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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 SUPPORT@WORDOFMOUTHCONNECTION.COM
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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» OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY linked with GOSSIPWEB

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» A Small Victory linked with heard it through the grapevine

» A Single Guy In The South linked with Still You Wonder

» dcthornton.blog linked with Why Pay For Dirt When You Can Get It For Free?

» Ben Hammersley's Dangerous Precedent linked with The Doctorow is in

» Nicest of the Damned linked with Scam city

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» Words at Arrakeen linked with Word of Mouth Connection Scam (womc.net)

» elsewhen: rants linked with rant: word-of-mouth-connection

Comments (93)

Wow! You just answered all ... (Below threshold)
Ith:

Wow! You just answered all my questions! I got an email from them a few days ago, and was wondering what the deal was. Figured it was a spam scam of some sort.

Why does it have to be hatc... (Below threshold)

Why does it have to be hatched in the Philippines? Not to politicize ANYTHING but argh! Another blow to Philippine reputations.

Here is the background on t... (Below threshold)
Lew:

Here is the background on these people. They now operate under www.word-of-mouth-connection.com. It is a scam and below is a copy of the email I sent to their website host (abuse@ev1.net).

Tracing the website IP shows that you are hosting the domain of word-of-mouth-connection.com which seems to be a fraudulant site.

After having received numerous unsolicited daily emails from them, I visited the site in these emails and have done some investigating through the Internet. This website seems to be a scam judging by complaints made by victims. This website purports to have users who have posted "reports" on you or conducted searches on you. The only way to retrieve the so-called info is to correspond with the original poster (who remains anonymous) using the website's "anonymous" email system which you have to pay a membership fee for. Those persons who have paid the fee, have stated that the "reports" have conveniently been lost or misplaced and that no info was made available to them and no refund was made. Many of these victims are currently seeking legal advice and have also made reports to the FTC and other agencies. I know that you are most likely not aware that this site is conducting questionable business which at the very least is in violation of your usage policy, and most likely in violation of numerous laws, and feel it is only common courtesy to inform you of it so that you can investigate on your own and take the appropriate action. If you do not host this domain name, please let me know so that further research can be made.

This website has operated under many prior domain names, all of which have been removed at one time or another. It appears you are the latest recipient of these people. The registrant info also shows that they claim to be an L.L.C. in California. I researched that information and found that the status is cancelled. Notice the name and address on the website registration doesn't match the L.L.C. records. (Another fraud indicator) See below:


LP/LLC
WORD OF MOUTH MARKETING LLC
Number: 199903410111
Date Filed: 2/3/1999
Status: canceled
Jurisdiction: CALIFORNIA
Principal Address
1930 SOUTH COAST HIGHWAY, SUITE 250
OCEANSIDE, CA 92054

Trying whois -h whois.arin.net 64.246.15.52
OrgName: Everyones Internet, Inc.
OrgID: EVRY
Address: 2600 Southwest Frwy., Suite 500
City: Houston
StateProv: TX
PostalCode: 77098
Country: US
NetRange: 64.246.0.0 - 64.246.63.255
CIDR: 64.246.0.0/18
NetName: EVRY-BLK-9
NetHandle: NET-64-246-0-0-1
Parent: NET-64-0-0-0-0
NetType: Direct Allocation
NameServer: NS1.EV1.NET
NameServer: NS2.EV1.NET
Comment: ADDRESSES WITHIN THIS BLOCK ARE NON-PORTABLE
RegDate: 2001-10-05
Updated: 2003-03-31
TechHandle: RW172-ARIN
TechName: Williams, Randy
TechPhone: +1-713-400-5400
TechEmail: admin@ev1.net
OrgTechHandle: RW172-ARIN
OrgTechName: Williams, Randy
OrgTechPhone: +1-713-400-5400
OrgTechEmail: admin@ev1.net

Domain Name: WORD-OF-MOUTH-CONNECTION.COM
Registrar: TUCOWS, INC.
Whois Server: whois.opensrs.net
Referral URL: http://www.opensrs.org
Name Server: NS1.WORDOFMOUTHREPORTS.COM
Name Server: NS2.WORDOFMOUTHREPORTS.COM
Status: ACTIVE
Updated Date: 25-aug-2003
Creation Date: 25-aug-2003
Expiration Date: 25-aug-2004
Domain ID:D2767522-LRMS
Domain Name:WORDOFMOUTHCONNECTIONS.INFO
Created On:03-Aug-2003 02:36:37 UTC
Last Updated On:31-Aug-2003 06:18:08 UTC
Expiration Date:03-Aug-2004 02:36:37 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:R139-LRMS
Status:ACTIVE
Status:OK
Registrant ID:C3477157-LRMS
Registrant Name:KRISTIAN PADBORG
Registrant Organization:WORD-OF-MOUTH LLP
Registrant Street1:1231 40TH ST
Registrant Street2:SUITE 329
Registrant City:EMERYVILLE
Registrant State/Province:CA
Registrant Postal Code:94608
Registrant Country:US
Registrant Phone:+1.5103931276
Registrant Email:KPADBORG@ATTGLOBAL.NET
Admin ID:C3477158-LRMS
Admin Name:PETER KESTLER
Admin Organization:WORD-OF-MOUTH LLP
Admin Street1:SIVERANO MIRABUENO
Admin Street2:STO NINO VILLLAGE
Admin Street3:UPPER PEIDAD, TORIL
Admin City:DAVAO CITY
Admin State/Province:DAVAO DEL NORTE
Admin Postal Code:8000
Admin Country:PH
Admin Phone:+6.39185653118
Admin Email:WORD-OF-MOUTH.ORG@ATTGLOBAL.NET
Billing ID:C3477159-LRMS
Billing Name:PETER KESTLER
Billing Organization:WORD-OF-MOUTH LLP
Billing Street1:SIVERANO MIRABUENO
Billing Street2:STO NINO VILLLAGE
Billing Street3:UPPER PEIDAD, TORIL
Billing City:DAVAO CITY
Billing State/Province:DAVAO DEL NORTE
Billing Postal Code:8000
Billing Country:PH
Billing Phone:+6.39185653118
Billing Email:WORD-OF-MOUTH.ORG@ATTGLOBAL.NET
Tech ID:C3477160-LRMS
Tech Name:PETER KESTLER
Tech Organization:WORD-OF-MOUTH LLP
Tech Street1:SIVERANO MIRABUENO
Tech Street2:STO NINO VILLLAGE
Tech Street3:UPPER PEIDAD, TORIL
Tech City:DAVAO CITY
Tech State/Province:DAVAO DEL NORTE
Tech Postal Code:8000
Tech Country:PH
Tech Phone:+6.39185653118
Tech Email:WORD-OF-MOUTH.ORG@ATTGLOBAL.NET
Name Server:NS2.WORDOFMOUTHREPORTS.COM
Name Server:NS1.WORDOFMOUTHREPORTS.COM

Yeah they bugged me too. T... (Below threshold)

Yeah they bugged me too. Then the "automated" emails stopped a while back, but someone just left a comment on my blog that they changed URL's. I'm just glad the e-mails stopped finally. Going to the original URL tries to force a certificate to load now.

