Fanbox.com is a spam service that pretends to be a “social network”. It is a scam, because it generally does 2 things:
a) provides paid SMS solution while being listed in couple of sites as phishing one (hphosts, for example)
b) Spams people in contact list with deceitful emails to grow its business.
I’ll focus on second part this time: spamming. Actually, my mother got scammed into joining this “service” and all her gmail contacts got invites from the scammers. First, she got email that looket like this:
I set up a profile where I can post photos, connect and share.
Do me a favor and confirm our relationship here
Notice how personal it look? But it is not personal – both my mother and the person sent this email are not english speakers. Still, she got convinced that it was the senders intention to invite. When clicking on the link, account is created.
Another email example :
xxx xxx wants you see this tiny youtube video. Launch
The link opens a page with a big button and checkbox that you agree with the rules. When pressing confirm you are sent to a page where you see no video, but can send something back to the person… What you do not know, your account is already created: The links have your emails encoded and you do not need to provide password ( although you are asked to enter it later). This is deceptive from FANBOX.
The worst is that from these points onward people are pushed to provide fanbox with gmail account details to import and spam contacts. They understand what they have done only after their contacts start getting multiple spam messages like the ones above to join (and help spreading) this spam site.
The company behind this runs SMS.ac. They are known about their spam tactics before.
I would recommend staying away from FanBox and never providing mail account details to any 3rd party service you do not know. It is best to use separate password for gmail account as well. If you have registered an account, or know someone who was careless enough, please warn them to delete the account. It can be done by going to account settings menu (skip every step) and choose delete account. You will have to enter a reason for that.
Sy · January 11, 2011 at 12:25 pm
Just read your helpful post about Fanbox. I expected it was a scam the moment I looked at the e-mail but as it looked like it was from my mother, I went in. I did not at any time enter my password for anything. Every time it asked me for something I just pressed skip.
If I never entered my password, is there any way they will have been able to get hold of my contact list?
Thanks for your helpful blog.
Giedrius · January 11, 2011 at 12:26 pm
They hard-code in your email in the links in the letter. So, they probably got your email in their system.
Glee Nish A. · May 23, 2011 at 11:05 am
Hello there, I dont think fanbox is just a scam, do you know that many people is helped by fanbox? they create blogs and when people reads it they earn money, not for themselves but only to a charity also. so far im blogging and i earned 13 usd im going to cash this out when i it reach to 20 usd… i dont think this is a scam… just try and observe and if you experience that its only a fake site, let me know…ok
Mel Cownzowfsky · October 26, 2011 at 12:02 pm
It’s easy to say that Fan Box is a scam, because it’s true! There is no real evidence that anyone has ever gotten paid by Fan Box for their ‘so called ‘on-line earnings.’
Yo are no doubt someone who works for Fan Box and is trying to make it appear that it is something other than a source of specifically targeted spam. M.C.
jc · May 25, 2011 at 11:02 am
How can you say that Fanbox is scam? You dont have any idea how Fanbox helped to many people and some charitable institution. Id been a member of Fanbox for about 4 months only and it already pay me $1000 for my blog.
Giedrius · May 28, 2011 at 3:13 pm
JC : donating part of money is no excuse to making money by violating people privacy and storing information about people without their consent.
Jo · November 15, 2012 at 8:26 am
LOOK here ya’ll i been a fanboxer for many years just not actively. When i first started— it wasn’t like it is now.I did get that tinyyoutube thing in my email and i have been trying to work the program but seriously, when i checked my bank & all that, it shows i cant get any money till feb 28 2013….. so you tell me scam?? or not——im starting to think so..
Samo · May 28, 2011 at 9:30 am
Thank you for your post. This is one of the worst spam sites I have ever known … what you mention in your post is only a small portion of what they are doing! Has anyone checked their terms? … here is page 2 (if you copy & paste it into a Word doc)
“Information collected about you, including your Profile, Registration Data, your usage trends, Earnings on the FanBox network, connections, activity, social influence, and other general and personal information may be publicly available. If you do not consent to the public availability of such information, your sole remedy is termination under Article XXII.
