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July 09, 2009

Social networking site accused of identity theft

New identity theft news - Watch out for this social networking site. Below is a quote from Herb Weisbaum's article on

"If prosecutors are right, this could be a major case of identity theft. The social networking site is being investigated by prosecutors in New York. The allegation: it stole personal information from unsuspecting users, as well as people who never visited the site.

When TIME Magazine reporter Sean Gregory got an e-mail from a friend, saying she'd posted photos on, he logged on to see them.But there were no pictures. Gregory says it was a ruse designed to steal his online address book. 'As soon as I clicked it, I got these emails from my wife and best friend saying, 'What the heck is this? Should i touch this? It made me so angry I wrote about it,' he said.

The New York Attorney General's Office says Gregory was one of 60 million people allegedly duped by tagged. The allegations involve a practice called "contact scraping," and security experts say it's a growing, invasive form of identity theft. Investigators say a Web site uses one person's e-mail address to lure his friends and associates into giving up their personal contacts.

'It's like breaking into someone's home, stealing their address book and sending letters to all of their friends and other contacts and loved ones and pretending to be them,' said Benjamin Lawsky, special assistant to the New York Attorney General's Office.

Contacted by ABC News, issued a statement apologizing for any problems. The company says it is cooperating with the investigators. The New York Times reports it has received similar complaints from people who use other social networking sites."

The whole article is here - I think my wife, who is very internet savvy, may have even been duped by this one. She mentioned something like this to me the other day about getting an e-mail from a friend who said she had tagged my wife in a pic but, when my wife logged on, there were no pics. I'll ask my wife about this and post more about it later.

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