I suppose I should be flattered they felt I was important enough to try to scam *laughs*

Don't you think they probab... (Below threshold)
falken:

Don't you think they probably email people based on what people are searching for? I bet that every address you typed into that site received an email soon after...

I got one of these SCAM ema... (Below threshold)
Chris Novak:

I got one of these SCAM emails too. Any reputable site would have the decency to allow a 'connectee' to review posted comments for accuracy and either affirm or rebut them. If you read through their 'legal' stuff, you'll see these disclaimers.......
=======================
What laws regulate your database?

There are numerous federal and state laws that regulate databases of government agencies, financial and credit institutions, educational institutions, and health care providers. WordofMouthConnection.com, however, is not covered by any of these laws.

What information must you disclose to me?

WordofMouthConnection.com is not covered by consumer credit laws (we maintain no financial information) and has no legal obligation to inform the subject of a report whether anyone has inquired about them
=============================

......and their testimonials sound MADE UP !

A lawyer I know says this i... (Below threshold)
ajk:

A lawyer I know says this is obviously fraud and suggests everyone write their Attorneys General (my state lets me file complaints online). If we get the Attorneys General of all 50 states after this guy, it will make running his business a bit more difficult.

You guys got it all wrong -... (Below threshold)
Dan:

You guys got it all wrong - you don't PAY for information - there IS no information. You PAY for the "privilege" of contacting someone who supposedly posted something about you (from what I gathered checking around, then they simply don't reply - most likely because they never really existed!).

What's stopping them from simply getting a huge email database and creating all these initial "connections" then, through fear (what are they saying about me?), sucker people into paying the $20? Nothing, that's what

Thanks so much for posting ... (Below threshold)
Rebecca:

Thanks so much for posting this information about the Word-of-Mouth scam! I was concerned enough to consider coughing up the dough they asked for, and didn't find any helpful info at the Better Business Bureau.

Either remove my email addr... (Below threshold)
Here's what I wrote them...:

Either remove my email address from your searchable system, or provide me with your real world address where I can send my written complaint and subsequent legal correspondence.

Connection ID: XXXXXXXXX

Thank you for your cooperation.

I understand your explination of an 'automated system' as well as the principal that only the report author may remove the connection, however as an administrator of the site, you are also respondsible for it's content, which includes posting of information you do not intellectually own, nor that you have the ability to delagate ownership to. This means that you do not release yourself from liablity by simply stating that you have no control.

That being said, either comply with the removal of my information or provide to me contact information for the party who must remove it.

Also sending unsolicited email from your server to my email address is spam. Under applicable NY state laws this is unlawful. I would also request that you cease these communications.

There are numrous fraud reports available about you online. If you pay me $20 I'll tell you who is filing them.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK Y... (Below threshold)
JCM:

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this information!!! As a very small business owner, I was concerned about the e-mail which arrived out of the blue. The thought that kept recurring the most was that, how on EARTH is it possible that I would have to PAY to find out what "someone" said about me in the amorphous ether of this web site.... and then, how could the person who did this say that they knew me "well"??? If they knew me well, they would have known that this would bug me a lot, to say the least... This site is the kind of site that gives a bad name to the wonderful free sites and communities on the internet. I would be more than happy to participate in any effort to shut them down. BTW, I had trouble accessing them in IE 5 for OSX but not in Safari... maybe they are already on their way out? I hope so!

This guy is still out there... (Below threshold)

This guy is still out there plying his scam. I got one of his emails today. Googled the site name and found this post. Grrr.... Between blog spam and now this "rumor scam" it is amazing how much time these idiots waste on people who do not want to be bothered.

Thanks Guys. A relief to kn... (Below threshold)
Geoff:

Thanks Guys. A relief to know that this seems to be a scam and not something more sinister.

Don't bother e-mailing the ... (Below threshold)

Don't bother e-mailing the abuse address at hopone.net. They wrote back to say that the Word of Mouth site has been gone months and months now.

Well... I was a fool and pa... (Below threshold)
lisa:

Well... I was a fool and paid... thought I could catch my boyfriend when I saw it on his email and paid for service.. now worried they will steal my credit card #... Does anyone know if they have used more than the 20.00 on a credit card, unauthorized?

This was halfway a surprise... (Below threshold)

This was halfway a surprise to me, I did not even expect it to be a scam, untill I looked up the legalities of it myself....

Frailin scam artists should be burried up to their heads in cement in the middle of the mojave desert.

Thanks for the information!... (Below threshold)
KR:

Thanks for the information! As someone in the middle of a hairy divorce procedding, I was hysterical that my ex may be behind it when I got the first email, but I was skeptical. I searched them on the internet and found your information, which gave me all the answers I needed and saved me $20!

Thanks for having this site... (Below threshold)

Thanks for having this site. I got the info from word of mouth too and it worried me. Not enough to pay, I didn't even click on anything to know it would charge me, instead I looked up the info and found this. I'm not surprised it is a scam but I wish there was some way to stop people from working these types of scams.

Stephanie L. Watson

I successfully used this si... (Below threshold)
Fred Kruse:

I successfully used this site and then communicated (eventually by telephone) with someone who shared some very interesting information regarding a business associate of mine. It seems that the rest of the posters at this blog are just paranoid as there does not seem to be any real evidence that this website is not legit.

Why do you people find it so hard to believe? We all know that people love to talk about other people behind their backs.

FRK

Fred --It's not th... (Below threshold)
eric:

Fred --

It's not that it's hard to believe.

It's that it *is*, in fact, a scam.

It's been documented (see above, and the Snopes writeup) that the site owner makes all these "information submissions" and "background checks" up -- that in the initial trail of "added information" and "background checks", none of it can actually be retrieved, nor the providers contacted. That's documented.

Now, it wouldn't be difficult to create a system that actually *did* permit that kind of communication. But you'd have to fork over $20 to find out whether they do. And you say you have. So if I choose to believe you (and for the moment, for the sake of argument, I will stipulate that you are not just shilling on behalf of the site), it's not surprising that you were actually able to retrieve information.

Now, that having been said: Even if this weren't a scam, and even if it doesn't violate fraud or extortion laws, it would be a monumentally Bad Thing. Think about this: It creates an economy of secrets, where everyone has to either pay up or fly blind with regard to the "secrets" or "information" -- all unsubstantiated, mind you -- that's being traded about them.

This MUST be a SCAM. Anyon... (Below threshold)
Ian:

This MUST be a SCAM. Anyone who knows me, and knows my email address would have no hesitation in communicating directly with me no matter what information they had.

Thank god!!! I have been l... (Below threshold)
Kate:

Thank god!!! I have been looking for a new job and I thought my current boss found out about it and was saying things about me. But, before I handed out the $20...I looked for some info about the site. Whew. Am I relieved to find out that this is not going to ruin my professional life!!!

