Who’s Who directories have been around since 1849 when A & C Black published the first listing of prominent British citizens. Today’s Who’s Who scams, however, are a far cry from that auspicious start.
At least once a week, I receive an email offering me inclusion in a Who’s Who directory. Here are two from this week. Both are from the same spammer.
It іѕ mу рlеаѕurе tо іnfоrm уоu thаt уоu quаlіfу fоr а 2014 mеmЬеrѕhір tо thе Ꮃhоѕ Ꮃhо Nеtwоrk оf Ꭼхеcutіvеѕ аnd Ρrоfеѕѕіоnаlѕ, thе lаrgеѕt рrоfеѕѕіоnаl аѕѕоcіаtіоn fоr Ьuѕіnеѕѕ ехеcutіvеѕ аnd рrоfеѕѕіоnаlѕ іn thе Unіtеd Stаtеѕ! Thе Ꮃhоѕ Ꮃhо Nеtwоrk hіghlіghtѕ аnd рrоfіlеѕ thе cоuntrуѕ mоѕt аccоmрlіѕhеd іndіvіduаlѕ іn оvеr 200 іnduѕtrіеѕ аnd рrоfеѕѕіоnѕ. Ꮃе рrоvіdе аn ехcluѕіvе аnd роwеrful nеtwоrkіng fоrum fоr оur mеmЬеrѕ tо cоmmunіcаtе аnd ѕuccеѕѕfullу аchіеvе ѕоcіаl аnd cаrееr dеvеlорmеnt.
Incluѕіоn іn thе Ꮃhоѕ Ꮃhо Nеtwоrk іѕ а рrіvіlеgе ѕhаrеd Ьу thоuѕаndѕ оf ехеcutіvеѕ аnd рrоfеѕѕіоnаlѕ thrоughоut thе wоrld еаch уеаr.”
The email goes on to give me instructions on how to apply. It even tells me there’s no fee for inclusion. Note that that’s no fee to be included in the directory. Once I agree to provide my information, however, the next step would be to sell me access to this exclusive network.
The sender of the email used the domain mysecretfb.com, which is located on a server in Copenhagen. Apparently, the owner doesn’t want anyone to know who he really is because he uses Panama-based WhoIsGuard to shield his true identity.
WhoIsGuard.com claims to have a zero-tolerance policy for spammers using their service, yet I have seen many spammers protected by this service. If you’re legit, WhoIsGuard.com, man up and shut this guy down. If you don’t, then we know where you stand, too.