FanBox reserves the right to track information and trends on users and their online actions actions, including but not limited to the purchase and performance of advertisements, and to share such information and trends with other users, third parties having a business relationship with FanBox, or generally to make such information publicly available.”
They give themselves the right to do anything with yoru info they like including make it public!
If you read the terms further they say if anyone bookmarks (etc) your info then even after deleting your account the info stays on their site an dthey still have the right to do what they like!
ALSO READ THIS: the terms say “you” must have a real data in there BUT there are avatars and profiles that belong to fanbox themselves. WHAT THIS MEANS IS THAT IF ANY OF THOSE PROFILES OWNED BY FANBOX BOOKMARK YOUR DATA YOU NEVER HAVE THE RIGHT GET YOUR DATA DELETED AND THEY ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT USE THE DATA ANY WAY THEY WANT. It is almosta guarantee that the moment you put anything in ther, one of their own fake profiles will automatically book your data so THEY OWN YOUR DATA … and keep growing their content without ever having to delet anything.
thanks again for your valuable post
JoLynn · June 16, 2011 at 11:46 am
I disagree. Yes FanBox gets personal data, so does Google, so does Yahoo, so does Facebook for that matter. Does anyone really think the ‘net is private. Come on!
On the upside I have cleared $1700 in less than 2 months with Fanbox and already received one check.
It is a legitimate paying site and I get paid for sharing the same videos, articles and opinions that I would be doing for free on Facebook.
I opted out of the contacts to my email list and contacts and you know what? No one got anything from FanBox.
You should join and blog a little before you form a hard opinion.
Giedrius · June 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm
Gathering email addresses and automatically registering user profiles just after they click misleading link is illegal offense in EU. Especially with the goal of making money from people that search for that user. Both FB, Google And Yahoo do not do that – the accounts are not created without consent of the user and are not published on web. It is a huge difference.
I do not dispute the fact if fanbox writes checks or not. I just say that they are involved in illegal activities.
john · July 3, 2013 at 5:44 pm
your so full of shit. it takes three months to be able to cash out witch is 90 days. and fanbox will never pay anyone . i was 90 day metured witch means you can cash out . but fan box did not let me cash out . so i asked why i could not cash out and they would not tell me anything. and my coach and even fanbox would not even give me any idea or help . oh and i paid this IPL fee too . and lost money.so everyone stay away from fanbox . unless you want to waste 90 days for nothing.
JoLynn · June 17, 2011 at 9:11 am
Thanks for your quick response. Can you show me some verbiage that defines “Gathering email addresses and automatically registering user profiles just after they click misleading link is illegal offense in EU” . I’d like to have it for future reference. I couldn’t find anything that spelled out those activities as illegal per se.
Giedrius · June 17, 2011 at 9:35 am
Legalisation of directive differs between countries, but all countries signed this directive (and it is implemented at various states in country law): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Protection_Directive
one can read about implementations here. http://ec.europa.eu/justice/policies/privacy/guide/index_en.htm
While helping user to invite its friends is legal, but one has to confirm to some rules as well. For example, do not store these email addresses and the invite text should not be misleading.There are no information in invite text (to watch video) that you will be automatically registered and (potentially) fanbox will earn money from searches with your name. Additionally, user has to give explicit consent to receive emails from fanbox after the invite. This is not a case as well. Also, it complicates unregistering process.
Fanbox is opt-out in marketing terms vs opt-in. If fanbox does not respect basic privacy rights, I recommend staying away from it. There are plenty of ways to own a website/make money without working with people that do not respect one’s friends.
Cliff Fairley · August 19, 2011 at 3:37 pm
Fanbox has hijacked my email and periodically sends emails to my contact list. I cannot find any emails in my inbox form Fanbox,
so I don’t believe I have an account with them. Is there any hope to having emails with my name being sent with my address list, stopped?
Ruth Baum · January 17, 2012 at 10:56 pm
Delete the garbage thats sent to you…yahoo email sends me garbage too..Delete it! Just because you get trashy email sent to your site doesnt mean that its a scam from FanBox..I have been with FanBox for about 2 months now and I have had no problems. Sorry that others have, but maybe there’s more to what you’re doing and that’s why they are bothering you. And if someone deliberately comes to FanBox wanting your business, they are the ones that are wrong to take your good business away from you..delete them and all the bad messages..that’s all you need to do.