Thanks for your advice, I g... (Below threshold)
george (Chile):

Thanks for your advice, I got three messages from WordofMouthConnection between November 26th and december 1.
At the beginning I was interested to know if somebody was looking on my background and what the answers will say. Later, after I try to understand the scheme, I went to google and found your site that it warns from a scam.
I didn´t spent the money.
Thanks
George

decent - its funny how they... (Below threshold)
21stcdb:

decent - its funny how they state something about "you can google someone, but not find any info about them." SO - I did a google search and found this site -seems the tool they mention was the key to answering my question.

f'in scammer should all up and die. Try working for your mon-ay! prick

21stcdb

Unfortuantely I did not tak... (Below threshold)
Laci:

Unfortuantely I did not take the time to look up this website when I received an email this morning. The way the email was worded scared me and I wondered "who is looking into me and why?" I paid the 20.00 on my credit card. I tried to get into the site and retrieve information & it was impossible. I even sent an email to "customer support" for help. Of course, no answer was given.

I did a search and came up with this site and I feel so very stupid that I gave these people my credit card information after reading what has been posted here and that I fell for this scam.

I sent an email to the site and told them how disgusted I was with this whole situation and that I wondered how people such as themselves could possibly close their eyes at night and have a peaceful sleep knowing how evil they truly are.

I sent an email to the abuse address given on this site. I also have sent an email to everyone in my address book to advise them of this scam and asked them to send the message to everyone in their address book.

I then sent an email to my credit card asking them to not allow any additional charges on my card from this site and I gave them the site owners name. I also explained to them thoroughly what happened. I will pay the 20.00...I have no choice but nothing more.

I have never done anything like this over the net but due to the nature of the email I got suckered in. Sad that these people have to ruin it for good people that honestly try to run decent online businesses.

I am contacting the Attorney General of my State. I plan on pursuing this. It is only 20.00 but it goes way beyond that in the principle of the matter. Yes, shame on me for being so stupid and not checking this out but shame on these people for taking advantage of the public. I hope this jerk ends up in prison.

Thanks for all your postings. I am so glad I found this site and appreciate the advise given.

Interesting bits of info he... (Below threshold)
Mike M:

Interesting bits of info here....thankfully you've saved me the $20 (not that I'd be likely to spend it anyway)...I, like one of the other posters here, was involved in a nasty divorce a couple of years ago and wondered if my ex- was involved in the "information submission", knowing it's all Bovine Scatology makes me a little more relaxed.

The 'Its not a scam I got u... (Below threshold)
Andrew H:

The 'Its not a scam I got useful information' post above comes from someone claiming to be called Fred Kruse. Now, months later, the latest spam I have received of this type comes from a range of Pac Bell addresses subregistered to Adam Kruse, 268 Bush St. #5000, San Francisco, CA 94014. Kruse hardly seems like a common surname ... perhaps this guy is running out of alias ideas.

Thanks for the info on thes... (Below threshold)
Craig A:

Thanks for the info on these BIG Time Scammers who want your money and nothing else!!!!

i got one of these emails t... (Below threshold)
mjc:

i got one of these emails today with the rest of the junk mail i get. i do scan the junk mail folder before emptying it since i have had a few messages that are not jusk sent there. so (although i do not usually open emails that i do not specifically recognize as not belonging with the rest of the junk mail) i got intrigued by the subject and opened and read it. well, being very guarded about such emails/claims, i set out to research this word-of-mouth website before using the links provided in the email (as most of you probably know, some sites use the fact that you opened a link from their email just as a confirmation that this is a valid email address and could/should be used/spammed/sold,etc.) and thats how i came accross your site and my suspicions that this is just another scam were confirmed. i was wondering if anyone has tried to unsubscribe from their website with success (sould be pretty simple and effective given the new spam law passed last week, but i still don't trust those people one bit).

I almost was taken by them.... (Below threshold)
Mark in Penn (USA):

I almost was taken by them. I played it out and caught them at their own tricks. I even emailed them and let them know I reported them to the Federal Trade Commission. Now someone is doing research on them. Hee hee hee. :) Makes me feel so good.

Damn it all to hell!! norma... (Below threshold)
G:

Damn it all to hell!! normally I just delete stuff like that or I do my research before I leap. Current situations in my life made me paranoid, which caused for that site to have another lucky day.

I didn't do my research and well.. we all know what happens to people who don't look shit up.. they get suckered...

thanks for the website and the info.. hopefully people will look before they leap and this site will definelty help them.

Thanks for this info. I wa... (Below threshold)
Irene:

Thanks for this info. I was very concerned and even wrote Bill O'Reilly because more people aught to be alerted.

This guy should consider that some of us are single women and it worried me that it could possibly be some creep looking up information on me - very disconcerting.

The information you have all entered is going to help me relax. Happy New Year!

Oh man!I almost go... (Below threshold)
Holly:

Oh man!

I almost got suckered into this too! I got an e-mail this morning from the site saying that someone was researching me and I immediately freaked out. I e-mailed all my close friends to find out if any of them were behind it. A good friend of mine e-mailed me this site. Thank god! I was starting to calculate whether or not I could spend 20$ to find out!

Wow I am so pleased I notic... (Below threshold)
Leigh:

Wow I am so pleased I noticed this site it has taken me all day and most of this evening to find out all about word of mouth, I was so distressed this morning when I found I had this e-mail, someone researching my back ground, I was just so nervous as to what was going on and I couldn't do anything about it, only if I parted with 20 quid! Thank you so much you have not only saved me money, but stress and anxiety, keep up the good work.

I got one today.Firsy time ... (Below threshold)
superglide:

I got one today.Firsy time I've ever seen it.Sounds like bullshit to me!!

Bad for consumers.Go... (Below threshold)

Bad for consumers.
Good for #1.

There should be a bit more discretion to who they hand domains out to. Like they should call you to verify your contact information. WHOIS is useless if fake information is given...

Am I the first person of 20... (Below threshold)
John:

Am I the first person of 2004 to get the email?
I guess all the legal threats mentioned above aren't working.
They're still doin' it !

Received an email from thes... (Below threshold)

Received an email from these people this morning too. Usually do not fall for scams of any sort, but have to admit this one seemed more plausible than most. I became convinced that someone actually had submitted info on me, and that someone else had been looking for info, but thankfully (?) I am dirt poor right now and could not afford to join! Probably wouldn't have anyway, though in all honesty am not completely sure.

What I DID do was register for a free membership, and then filed a report on MYSELF. Figured that way if anyone wanted info on me, I could at least advise tham that anyone online who claims to know me "very well" is an absolute liar. The only information I actually gave out in the report on myself was my name, city, and country, which are already stated on my website anyway.

Yes, despite all the compla... (Below threshold)
Diane:

Yes, despite all the complaints, these guys are still very much at it. My husband just received an email from them today. He is being considered for a position with a new firm and I was very concerned that they were conducting some despicable investigation of him with unsubstantiated information and heresay.

I started going through their website and reading about them and their legal disclaimers and I was getting angrier by the minute. I was not thinking about the actual paying of $20 or the notion that this was a scam. Rather, I believed that there really is a group out there that would encourage all of us to post anonymously about co-workers, neighbors, spouses or acquaintances and post any unsubstantiated information we wanted. And all I kept thinking was that I wanted and needed to expose these guys on Dateline or 60 Minutes.

