Another social networking site being used for e-mail address harvesting. Why am I not surprised? Have you been tagged?


Although this has apparently been circulating for a while, it finally caught up with me — twice in the same week. I received one from a user for whom I provide support, and another from a personal friend. Both of them had an e-mail sent in their name inviting me to click on the link and see the pictures that were posted.

John (not his real name) sent you private pictures on Tagged. Is John your friend (with a yes and no selection)? Please respond, or else John will think you said no (with a frown face).

I’ve never heard of Tagged before this, but I wasn’t taken in by it, not even for a second. My experience with such things in the past prompted me to call my friend to confirm my suspicions. His reply was predictable — someone else sent him the same e-mail, and he actually clicked on the link. He said that he thought they were graduation pictures that had been posted because they just attended their kids’ high school graduation, and the photographer was supposed to post pictures on her Web site, making them available for preview and purchase. Obviously, by him clicking on the link, it allowed something (or someone) at the Tagged Web site to also harvest all the names in his address book, one of which was mine (oh, lucky me).

So be warned — don’t fall for the Tagged scam.

I realize I’m probably preaching to the choir, here, and not many user support professionals would fall for such a thing. But I write about it on the outside chance that someone will be saved from being Tagged, or perhaps some user support pros might decide to send a warning to their users. In the very least, it will allow me to vent a little bit about how often I’ve warned people about such things — but they keep falling for them. And whatever you do, I tell them, don’t click on the unsubscribe link either. It only confirms a valid e-mail address and will probably make things worse. I tell them over and over again, but they continue to click on the links in those e-mails. And it seems that any number of the popular social networking sites are actually the culprits in such scam e-mails.

I’ll admit my bias. I just don’t like any of the Internet’s social networking sites. I don’t want to be Face Booked or My Spaced, and I don’t want to be Twittered or Tagged. I want my former Classmates to remain part of my past, and I don’t want any future Adult Friends to be found for me. I guess I just don’t want to be Linked-In, regardless of who invites me, legitimate or not.

One might think that out of the hundreds of social networking sites out there, that just one of them might appeal to me. Nope, not one of them. If that makes me old school, then so be it. I do find it interesting, however, that at one time (not too long ago), I was considered a person on the leading edge of Internet technology. Has it really been around long enough for me to be an Internet old fogie?

What do you think of the social networking e-mail harvesting schemes; and what do you think, in general, of the social networking sites?