Malik Shahzad · April 1, 2012 at 12:40 pm
FanBox is not a hoax. it is a real knowledge based social network. and it pays you for what you post or read on it. my own friend earned money and had cashed out many time. i have seen myself his cheques, sent my fanbox. and recently i also joined this site…. i love fanbox …
george tirebiter · April 14, 2012 at 2:28 am
All the “positive” comments about Fanbox you read here in this comments list are plants by the criminal scum at Fanbox. Fanbox personnel are cheats, liers, and lowlifes. AVOID these Internet Mafia types like the plague. They have been harassing me with spam for years and refuse to stop. I have never clicked on any of there spams and have never been a “member” so from where did they steal my email address? They are no different have muggers, rapists, and murders, except they do their crimes on the Internet Nasty, greedy, bloodsuckers have always existed in the “human” race. These ones are on the Internet. Beware.
E. Patterson · April 3, 2012 at 8:00 am
This happened to me – email supposedly from my sister in law. The video was supposed to be of my niece. I was directed to fan box and no video (of course). World of Text now trying to charge me $9.99 (they are charging me twice) per month for this. Just took me 20 minutes with AT&T to straighten out.
E. Patterson · April 3, 2012 at 8:02 am
Sorry – there are 2 separate charges for $9.99 for a total of $19.98 per month.
narayan · April 12, 2012 at 6:47 am
i was one lucky, i encashed 31 dollers.
I received a Cheque of $31 and also a T-Shirt in A US Postal parel or post not sure.
Black color round neck t-shirt, I deposited the cheque to my ICICI Bank in India, funds reflected after 21 days. Has the bank guys told me it will take so long.
I still believe this a scam cos, that is one way to attract people and the other is if i try to add funds by paypal or credit card it doesn’t accept it. instead it says western union fund transfer.
I know a guy who is added $50 dollars and nothing is been reflecting in his account. for last 6 days
what more i can say
Seal · April 26, 2012 at 9:28 pm
1. THEY TRICK PEOPLE AND STEAL YOUR ENTIRE ADDRESS BOOK.
2. THEY PRETEND TO BE YOU AND TRY TO STEAL THE ADDRESSES OF YOUR CONTACTS
3. THEY GO AROUND THE INTERNET AND PRETEND TO BE REGULAR PEOPLE. THEY SAY THAT THEY HAVE RECEIVED MONEY FROM THEM
4. ONCE THEY HAVE YOU, YOU CAN NEVER GET OUT
Even on this site, they PRETEND to be regular people having gotten money from those scammer.
It has been 3 years since they got hold of my address book. My friends, family and even business associates are still receiving tricked email. They say that I have posted pictures and ask my contacts to go see them.
I am so mad at them! Their whole business is to lie and deceive people.
Mommy on a Mission · September 24, 2012 at 11:36 am
You spend your time wishing for money as there mascots – May Ram, Zoe H, Jo and others. Which you find out the earnings is not what you think Example: $239.00 Boosted Earning Really you made $9.00 because you $230.00 (Boosted)…
I AM FREE!!! FREE!! Fanbox locks you into a program called Success Coach and its SUCKS!!!
I have been on FanBox since 2010. I have receive 2 checks since I have been on since 2010. $30.00 and $198.80 and there old member Ms. Erika said she is not an active member because the money is not the same…Now there is a NEW Program CALLED THE IPL and they are releasing new fees to make back all the cashouts they have given. Of course companies have to make money but what company kicks you off for asking questions about there business practices? I did not ask in a bad way I went by email and tried phone never pick they use Success Coaches that is willing to work for FREE!! May Ram there mascot keeps saying if there was another website she would be there…she said everyone would… BuLL is what FanBox stands for…Good Luck I hope they make money off that website..Its sad everyone is hoping for the money…The Joke is FanBox Bank Monopoly money – they will not take there own money that they offer…LOL!!
