOW AND I REALY LYK AND YEH BUT IF YOUS WANA ADD ME MAH 1 IS Islanderkurl01 IIGHT IM OFF NOW BYE…..N GOD BLESS EVERY1….
I’ve just set my spam filter to kill anything that has a bebo message or links to bebo. Even if you are on my whitelist you now get canned and warned off. Its nasty, da– near criminal and preys on stupid people to glean my email so they can spam me. Ditto the evil t**ds at Ringo. Ditto a dozen or more “teen friendly social networking sites”.
the issues are well dealt with in this forum, and each of us should make sure all our friends are aware of the depth of our feelings about scams like this.
one name and valid current email is worth about 1c. Add some personal data and get that up to $1. Add some financial and property data and that can be $10. Guess what they are doing?
worse, that “give us your hotmail / yahoo / google” password is just plain WRONG WRONG WRONG. NEVER EVER EVER do this. If i was a cop, I’d cuff you for being a willing party to identity theft and fraud.
OMG SUMWUN PLZ HELP ME PLEASE! BEBO IS THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO MY FRIENDS AND I. UNFORTUNATELY THE SITE TO “BLOCKED” ON SCHOOL COMPUTERS! :(
WE LIVE IN BORDING SCHOOL AND WE ARE CRAVING FOR BEBO!!
IF ANYONE CAN HELP US WITH THIS, PLEASE E-MAIL [email protected], WE’LL REALLY REALLY APPRECIATE IT!
Bebo doesnt even recieve your passwords – if you look closely at the statusbar when you submit your account details you will see that it sends those details, without logging them – to a secure website that automatically logs in and copies your contacts in the way approved by hotmail or gmail etc.
Besides, if you have a problem with this you can just skip it.
Bebo is more of a myspace clone than a Name Database clone, btw. and i have never ever received spam from Bebo or their affiliates – only from the hundreds of people who, because of bebo, are finally becoming internet-literate and send me hundreds of those damn “forward for good luck” emails!
I like animals n stuf
Bebo is a social networking website created to enable friends to stay in contact. It has developed into an online community where friends can post pictures, write blogs and send messages to one another, and is similar in format to MySpace. The site has been increasing in popularity, with over
Michael Birch founded it. He says, “My energy levels are low. My mommy is a ho. After three hours of work I start huffing and puffing. That is why I went to the internet and formed startups. Sooner or later one will work. The Internet makes entrepreneurs lazy like me. We want lots of money, but have no vision. We have dreams of extreme wealth. Founders of social networking sites have achieved that goal without hard work. We have soft lives. That is the privilege of those in the new economy.
All I had to do was lie flat on my back like a bum, start a site and then put in Basic software that allows people to share photos, music etc. Everything else fell into place. I don’t have to slog to create
great content. The users hand that to Bebo on a silver platter. An online business can generate significant advertising income that, can be earned with minimal input from the business owner like me. This is due to the fact that so many processes can be automated on the Internet thus saving the need for an individual to carry out these tasks. I get loose motions when I think about how hard I would have had to work if I had been in the old economy.
The internet really is a gift for the lazy internet entrepreneur like those two twits Larry Page and Sergei Brin. But for the lazy founder of a social networking site who’s prepared to put in a little work now perhaops four hours each week to be extra lazy later, it’s heaven. Bebo’s 25 million visitors do the hard work of putting up great content for me. I just lie back, drink wine, sleep for three hours in the afternoon and watch movies like Brokeback Mountain and A History of Violence.
Our visitors scratch and burn out their retinas staring at badly designed web pages. They create great content for me while I sleep. This means a captive audience for advertisers. I have not worked hard to get this audience who share great content. I will make a fortune from scratch with the speed of rabbits breeding and multiplying. I do not have to get up at nine in the morning and take the train and go to a bum job.