Now that I have come to this website and learned that Word of Mouth Connection is actually a scam, I am no less riled up. In fact, I believe that some people will in fact pay the fee, legitimately post comments, and in essence, allow this site to very much flourish. And I believe that there are people out there that will spread "dirt" about others, malicious, unsubstantiated, or otherwise. And they will hide behind the veil of anonymity and the assertions of this website that what they write is not defamatory.

This all has very chilling repercussions and I fear that someday soon, one or more of us out there will really be defamed and we will be powerless to stop the lie once it is published.

If there are any others of you out there who feel the way I do, or have already found something negative or derogatory written about them, please contact me at the email address that is a part of this thread.

Diane,You have mad... (Below threshold)
Laci:

Diane,

You have made an excellent point here. On one hand this site is a definite scam but on the other it could end up turning people's lives into chaos.

I have been doing my own investigation on the site and not getting anywhere so yesterday I filed an online complaint with the FTC.

This site is cruel and prays on people's emotions. A terrible, terrible thing to do but wickedly clever of a very evil mind. Well...what goes around comes around. I am sure that they will eventually get what is coming to them. I just hope we can all speed that up a bit.

By the way, I did not cancel my account with word of mouth. It is still open so any suggestions from anyone on what we can do with an open word of mouth account? I'll be glad to use my account for our own investigation into this. After all, I am a "power user" on the site. LOL!

And still going strong! I r... (Below threshold)
Jen:

And still going strong! I received one from them this morning.

I too am glad I found this ... (Below threshold)
Betsy:

I too am glad I found this site!! My husband has been checking out the job market and when he got an email from these people we thought it was some company doing a background check. We were upset that anyone could anonymously post "cautionary tales" on a website. I told him I thought it was a scam and that we should do a little more research. I feel for the people who lost their money. We were fortunate, but if we had not found this site who knows. It makes me want to throw up thinking about how much of our hard earned money has gone to some emotionally bankrupt, waste of air, scumbag who sits around waiting for people to bite. And by the way, Fred Kruse we all know by now that you are trying to protect your free ride, I mean, best interest. I wonder if when the FTC comes knocking if they won't find you in the driver's seat. But I'm not legally responsible for that assumption, because after all, it's my opinion that you are making money off of people.

I got hit with this today. ... (Below threshold)
Pennies:

I got hit with this today. My first experience with this crap. I found it unnerving because I do have a stalker who likes to do horrible things against me (via email/internet and personal contact). I went to the site and found that generic lisitng stating that someone who knew my email address knew me well and socially. Thank goodness my IT background caused me to research BEFORE acting. I found all of these websites, complaints and reports of scam activity. I think that it is very coincidental that I had a run in with my stalker (he literally stalks me..lol) just last evening and then find this email in my inbox this morning, but I am going to go with the belief of the masses and conclude it's strictly that... coincidental.
I think that I will file a complaint about this "company" as well. The more complaints filed, perhaps will shut these people down and save people like me whom have legitimate concerns of stalking from any undue anxiety.

Would like to make a sugges... (Below threshold)
Steve:

Would like to make a suggestion, anyone that has used a credit card contact the credit card company and get a charge back for non delivery of product or service. After a few hundred chargebacks the credit card company gets annoyed with this company and revokes their account...this is another way to put pressure on the scammers. Credit card companies do not like the extra paperwork required for chargebacks.

Also one other small sugges... (Below threshold)
Steve:

Also one other small suggestion, wouldn't it be nice if the service provider of this site did not take it down, some friendly hacker set up a DoS for that website? sort of a way for a hacker to test their wings without doing any damage to a legitimate site...just a thought

I like your thinking Steve!... (Below threshold)
Pennies:

I like your thinking Steve!!! LOL.. Wouldn't it be fun to crash everything? leave a little love note that says.. how's it feel to be scammed? LOL What fun we could all have. hehe


I got it today too! Regist... (Below threshold)
me too:

I got it today too! Registered and what a shocker it was a total goose chase. Or as someone else put it so eloquently, "Bovine Scatology." There's one for the books. Anyway thanks for this site. Felt some fear that a professional contact was bad mouthing me. I am glad to know that I am still safe in my job and thanks to this site did not have to waste 20 bucks to learn that.


Glad there are people out there that can ban together without having to pay as the WOMC site stated!!

Many thanks to the good fol... (Below threshold)
SomeGuy:

Many thanks to the good folks at Word of Mouth opt-in email marketing for including this link right on their front page http://message.wom.com/index.html about these numbskulls! Next time I'm looking for out-sourced mailing lists the real Word of Mouth folks are definitely getting consideration.

Relieved to know that i'm n... (Below threshold)
l:

Relieved to know that i'm not the only one. These people definitely need to be stopped. This scam is emotionally abusive and also rips people off- it uses sensitive issues- personal privacy and one's reputation- to steal money. I started to suspect something was wrong with the site, after repeated fruitless attempts at getting info about what the supposed messages about me said. Fortunately, after unsuccessfully checking the BBB website, I decided to do a "google" search and then found this page that describes them as a scam operation.These thieves need to be reported, soon, to the Better Business Bureau, as well as to the attorneys general who be in a position to do something about it. Just the fact that they are taking peoples' money unfairly should be enough to prosecute. These people are stealing. Definitely, as someone else has already said, email everyone on your address list and tell them to pass on the info about this scam.

Thanks for the info. My "f... (Below threshold)
AD:

Thanks for the info. My "friendly" divorce was about to turn nasty in a hurry. After reading this, I do believe that my soon to be ex doesn't know anything about it (no info on the name search). I appreciate your research on them. By the way, their new address is wordofmouthinfo.org

Thank you for posting this ... (Below threshold)
Ara:

Thank you for posting this information. Despite my initial hunch about it being a scam, it's nice to have the proof. I love the Internet but, dammit, people like this make it a rough place.

I've been hit 5 times since... (Below threshold)
Kelly:

I've been hit 5 times since mid December. Luckily, every time I tried to access anything on this site, I got a "This page has expired" notification. As I have a very real reason (as others have listed-Divorce/nasty custody issues and an active TRO against him), I was almost scared enough to join. For once, my slow computer and it's slow downloading plus the Expiration notice saved me. I am actually glad to find out that this is a scam, and that noone is really giving out info on me.

Now they are using womexch.... (Below threshold)
charity:

Now they are using womexch.com, which forwards to word-of-mouth-connection.com, and the email appears to be sent from wordofmouthconnection.net. When you try to visit that last URL, you get a default "this website hasn't been set up" with a "For more information please contact K.PADBORG@EARTHLINK.NET"

maybe we should start spamming him too.

i have had a few emails fro... (Below threshold)
angie:

i have had a few emails from them and at first it bothered me, i figured it was because i just bought something on ebay and the seller gave some feedback, but i dismissed it then i got another one today and was soo close to paying the fee then decided to check it out, then this site saved me. they need to pay, i would report them to my attorney general if i knew for sure it was a scam but not willing to pay 20 bucks to be scammed. lol. ty for all of your posts.

Forward the email from WOMC... (Below threshold)
Carpe Noctem:

Forward the email from WOMC to uce@ftc.gov

The FTC is investigating spammers, and it seems to have helped somewhat. I used to get over 200 a day - now I'm down to about 25.