Ron · January 29, 2013 at 11:45 am
“Show me the Money FIRST”…then I MAY…let FanBox (also registered as SMS.ac! Inc. in san Diego CA, USA) do a few things with my email address…
In any case…a total waste of my time…
chris · April 24, 2013 at 1:40 pm
I think Fanbox is a scam. They also sent me mails of certain in my account and saying i should do something to protect my account, infact they asked me to pay certain amount to processed it for me. I never did anything there and am surprise how they set it up for me. The money keep growing everyday for just doing nothing, so i think it is a scam. No body will pay you for doing nothing and I believe fanbox is not father christmas.
Dennis · May 23, 2013 at 5:04 pm
I have been on FANBOX for WAY over the “90” days they say it takes to have your funds “mature” I suppsedly have earned a total of $500!!! BUT I can’t even get ONE DOLLAR of it, cause they keep saying only SO MUCH has matured, OR MY IPL isn’t paid or some other CRAP…I work at a “regular” job and if ANY employment company told ME I’d have to wait 90 days to get paid,I’d QUIT them in a heartbeat!!!
Mick Guise · August 24, 2013 at 5:59 am
Read your blogs with interest.
I have been caught in fanbox by trickery. I did not enter any registrations details but must have clicked on something that triggered it.
I have been billed for payments and late, late penalties but have paid nothing.
I tried to stop their mail by clicking on the small print instructions to stop receiving emails. The next box gave me the option of stopping emails or cancelling account permanently. I tried clicking on cancelling account and it didn’t respond (ie no response). This either means there is no account for me or it is not possible to use that option (ie just a legal get out option).
Should I just stop the emails coming?
I haven’t given you my email address. Sorry but I’m paranoic. Will do if I have to
joel savage · November 4, 2013 at 4:06 pm
Thanks for this post Giedrius. I have proved it myself that Fanbox is a scam. It is well designed website to defraud innocent people. After making my investigation I posted it on my blog. I have attached the link.
lou · February 19, 2014 at 7:53 am
FanBox is so sneaky. This blog site turns out to be run by FanBox as a 3rd party sourceware product! I am not using my real email, but those of you who have done so have just allowed yourselves to be hijacked by FanBox. This site, and about 400 others, appear to be blogs for gathering complaints and answering questions, but as you can see from some of the insidious answers above, FanBox is smarter than almost all of us! (Including me, but I learned the hard way …. I lost a lot of friends and pissed off a bunch of my family)
Giedrius Majauskas · February 19, 2014 at 8:05 am
lou : I am not related to fanbox.
Allan · March 27, 2014 at 8:03 am
I’ve been overly disappointed because I thought that this would somehow catch me in my scarcity because I’ve been jobless since January of this year. Since this month, I started blogging and posting a lot of pictures taken from personal files and different websites which I did for more than 10 hours on days that I had no church service. Lucky me because I deposited only a thousand pesos in my paypal account which I did as a safety net. They’re convincing actually because they speak professionally on presentation of their web and interactions. Hope this would be stopped through this awareness campaign.
To Fanxox, I know you have your loved ones. If this scams would be done against them, I’m sure you’ll feel the same feelings that your victims feel. Remember that God never sleeps. There’s always a reckoning at the most appointed time. It may not be today but certainly the time will come. Friendly advice, don’t wait that it’s God would take the reckoning.
I’m sure your parents did not teach such values, so be fair enough. In the Philippines which is a third world country, there are people with physical disabilities but they work decently. Use your intelligence not to defraud your neighbor but for exchange of productivity.
Leo, Osborn · June 5, 2014 at 1:29 pm
For anyone interested I can tell you right now that FanBox “IPL” & “Earnings” is one BIG SCAM!!!!!
In fact I am currently planning a “Class-Action” Lawsuit against FanBox! If you are interested/want in please get back to me. Thanks, Leo
FRANCISOCRAH · September 9, 2014 at 3:08 pm
For the first time i head about fanbox i was wow” what kind of site is it, but obsequiously i realize that it was just a trick by making us or the members look very stupid to that. the most painful part is that by making it look so real and Even doing so, by telling us to help people with our money which i could say a lie and beside posting our pictures as while.and perhaps About 400 or 500 members appear to be blogs for gathering complaints and answering question in the quote.this site is a stupid site making us looks toe. After making this verification I posted it on my blog.