I almost got caught up in the Quechup scam that’s hitting the internet at the moment. I got an e-mail from somebody I know inviting me to join this new social networking site. Once you sign up, you have can send invites to selected contacts from your gmail / hotmail etc. contact list. However, rather than just sending invites to those you’ve selected, it will send invites to everybody in your contact list. In the case of gmail, that might be anybody you’ve ever e-mailed.
My first instinct was that this was a case of extreme incompetency. Some poor programming – a rogue semicolon that testing didn’t pick up maybe. But then I began to wonder. Rather than incompetency, could this be the most competent internet scam since the Anna Kournikova virus?
Nobody’s going to fall for the promise of pictures of naked tennis stars nowadays. But the very hint of a new social networking site and we’re falling over ourselves to hand over our login details and passwords to strangers. And it’s not fresh-faced newbies who are falling for this scam: these are seasoned web 2.0 veterans.