If you have already paid yo... (Below threshold)
Mark:

If you have already paid your $19.95 you can wordofmouthconnection.com and ask for refund. After repeated .contact emails to them they agreed to give me a refund, whether I will actually get it remains to be seen. Your other option is to contact your credit card company and have them do a charge back. After some sleuthing I may have discovered the person behind this company including contact information.

Kristian Padborg
Word-of-Mouth LLP (Similar to Word of Mouth, Inc)
1231 40th St
Suite 329
Emeryville, CA 94608
KPADBORG@ATTGLOBAL.NET
Phone: 510-499-6732 (Listed on credit card statement as wordofmouthconnection, this is Pacific Bell Mobile Phone number, calling the number put your directly into some guys voicemail, no name given)
Phone: 510-393-1276 (this is a Sprint PCS Mobile Number)
k.padborg@earthlink.net
womc_support@earthlink.net.

Some effort was made to erase this contact information from whois databases however using Google, one of WOMCs old Websites, and my credit card statement I was able to find this information. More info below.

I was not using my brain and paid the $19.95. About five minutes after paying them, I did a Google search. Then I saw all information alleging that this site was nothing but a scam. So, I wrote them back asking for a refund pointing them to eWeek article and the press release from the NY State Consumer Protection Board. They replied this site is not scam. Nothing about my refund. I wrote a few more times and then they wrote that they provided the service as promised and would not refund my money.

Then I did a little research on California Law, which applies to any company selling over the Internet to customers in California. It states that before doing business they must have a return and refund policy and the street address where they conduct business. The disclosure must be made either on the website or via email. They do have a one sentence refund policy, but they do not state their address. So I sent them text of the law and demanded their address. They wrote back and told me they were going to refund my money. They did not provide me with their address.

However, I think that the guy behind this site lives in Alameda County in California. On my Visa statement it reads WORDOFMOUTHCONNECT 510-499-6732. This is a Pacific Bell Mobile phone number out of Oakland: Main-Piedmont. I called the number, however it automatically takes you to voicemail. The message is a man's voice; he says something like Hi, leave a message and I will get back to you. I also did a DBA search in Alameda County. I came a across a company Business Name Word of Mouth, Inc, Owner Word of Mouth, Inc., Date Filed 10/27/2003, document number 339495. I also came across the whois info for wordofmouthconnections.info. This is the current whois info

omain ID:D2767522-LRMS
Domain Name:WORDOFMOUTHCONNECTIONS.INFO
Created On:03-Aug-2003 02:36:37 UTC
Last Updated On:13-Dec-2003 06:58:56 UTC
Expiration Date:03-Aug-2004 02:36:37 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:R139-LRMS
Status:ACTIVE
Status:OK
Registrant ID:C3477158-LRMS
Registrant Name:PETER KESTLER
Registrant Organization:WORD-OF-MOUTH LLP
Registrant Street1:SIVERANO MIRABUENO
Registrant Street2:STO NINO VILLLAGE
Registrant Street3:UPPER PEIDAD, TORIL
Registrant City:DAVAO CITY
Registrant State/Province:DAVAO DEL NORTE
Registrant Postal Code:8000
Registrant Country:PH
Registrant Phone:+6.39185653118
Registrant Email:SUPPORT@WORDOFMOUTHCONNECTION.COM
Admin ID:C3477158-LRMS
Admin Name:PETER KESTLER
Admin Organization:WORD-OF-MOUTH LLP
Admin Street1:SIVERANO MIRABUENO
Admin Street2:STO NINO VILLLAGE
Admin Street3:UPPER PEIDAD, TORIL
Admin City:DAVAO CITY
Admin State/Province:DAVAO DEL NORTE
Admin Postal Code:8000
Admin Country:PH
Admin Phone:+6.39185653118
Admin Email:SUPPORT@WORDOFMOUTHCONNECTION.COM
Billing ID:C3477158-LRMS
Billing Name:PETER KESTLER
Billing Organization:WORD-OF-MOUTH LLP
Billing Street1:SIVERANO MIRABUENO
Billing Street2:STO NINO VILLLAGE
Billing Street3:UPPER PEIDAD, TORIL
Billing City:DAVAO CITY
Billing State/Province:DAVAO DEL NORTE
Billing Postal Code:8000
Billing Country:PH
Billing Phone:+6.39185653118
Billing Email:SUPPORT@WORDOFMOUTHCONNECTION.COM
Tech ID:C3477158-LRMS
Tech Name:PETER KESTLER
Tech Organization:WORD-OF-MOUTH LLP
Tech Street1:SIVERANO MIRABUENO
Tech Street2:STO NINO VILLLAGE
Tech Street3:UPPER PEIDAD, TORIL
Tech City:DAVAO CITY
Tech State/Province:DAVAO DEL NORTE
Tech Postal Code:8000
Tech Country:PH
Tech Phone:+6.39185653118
Tech Email:SUPPORT@WORDOFMOUTHCONNECTION.COM
Name Server:NS1.WOMC.NET
Name Server:NS2.WOMC.NET

However, using google I was able the locate the old whois information on this site.

Domain Name: WORD-OF-MOUTH-CONNECTION.COM
Registrar: TUCOWS, INC.
Whois Server: whois.opensrs.net
Referral URL: http://www.opensrs.org
Name Server: NS1.WORDOFMOUTHREPORTS.COM
Name Server: NS2.WORDOFMOUTHREPORTS.COM
Status: ACTIVE
Updated Date: 25-aug-2003
Creation Date: 25-aug-2003
Expiration Date: 25-aug-2004


Domain ID:D2767522-LRMS
Domain Name:WORDOFMOUTHCONNECTIONS.INFO
Created On:03-Aug-2003 02:36:37 UTC
Last Updated On:31-Aug-2003 06:18:08 UTC
Expiration Date:03-Aug-2004 02:36:37 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:R139-LRMS
Status:ACTIVE
Status:OK
Registrant ID:C3477157-LRMS
Registrant Name:KRISTIAN PADBORG
Registrant Organization:WORD-OF-MOUTH LLP
Registrant Street1:1231 40TH ST
Registrant Street2:SUITE 329
Registrant City:EMERYVILLE
Registrant State/Province:CA
Registrant Postal Code:94608
Registrant Country:US
Registrant Phone:+1.5103931276
Registrant Email:KPADBORG@ATTGLOBAL.NET
Admin ID:C3477158-LRMS
Admin Name:PETER KESTLER
Admin Organization:WORD-OF-MOUTH LLP
Admin Street1:SIVERANO MIRABUENO
Admin Street2:STO NINO VILLLAGE
Admin Street3:UPPER PEIDAD, TORIL
Admin City:DAVAO CITY
Admin State/Province:DAVAO DEL NORTE
Admin Postal Code:8000
Admin Country:PH
Admin Phone:+6.39185653118
Admin Email:WORD-OF-MOUTH.ORG@ATTGLOBAL.NET
Billing ID:C3477159-LRMS
Billing Name:PETER KESTLER
Billing Organization:WORD-OF-MOUTH LLP
Billing Street1:SIVERANO MIRABUENO
Billing Street2:STO NINO VILLLAGE
Billing Street3:UPPER PEIDAD, TORIL
Billing City:DAVAO CITY
Billing State/Province:DAVAO DEL NORTE
Billing Postal Code:8000
Billing Country:PH
Billing Phone:+6.39185653118
Billing Email:WORD-OF-MOUTH.ORG@ATTGLOBAL.NET
Tech ID:C3477160-LRMS
Tech Name:PETER KESTLER
Tech Organization:WORD-OF-MOUTH LLP
Tech Street1:SIVERANO MIRABUENO
Tech Street2:STO NINO VILLLAGE
Tech Street3:UPPER PEIDAD, TORIL
Tech City:DAVAO CITY
Tech State/Province:DAVAO DEL NORTE
Tech Postal Code:8000
Tech Country:PH
Tech Phone:+6.39185653118
Tech Email:WORD-OF-MOUTH.ORG@ATTGLOBAL.NET
Name Server:NS2.WORDOFMOUTHREPORTS.COM
Name Server:NS1.WORDOFMOUTHREPORTS.COM

