Word Of Mouth – SCAM!

Update: The site may have changed names (it’s now Word Of Mouth Connection) but the scam is the same.

Laurence Simon is curious about the attention he is receiving at site called Word of Mouth (now gone). A few quick searches confirm that many big name bloggers are listed, by e-mail address. The concept is really pathetic, and it seems to just be a scam by the site owner. To see the contents of the “reports”, you have to pay money to contact the report filers (anonymously). Why anyone would be interested in this information is beyond comprehension. Do yourself a favor and don’t visit.

One of the items that I noted is that there aren’t any reports by name on Laurence, only by e-mail address. The report filer couldn’t know him that well if they don’t know his name and hometown (neither of which are secrets). Some bloggers who’s names I do know, but most do not, are similarly listed by e-mail address only and not by name. Again this points to trolling of the highest order.

The site owner:

KESTLER, PETER [email protected]
SIVERANO MIRABUENO
STO NINO VILLLAGE
UPPER PEIDAD, TORIL
DAVAO CITY, DAVAO DEL NORTE 8000
PH
+6.39185653118

appears to be populating e-mail addresses, to try to get subscribers to pay up for these “reports”.

The New York State Consumer Protection Board notes that the site as a scam .

There is no government agency or regulatory body that approves the content of Internet websites. It’s reader (and buyer) beware. As a result, all types of scams are attempted on the Internet, including a relatively new website called Word-of-Mouth.org. This website, registered to a company in the Philippines, claims people can file gossip about someone they know using that person’s e-mail address to identify them. Now Word-of-Mouth is sending e-mail messages to try to get people to spend $19.97 to see the gossip that allegedly has been filed about them. CURE: Hit the delete button when you receive this e-mail.

They’re targeting any e-mail address they can find and they’ve been around for a while. Here’s a USENET post about what happens if you actually pay to join (Hint: fool, money, parted).

Update: The site may have changed names (it’s now Word Of Mouth Connection) but the scam is the same.

Update 2: More background on the scam, and the “Share Your Experiences” variant, at Snopes.

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