I am looking to sell Bebo for over a billion dollars. I can just sit at home and ask for the moon. I DO NOT HAVE TO GO OUT THERE AND FIGHT FOR MY BREAD. It is handed to me on a silver platter. I can always find something better to be doing than working like sleeping for three hours in the afternoon. I consider that to be hard work. It is amazing how lazy the founders of social networking sites can be and how we genuinely expect to have an online business handed to us on a plate. That is what has happened to Facebrook, Myspace, Bebo, youtube. We all only see the possibility of fast money as our sites get millions of users. There is no need to think. Fast money works better than curare to paralyse our minds.
I don’t need to know how to do some of the things involved with running an online business as I got other people to do them even if I have to pay them. Right from 2001 I never knew exactly how the business worked from the ground up. I just formed startups and I knew that magic would one day happen. I never had to worry about the job market. I never had to worry about working six long hours a day. I never had to worry about a career path.. I have a soft life.
I never had to worry about sound business plans. I ignored even basic human-resource and customer-service requirements. Since I am a dotcommer I will have no problem burning through other peopleâ€™s money when I sell Bebo. I will buy a yacht and a penthouse. I will vacation on the QE2. I am a dotcom moron who is changing the world by offering free websites. I just had to make sure that i got to the market first. The allure of unearned riches brought talented people to Bebo. The millions of users give Bebo the Midas touch. This has induced a kind of greed hysteria in me. I want at least one billion dollars. If Steve Jobs can just sit on his arse in a garage and
make billions of dollars then I deserve no less. It doe not matter that I am stupid and lazy dotcommer.
hello i wood like to join bebo
Jamie: By all means.
Bebo isnt a scam or anything. Ive been on it for over a year now and it lets YOU choose who you send the mail to asking if they would like to join you on it. I have never been scammed or anything but I suppose im just careful.. And if you dont want random people adding you on it you can put your profile on private so only people that you choose can see it. Its only people who give out their addresses, numbers etc. that give Bebo a bad name.. Its not actually Bebo, people just think it is because its that website.. There have been WAY worse..
wow..going thru all those comment .. wow..anywayz i just stumbled on this site finding awt if bebo contains virus cuz my computer is always shuttin down itself and my antivirus says its because of bebo. So…does bebo contain virus cuz im really scared 4 my computer?? :( (BEBO IS WAY EASIER THAN EMAILS THO)..
Bebo has just introduced a new feature called ‘Find Friends’ – you’ll see the icon of a magnifying glass in the top left hand corner of your Bebo profile – what it does is ask you for your email address and your EMAIL PASSWORD which already sends warning bells ringing – but not only that, what has been happening is that I have been finding contacts from my email address book have been sent out invites to my profile WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE OR CONSENT!! What is going on Bebo? Not impressed at all, of course Bebo are not replying to my enquires about this total breach of privacy. All I can say is beware of this new fandangled way to find friends, it appears to be a great way of locating your friends that have Bebo profiles, but in actual fact it is a load of crap, as I say it accesses your email address book and then fires out invites to people you have not explicitly requested it to – SORT IT OUT BEBO – THIS IS SHODDY SECURITY. I’m probably going to cancel my account now as I’ve lost faith in their integrity to protect a users privacy, seems like they’re now more interested in engaging in underhanded and dirty tactics to gain your personal information AND send out invites without your consent. Not impressed at all.
HOE TO GET A PERSON’S NEW CELL PHONE NUMBER WHEN THEY CHANGED IT AND FORGOT TO GIVE YOU THE NEW NUMBER AND YOU HAVE NO WAY OF GETTING IN TOUCH WITH THEM?
Are you sure they forgot?
Very interesting information! Thanks!
I cant sign into bebo because its in another language and I’ve tried to change it back thru the google translator it just does the one page and then it sends me to another page and on it goes can you help me with this please I miss my bebo page! I have been on another computer and it’s fine so it must be my internet settings but I still cant access my bebo page
how do u veried your acount
here is a new social networking site that is not spamming the internet with emails or any other malicious way to try to get known. its called itsachat.com and is a great social networking site that offers everything bebo does and more!
check it out!! its new, just launched in august 2007
For all of you guys who hate bebo’s…WTF?