Note the address name Kristian Padborg whose address in in Emeryville, CA, which happens to be located in Alameda County. So could this be the man behind the wordofmouth?

So, in summary there is a business DBA Word of Mouth Inc. in Alameda County, CA. There is a wordofmouthconnection phone number 510-499-6732 again originating from Alameda County, CA. We have the following whois information.

Kristian Padborg
Word-of-Mouth LLP (Similar to Word of Mouth, Inc)
1231 40th St
Suite 329
Emeryville, CA 94608
KPADBORG@ATTGLOBAL.NET
Phone: 510-393-1276 (this is a Sprint PCS Mobile Number)
Again Emeryville is located in Alameda County.
I also have the following email address for Kristian:
k.padborg@earthlink.net
and have the following wordofmouth support email address: womc_support@earthlink.net.

I also tried doing a search on Patent information for wordofmouthconnection.com did not have any luck. Maybe, someone else could try.

If we have the real street ... (Below threshold)
brnstrm:

If we have the real street address - confirmed, then what I suggest is that we dont just toss those magazine subscription forms in the trash, fill them out with the perp's info and address. If 10 or 20 people do this, it should grow exponentially, and spam the spammer. In addition to magazines he/she is probably interested in many other topics.
Just a suggestion...

Got an email from them toda... (Below threshold)
Fubar:

Got an email from them today. I was really freaked out until I started Googling...

Thanks for the heads up folks!

Another "me too" post: ... (Below threshold)
rangergordon:

Another "me too" post:

I was good the first two times they sent me unsolicited email--I didn't click on any links. But it's insidious! After the third email I let paranoia get the best of me. I wasn't gullible enough to provide them with any credit card information, but I did what Connie did: signed up for the free account, and listed myself as someone who "has information" about my email address just to see what would happen (nothing so far.)

I'm angry because those punks succeeded where no spammer ever does: getting me to reveal my address as a "live" one.

How about this legal strategy: a group of people get together and post libelous information about each other (e.g., "Heather ate my baby." "Oh yeah? Well, George likes to shave monkeys.") Then a flurry of lawsuits implicating WoM ensues, and finally everybody drops the suits against everybody else except WoM.

Well, I guess it might be fun for those with large disposable incomes, or with law degrees and no jobs. Wouldn't work anyway. But it's a fun thought.

I got one of these this mor... (Below threshold)
Alpha:

I got one of these this morning, as well, and it freaked me out since I had just applied for a new job with a new company yesterday. Then I got to thinking that it might be one of the ex-gfs or something. I did the same thing Connie and rangergordon did: set up the free account claiming to have info on myself; though, when I did that, I used a little-used e-mail address that I can easily monitor and delete if the spamming gets out-of-hand. It's a good thing I researched it a bit and found this (and other) sites that helped set my mind at ease.

As a website owner, I just ... (Below threshold)
BMF:

As a website owner, I just sent them an email informing them if I continue to receive emails from them, I have a nice stack of diskettes with viruses I would love to send them. It only takes me 10 minutes to rebuild my PC and I've spent a hell of a lot longer deleting all these messages.

I say an eye for an eye and we take this F U C K E R out

I started recieving emails ... (Below threshold)
Isabel:

I started recieving emails Jan. of this year. I am so glad to have read this info before forking out my $$$. The first email I totally ignored but the second and third email got me pondering. I was beginning to think someone was actually serching for information about me. Thanks to this website I'll know not to play their game!
Thanks!

I am so glad I accidently f... (Below threshold)
A. J.:

I am so glad I accidently found this site. I have been bugged by these people for months! Now you would think that a seasoned Private Investigator would know better wouldn't you? It just goes to show that each of us are vulnerable at one time or another! I thought I was loosing it, I could not figure out who these people were or how they hooked up with me.

I did not pay any money THANK GOODNESS, however, I was still distubed by all the E-mails I kept receiving from these people.

What did not make sense to me was the reply I received from an inquiry I made to them regarding the E-mails. It sounded like a bunch of double-talk, and that is exactly what it is! What I could not figure out was why in the hoot would someone send me an E-mail informing me users of their website have a right to communicate with other users about me without my knowledge. That connection authors do not typically submit connections because they want to communicate with me, what they want to do is to communicate with other people that know me without me knowing that they did so.

They also said connection authors submit connection because they either 1) have experience with and/or opinos regarding the connection subject that they want to share with others. or 2) they are looking for others that have such experiences and/or opions to share.

AS I said before this is nothing but a scam and double talk to try to pacify you long enough to get you to shut up and not report them.

After reading what I have read on your web site today I WILL REPORT THESE PEOPLE TO ALL PROPER AGENCIES AND DO MY BEST TO GET THIS STOPPED! I AGREE THAT THIS SHOULD BE ON DATELINE, PRIMETIME OR 60 MINUTES! LET'S GO GET THIS GUYS!

I agree with many of the po... (Below threshold)
ML:

I agree with many of the posts here and find it ultra unnerving that people are allowed to do this kind of thing from scamming folks for money to making threats such as what this company is in essence doing--I can't believe that normal and decent people actually contact other people to get "dirt" on others--who has so much time--but it is freaky and I thought it was along the lines of invasion of privacy! I think it's very low of them to be using this tactic to get people to buy into their useless service. If one wanted to research someone, they'd be better off hiring a private investigator if it's THAT important!

I already wrote to the BBB, my credit card company, and am in process of filing with FTC. I hope these folks get caught VERY SOON. I urge all of you who have been "contacted" by the company to file complaints with the proper organizations so that we can keep the bozos accountable for their vice.

Thanks everyone for sharing!

I have received 7 emails fr... (Below threshold)
TL:

I have received 7 emails from this idiot since November. I have no idea how he got my address. I was so angry after just receiving the latest email, that I filed a complaint with the FTC and a local Television "Trouble shooter".

I posted my complaint on a couple of legal web sites, and am planning on filing an online complaint with the BBB and my State Attorney General's office.

