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Zoosk - The Perils of Trusting - The Pain of Embarrassment


The "Complaints Board" claims to be "the most trusted and popular consumer complaints website."  And, yes, it has an entire section : "Zoosk Complaints & Reviews"  with three pages of complaints, all sounding pretty similar, dating back to early 2010.  Despite the numerous complaints and the severity of the problem, the Zoosk website continues to wreak havoc (embarrassment) throughout the United States.

Following is a typical example - what one person wrote on the Complaints Board:

Zoosk is like a virus! it pretends to be a pix sharing site when in reality it is a very aggressive and poorly designed dating site. By agreeing to join and purportedly just to see a friend's pix, zoosk steals all your contacts and sends them an invitation to join to see your pix. i dont even have any pix anywhere. it must be stopped!

The lesson from all of this is that malicious software (Zoosk) now exists that wears the face of your trusted friends and co-workers. 


Questions for the Trusting and the Naive
  • If someone (a stranger) left a card at your door asking you to create an account just so s/he could send you a gift, would you do that?
  • What if the card were signed by someone you knew?
  • What would trigger you to go ahead and create the account?  A sense of trust or obligation?
It takes only one naive and trusting person to agree to create an account with Zoosk to cause a never ending viral spread of emails.  And that is what happened with this editor. 

Apparently artist George created an account with Zoosk which then stole all of his email addresses and UCNews was one of them.  So when I received an email from him, a trusted contact in the arts, stating that he wanted to show me his pictures (of his artwork I presumed), I never questioned it since he has sent me photos in the past (though not thru Zoosk).  Of course George had not sent me the email, Zoosk had.

So just like compatriot George, this trusting soul followed directions and created a Zoosk account.  But where were the pictures that George had sent me?  Nowhere to be found.  By the time I stopped looking, I had already received emails from Zoosk stating that Nancy Conrad was inviting me [Nancy Conrad - different email] to join to see photos. 

On the other hand, once I created an account with Zoosk which then grabbed all of my email addresses, I did receive emails from contacts who FIRST asked me if this was "for real."  These were the alert members of our community.


Chronology and Steps Taken

11/8/12
 
Responded to email received from artist George who said he wanted to share photos with me.  Created an account with Zoosk and looked for his photos but could not find any.

9:53am
Welcome email from Zoosk (after I created my account)

10:08am
Email from Nancy Conrad (bsns) to Nancy Conrad (personal) stating that I wanted to share “new pictures with you.”  That's when I first suspected that something was wrong. 

10:42am
Notification that [a person on my mailing list] is “now your friend on Zoosk.”  Many more after that.

2:13pm
Eventually Zoosk customer service answered the phone (they are on Pacific time). She assured me there is NO virus.  She said unless I click a spot at the bottom of the email, Zoosk’s default is to automatically notifiy your entire mailing list. Of course there is no warning of this in advance.

11/19

Still receiving email messages with invitations and contacts still questioning what is going on.


Email sent by one of my contacts to her entire mailing list (Zoosk had grabbed all of them)

I apologize for the email invitations to view photos coming from my email address. Zoosk site deceptively sent me an invite to see a friend's photos when there were none, and the friend had not authorized that invitation.  It then did the same to my contact list, sending out  invitations to see my non existent photos to everyone on my list.

There are many complaints on the internet about this scam. Apparently the email requests are sent three times and then stop. 

11/19

Email from a contact asking ME to get Zoosk to stop sending her invitations.  In response, I sent this email to Zoosk (support@zoosk.com) and copied her.

I can't tell you how much grief your company has given me.  By responding to an invitation (supposedly from zoosk) from a respected member of our community, Zoosk apparently grabbed ALL of my contacts and sent out invitations to them. 

I still get reminders from myself to myself saying I haven't yet responded to a zoosk invitation.  I received email from one of my contacts showing that she is receiving multiple invitations from me.  This person is a professional contact, for heaven's sakes. Do you REALLY think I sent her an invitation to join a dating service?  That is certainly the impression you are giving. 

The day this debacle occurred I called zoosk and asked that my account be removed.  The zoosk rep said it was.   So WHY are people (including myself) still receiving messages from your company?

I demand that you put a stop to this.  There must be a software trigger somewhere in your programming that is sending out these messages even though my account has been removed.

I will file a formal complaint if you do not stop this ridiculous behavior immediately.

Nancy Conrad

11/20

Have not received a reply from Zoosk but I have also not received anymore Zoosk emails.


The lesson from all of this is that software now exists that wears the face of your friends and co-workers.  Better safe than sorry. If the email appears to be from Zoosk, do not open it.  If you do, DO NOT click on anything.

To read more complaints about Zoosk:  http://www.complaintsboard.com/bycompany/zoosk-a201805.html

Note:  If anyone is still receiving emails from Zoosk, please contact Zoosk and demand a cease and desist.
  • Send an email to support@zoosk
  • Call customer support at 1-888-WeZoosk (1-888-939-6675)
Demand they put a stop to the situation and remove you completely from their system.  Even though they assured me (I got email) that my account was deactivated, they obviously still had my email in their system since it was being used repeatedly to remind others of "my invitation" to them.

As far as can be discerned, they retain customer information.  Going to the site generates the following message: 

Your account is currently inactive.

You don't have an active Zoosk account, but you look familiar. Our records indicate that you had a Zoosk account in the past, but at some point you deactivated it.  If you would like to start using Zoosk again, we can try to recover your old account.


Update:  Nov 21. 

Customer support said: "Your account is inactive," which means the prior customer support person did not remove my account as I requested.  She had only deactivated it. 

Today's customer support person fully removed my personal data.

Comments

Fri, Nov 23, 2012 at 11:20 PM

Hi Nancy, I endured the same outrage. Finally got someone on the phone and the emails have dried up so far. But many friends have been tricked. My involvement came through a client in Minneapolis. Dang pain.

Joe Wheelwright


Posted: November 20, 2012     Nancy J Conrad
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