I recently began receiving a lot of what I consider SPAM from FanBox, under the guise of trusted friends and contacts. The subject is always the same John Doe sent a tiny youtube video to you (communication initiated on FanBox)”. Which immediately raised a few flags as most of my contact are not big forwarders nor do they initiate these types of messages. It is my policy to never click a link on any email unless I am one hundred percent sure that it is a legitimate link and even then I put the link into a vetting process by searching the internet for issues experienced by others. Although, some may consider this extreme, for most a call to the contact that initiated the correspondence should be enough as a vetting process.
After a few searches I initially didn’t find much on this new wave of emails but found enough to confirm my suspicion that indeed it was SPAM. What most had to say in regards to FanBox practices can be categorized by this quote from Consumer Fraud Reporting; “Fanbox.com, formerly known as sms.ac, is one of the most annoying and sleaziest spams and misrepresentations going right now”. [1. Consumer Fraud Reporting] It seems the SPAM from FanBox comes in a number of forms and are ever changing. Sadly, the person whose name is used is none the wiser until someone brings it to their attention. FanBox’s crafty subjects and emails may changes but their M.O. [2. Modus Operandi] is always the same. Thier end game is to gain access into the contact list of members who have registered with them so they can send emails to their contacts over again and again. The catchy subject lines and use of recognized names from people you know and in some instances may not get you to think the email is legitimate and then they cycle begins again and propagates in-boxes across the internet promoting their SPAM.
So who is FanBox? TechCrunch states “San Diego based FanBox from mobile solutions company SMS.ac offers a variety of services. From its front page it offers a reasonable web desktop package, complete with wordprocessing, IM and online storage. A social networking service is included, and the holding company sms.ac offers premium SMS services”.
“It sounds like a run of the mill package, except that like Plaxo in the past, FanBox spams potential signups by accessing the address books of its registered users. At least that’s what others have said, however I don’t recognize any of the names in the spam I’m now regularly receiving from the service, so it may well just be broad scale spamming of anyone and everyone”. [3. Duncan Riley – TechCrunch]
How to protect yourself. I would blacklist the domain on my email client or mark them as SPAM from your inbox. Although these emails may look like they are coming from some you know, in reality they are coming from email addresses like
fbNOREPLY@myfanbox.com or possibly
NOREPLY@fanboxnotes.com or the like. These email are ever changing so just mark them as SPAM when you come across them with out worry of blocking your contact as they will never use these addresses to actually email you from something important or in not important for that matter.
If you’ve been spammed by this company or got tricked into giving them your personal information, please leave us a comment and share your experience!