Even though I refused to pay, I still complained that this could be defamation and an invasion of privacy, as well as fraud and extortion. I am so glad others have filed a complaint with the FTC because they will only take action if something if they receive a lot of complaints from different people.

I also commend the real Word of Mouth, the software opt-out company. It was their site that directed me to this one.

Ok i`m glad to know my firs... (Below threshold)
Damian:

Ok i`m glad to know my first impressions about this shit website were right....it`s really a scam...
yeah i`ve got bothered too...and am ready to help get them off the web...
If they had the right to do what they are saying...it would be chaos on the net, anyone could use your personnal informations...Spammers, Hackers and even Psycho`s.....
Scary...

I knew this had no sense, if someone wants to know something about me, they just have to write to me and ask me.....
It`s common sense....

Damian

Scams pander to those who f... (Below threshold)
friendbody:

Scams pander to those who fall for ideas 'too good to be true' , or in the case of word-of-mouth-connection, paranoia and self-conciousness. Look at how many examples of people who got the email whilst in the midst of a career change, spouse arguement, etc - the SCAM was designed to take advantage of these normal interactions. Trust your mojo and protect your hard earned money.

Hello,I must say t... (Below threshold)
D.:

Hello,

I must say that I am pleased to have read your blog on Word-of-Mouth Connection. I found your blog when I did a google search on the site in order to find some information. Yes, I too was emailed that someone was doing a background search on me. Surprise, surprise! Admittedly they emailed me at a university account that I thought had been closed until I checked recently. Given I had left the university a couple of years ago and have only been back to my country of origin once in that time I was quite surprised to be receiving these emails.

I was more surprised that a 'power user' had apparently put in the first request for information so believed someone was paying to find out information. Even more surprising when people actually said they had information and some of them were power user's. The standard user's did not bother me as I figured it was just people with too much time on their hands. But people who actually paid for info and there were 2 in the 4 on there, now that was majorly freaky and paranoia inducing.

Ok to make a long story short. Basically I emailed the site and told them that it was quite impossible that the persons who claimed they knew me actually had information because of the events of the last two years and to remove them etc, etc, etc. I also told them should the persons who posted the original 'paid' request for information on me be legitimate that they could leave that on the site along with my own personal email address and I would supply them with information about both my professional and personal life. Yeah, such an exciting life!

Anyway I checked the site today and found that everything using that old email address had been removed. they did not even leave my offer but I did notice that more spam has turned up to that account. one or two more a day. I do not know if this is because of the site or not.

The site itself, it is was legit, is not so much a problem but the fact that slanderous information could be distributed that is false is. I think a site giving reviews on restaurants, performance of car repairers, lawyers etc could be useful but there really is way too much leeway for abuse of such a system as that site is supposedly set-up.

Whether legit or otherwise, such sites need to be either regulated heavily or banned.

D.

I'm glad I found this infor... (Below threshold)
lin:

I'm glad I found this information. It was really making me mad that someone was "researching" my background on an email address I never even use. My college email address. Someone had supposedly submitted professional information about me, and I thought that was really funny because I've been a housewife for two years.

And to add to my post from ... (Below threshold)
D.:

And to add to my post from February 13th. I have now come to the conclusion that the actual posts that are displayed on the word of mouth connection thingy are actually generated.

The reason why I say this is that as I stated previously the website had deleted all the posts etc on me on the day I posted here (February 13th). I logged into my old university account again today and voila I get info that a background check has been made on me again but here is the interesting thing. There are now four new entries, the first entry is someone saying they have information whilst the next three alternate between wanting information and having information.

Basically it is either generated and basically the generation order is out of whack because I asked them to delete the original postings. I mean can anyone think of a reason why the first entry would be that someone has information on a dime a dozen email address?

Not a very bright system.

Take care,

D.

I first found THIS site wh... (Below threshold)
Jake:

I first found THIS site while investigating the
GOSSIP.SCAM you're talking about however someone on my message board got an e-mail and asked our opinion about it:

I'm not sure if it's the same people trying a different tact to harvest information to adda degree of credility to the Gossip Scam, ....but it sent up a mental flare:

www.Who-Remembers-Me.com
A Friend has entered your e-mail address into the tell a friend section of the Who-Remembers-Me.com web-site in order for us to send you a very short and one off note recommending this site as they feel it maybe of interest to you.
Who Remembers Me.Com is an easy to use web site designed in a way that will enable everyone to look up Family, Friends, Neighbours, Colleagues or even just acquaintances from the past, right from your very childhood to the present day. This site offers a broad array of search areas like no other site! Look up an old friend or neighbour that used to live on the same Street/Estate as you, read their profile see what they have been doing and what they are doing now, get in touch or just remember.
(here's the scary part)
If you like this site then please recommend it by forwarding this message on to all your friends, thank you!
http://www.Who-Remembers-Me.com

If you want to be exempt from further promotional e-mails from Who-Remembers-Me.com, visit http://www.Who-Remembers-Me.com/Remove.php, enter your e-mail address into the box provided and you will never here from us again.

~yeah right~
I'll be sure to send you my address
in hopes of never "here"-ing from you again.
Rolls eyes
Jake

This is sOOOO stupid!. I h... (Below threshold)
Kristina Padborg:

This is sOOOO stupid!. I have never seen such abusshit!. This makes history, litterally!. I was informed by one of my sisters that people were talking about me at this website, but I never imagined this!. I received several emails from this searcher several months back and I didn’t do anything/nothing about it because I didn’t really care what people were saying about me. I have passed through all the hoops at my sorority and I will graduate in 1.5 anos and I can’t let some small time SLUT! mess with my flow…you now what I mean. I am going to tell all my sisters about this and we are going kick some ass if we find out who is behind this…nice trick buy the FNwayJ???!!!!!. To set the facts straight, I do not know how to program computers. I never tried. I am an English Liter. Major!! I think I know who didthis to me….her name is Mandy Swartz, or however you splee it! I will look into your internet address IP and report you to the Internet people at school. Your gonna be history you dum slut!
KAP!!!!…yu no hu I m!!!!!
Your suck!!,

Kristy (by the way you are all so stupid because I am a girl)

The scammer thinks this is ... (Below threshold)
ExCon:

The scammer thinks this is all very funny. I'll bet they've probably made quite a bit of money with this one. If anyone ever needed a surprise ass beating, it's this person.

Listen people, stop worrying about the idea that this service could become normal someday. It muddies the issue. Since I got one of these again today, it appears none of you have been successful at getting the ear of a legal professional. You need to try harder--use people you know, don't leave angry testimonials on web boards. I'll try and get this company banned from Earthlink...I know senior IT staff there.

The company may have change... (Below threshold)
Jack:

The company may have changed names again. I received an email from WordofMouthResearch.com. It appears to be the same scam as described above. Like everyone else I freaked out and started doing research. Thank God I found this site!!!!

Wow!! Thanks for the nice w... (Below threshold)
AJ:

Wow!! Thanks for the nice work people and may these scammers get magets in their asses. :). AMEN! I was duped by the 419 scam and lost a lot of money there and am aware of all scams since then. Recently I started getting emails from these buggers. Thanks to your forum.