I use bebo all the time. i keep in touch with friends, share info add apss etc.
Its not a virus, the link to bebo i meen, what are you on about?
And aye, it DOES require your email, but you can choose who to add and who not to add etc.
I would like to Know why only 1 person in the house can only sign up for bebo on one email address. How can we get around this problem so we can all have our own bebo pages
@Paula I wasn’t aware of any restrictions like that. Have you tried logging out and creating a new account? Perhaps you could try a different browser like Chrome or Opera.
Bebo is the bottom of the barrel of the social networks in my opinion for one shining main reason: They are more concerned with acquiring new signees rather than enhancing the user’s experience.
After I got around my 20th email invite from my boyfriend to join Bebo, which stated:
“You will like it. Click it to find out why.”
I clicked the link and filled in my info. To make things easier for me to find quality connections that I *want* to connect with through Bebo they asked if I would like to fill in my Gmail login and pw to scan my friends who were already there. This is a feature I have used many times on other social networks, such as FaceBook, and I trust this protocol when I come across it.
I opted to fill these two items in. I was then taken to a screen where I was shown several of my friends who were on Bebo. I took the time out to remove a few from the list that I wished NOT to connect with, and left the remaining, maybe 5 people there, and Bebo said it would send them requests.
Well they sent those people requests.
Know what else they did? Bebo took liberty to then SPAM every single contact in my Gmail address book who was not already a member of their crappy website, with this message:
“You will like it. Click it to find out why.”
If you are familiar w/Gmail address book, anyone you ever have a simple back and forth with is added to it.
This means if you have ever received an email from your dentist and you replied, he/she is now in there.
The next morning I woke up to find hundreds of auto-responses from everyone from NameCheap.com to an acupuncturist I wrote several years ago, stating “We receive your message and will get back to you as soon as possible.”
I had NO clue or warning Bebo was going to do this. I never gave this type of permission. I would NEVER give this type of permission to any service.
In addition to the embarrassment of inviting the help desk at my web hosting company to join me on Bebo, I also had tons of questions from people, such as my Mom, as to why I liked it, and telling me they would join up later when they got home.
This is such a breach of trust. Bebo sent out a recommendation on my behalf to hundreds, maybe thousands of people, in which I did not agree with. I would NEVER recommend their service to ANYONE. Making this recommendation in my name is probably one of the most offensive things I’ve ever encountered with a web service of any kind.
The extra added bonus is the trickling in I witnessed of around 25 – 30 of my friends signing up as new accounts.
Rather than improving the user’s experience and removing the feelings of betrayal, embarrassment, and lack of privacy I encountered, Bebo was more concerned with getting in the inbox of those 25 – 30 friends of mine.
With hand firmly placed on forehead in a “doh!” fashion I told my boyfriend what had materialized from his invite to hear the response of,”I invited you to where? What the hell is Bebo?”
He was completely unaware of the invites being sent out, and didn’t even realize he had an account there.
We promptly deleted our accounts and I spent a couple of hours responding to everyone I could with my story.
I still get a random “Who is this” every now and then from that god forsaken Bebo invite, usually from someone I bought a couch from off Craigslist 3 years ago.
Bebo = major suckage
One last thought/comment…
To everyone regarding the “address book” mishap thing and calling people who fall victim to this an “idiot” or whatever…
Bebo crafted this scenario to happen. This is QUITE intentional. It’s not accidental. Calling people names because they fell into a very disguised trap is pretty rude.
If you can’t see that, or you don’t mind, then that’s how you feel. However, for me, I tend to stick with sites who make it VERY OBVIOUS to the user that they are about to pull hardcore schenanigans. That way I can opt-out of them and it saves me grief, thus not causing me to have a poor opinion of the site later.
I have a feeling someone who doesn’t know shit about branding or marketing came up with this “made-for-future-fail” plan. I’m not 100% sure it’s not some desperate attempt for the AOL purchase to recoup some of that money.