AJ

I too have been hit by this... (Below threshold)
Paul:

I too have been hit by this feloneous fellow. There is nothing I can add to the above blogs except to verify that he is now operating as wordofmouthresearch.com. The best way to get rid of a bad law is to use it. The same here. Every public official, even U.S.Attorneys, have personal email addresses that can be obtained with a little social engineering. And you can easily say you know something about that person even if it is only his/her name. 'Nuff said? Let the big dogs get a little paranoid and sit back and see what happens!

I was just hit again. He ha... (Below threshold)
Paul:

I was just hit again. He has changed to "ALERT.SYStem@researchbackground.com", which takes you directly to wordofmouthresearch.com. This is going to be fun!

Is there any site for free ... (Below threshold)
Leo:

Is there any site for free like this?

Good work, folks, the avail... (Below threshold)
CWood:

Good work, folks, the availability of this site and info have saved countless folks and hundreds, including Moi!
Thanx.

I had one of their notifica... (Below threshold)
Yscydion:

I had one of their notifications today using their researchingpeople.info, wordexch.net and wordexch.biz addresses. Being suspicious I turned to Google, and found this excellent site!

I did a few searches at WOM, and was interested to see that someone is looking for information about root@localhost! I also have my doubts about the details in the request for information about John Smith of Boston, Chicago and New York. I suspect that some people are testing for the presence of quality control on the data there, and not finding any.

It would be amusing if WOM were not tricking people into paying money, but since they are, my opinion of the WOM operators is somewhere between disgust and contempt.

thanx for all the interesti... (Below threshold)
wyn:

thanx for all the interesting info. i just got this spam scam and you guys provided a lot of relevant info. There needs to be more of these sites around to help out uninformed individuals.

Thanks Again
Wyn

It seems this bottom of the... (Below threshold)
Mr Predictable:

It seems this bottom of the food chain felon is now operating out of Minnesota. I rec'vd the email, did a WHOIS search and passed it on to the NYS Attorney General. I have no idea how he got the email address as it's only an address I use to forward large files to to get them from one computer to another---I've never posted it anywhere or given it to anyone.
Here's the info:


OpenSRS Whois Utility


Whois info for, wordofmouthresearch.com:


Registrant:
WORDOFMOUTHRESEARCH.COM
9805 DUPONT AVE SOUTH
BLOOMINGTON, MN 55431
US

Domain name: WORDOFMOUTHRESEARCH.COM

Administrative Contact:
FEINBERG, ANDREW A.FEINBERG@WORDOFMOUTHRESEARCH.COM
9805 DUPONT AVE SOUTH
BLOOMINGTON, MN 55431
US
+1.9528851917
Technical Contact:
FEINBERG, ANDREW A.FEINBERG@WORDOFMOUTHRESEARCH.COM
9805 DUPONT AVE SOUTH
BLOOMINGTON, MN 55431
US
+1.9528851917


Registration Service Provider:
Consumer.net - TheNIC.com, domains@consumer.net
http://TheNIC.com
Discount consumer gateway to Tucows OpenSRS - Domain renewals, Tucows
e-mail, SSL Certificates.


Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.
Record last updated on 03-Mar-2004.
Record expires on 09-Feb-2005.
Record created on 09-Feb-2004.

Domain servers in listed order:
NS1.WOMC.NET 64.235.50.54
NS2.WOMC.NET 64.235.50.55

Woo-hoo! This scam is cleve... (Below threshold)
Richard:

Woo-hoo! This scam is cleverer than the Nigerian Oil Ministry!

Also don't forget even if you do "join" without paying any money that Mr. Scammer is getting a password from you...so DON'T USE A PASSWORD YOU USE ANYWHERE ELSE (sorry for shouting). He could easily use your email and password to try to login to various financial Web sites - and if you have an account you may be in for a surprise!

You are welcome to use my password "spamscam".

Also for fun you might want to look up the "contact" entries for Fred Kruse a.k.a. Adam Kruse a.k.a. support@wordofmouthresearch.web.com

Whoever owns and runs Wo... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Whoever owns and runs WordOfMouth...there is nobody more I would rather take a sledge hammer to and break their face in 800 places. That would make me feel better.

Yo, the site is now called ... (Below threshold)
photog:

Yo, the site is now called www.wordofmouthresearch.com
Just thought ya should know

I received their first emai... (Below threshold)
Good Boy:

I received their first email around a month back. Wasn't interested in it.. thought it was a scam. Thats normal.

But then I kept on getting the emails from WOMC. The important thing to note is that when I searched for my email address the dates on which an email connection was submitted followed a sequence. First connection.. then
2 after 5 days
3 after 15 days
4 after 6 days
5 after 16 days
6 after 7 days
7 after 17 days
As if a computer program is posting these connections. I dont know whether someone has noticed a similar continuum.
A total of 12 connections till now.
And today the first 5 are deleted...........

But for sure I was never in a mood to pay them 20 bucks and never will be.. irrespective of whether its a scam or not :)

I don't understand why they... (Below threshold)
Ed:

I don't understand why they don't just have the site do what it's supposed to do. I mean, think about it. You have a site where anyone can log in and post limitless amounts of gossip about anyone else. This would be heaven for anyone between the ages of 12 and 18. And all the other 12 to 18 year-olds would be paying out the ass to know what other people are saying about them. These guys are frickin morons if they don't realize that.

I feel like such a lutz. I... (Below threshold)
Melissa:

I feel like such a lutz. I actually bought into this. I paid by credit card. Should I be worried? Do they have a history of charging more than once?? I am usually not so gullible.... man, that is just not cool.

I decided to play with WOM'... (Below threshold)
Boult:

I decided to play with WOM's url to find any error and this url give me the error and has the link for webmaster's email address which is a aol addy.

https://wordofmouthresearch.com/index1.php?nav=home

if you just use this: https://wordofmouthresearch.com/index.php will redirect to index2.php so I change to 1 and get error :)

the webmaster's email address was peter.kestler@aol.com
but this address is no good.

If you paid $20 for a servi... (Below threshold)
Anon:

If you paid $20 for a service you didn't receive on your credit card, contact your credit card company and demand that they reverse the charges. This is fraud, and since no service was rendered no fees should be paid.

If you explain that the transaction was fraudulent they should do a "chargeback" to the merchant, which means that the charge will be reversed.

I hope everyone who did pay will demand that the credit card companies reverse the charges. Hit them in the place they value most - the pocketbook!

this word of mouth shit is ... (Below threshold)
thao:

this word of mouth shit is so annoying! i have been blocking it for the past two months and i still get e-mails from it... any suggestions?

I have received many emails... (Below threshold)
Cheri:

I have received many emails from this site also, just got one last week. I was scared at first also, but through research I found out they were bogus. I just hope they get what they deserve!! I believe in the saying "What goes around, comes around" there's is coming, dont know when, just hope it is real soon!!!

I came very close to subscr... (Below threshold)
Chris H:

I came very close to subscribing but decided I'd better google it first. I am glad I did.
The site owner must have gotten info I was on the job hunt and thought that I would want to know if prospective employers were researching me.
I also found it interesting that a "Standard User" was able to submit/respond to info about you but you actually had to subscribe and become a "Power User" to get any info.




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