Boycott yaari.com - "Spam 2.0"

This is a "Web 2.0" world so I join different community sites (such as facebook, linkedin, orkut etc.) in order to be not left behind :) One such site happen to be yaari.com which brought me embarrassment instead of any apparent benefit.

After I registered with their website, it sent an email of the following format to random set of addresses from my GMail address book:

Subject:     Arun is your Yaar! :)
Date:     Sat, 13 Oct 2007 10:51:15 -0500
From:     Arun MY_EMAIL_ID
Reply-To:     admin@yaari.com
To:     EMAIL-ID FROM GMAIL

Arun
San Jose
    
Arun Gupta wants you to join Yaari!
Is Arun your friend?
Yes <http://www.yaari.com/y-register.php?i=SOME_WEIRD_NUMBER> No <http://www.yaari.com/y-register.php>
Please respond or Arun might think you said no :(

To stop receiving emails from Yaari.com, click here <http://yaari.com/y-email-opt-out.php?param=YET_ANOTHER_WEIRD_NUMBER>.
If you have any concerns regarding the content of this message, please email abuse@yaari.com.
Yaari LLC, 358 Angier Ave, Atlanta, GA 30312

I apologize for unknowingly sending a message from my account.

This is absolute shame. The website says "social networking site created by Indian youth, for Indian youth". I really don't care who has created the website but this is complete invasion of privacy. Stop it yaari.com and get some real work done!

If you get an invitation to join yaari.com, send it back to the original sender along with the link to this blog. An already created account can be deleted by going to Accounts tab and selecting "Deactivate Account" and, of course, never joining back.

Read more horrid experiences here and here.

Boycott yaari.com image used from Aalaap.com. I could not inline the image for an unknown reason.

Technorati: spam yaari

Comments:

Just correct the spelling of Aalaap :)

Thanks!

Posted by Aalaap on October 22, 2007 at 02:46 PM PDT #

fixed, thanks for the catch!

Posted by Arun Gupta on October 22, 2007 at 02:49 PM PDT #

I am also a recent victim and know what you are talking about:-)

I joined the boycott campaign - http://home.comcast.net/~vivekp/2007/10/bocott-yaaricom.html

Posted by vivek on October 22, 2007 at 04:39 PM PDT #

Thanks for the link Arun. I read on your blog that you attend various web-related events including a recent Java event in Minneapolis. Is there a website where you can track these events for the Minneapolis area?

Posted by Amit Chowdhry on October 22, 2007 at 05:36 PM PDT #

How did they get a hold of your addressbook? Did you import or something? I am not going to sign up (to give them an added statistic) but just curious.

Also, the site is a copy paste of hotornot.com.

Posted by Mohit on October 29, 2007 at 01:04 PM PDT #

Sorry for the question I asked in the previous post. I was too p\*\*\*ed off to Google around further. I read the linked blog (http://www.aalaap.com/2007/07/say-no-to-yaaricom.html) where I was able to get the whole story. Thanks guys for raising this issue - it really brings a very bad name to legitimate and creditworthy Indian startups.

Posted by Mohit on October 29, 2007 at 01:31 PM PDT #

Hi,

I am facing a similar problem. The website stole my address from my address book and sending emails to every one. This is pathetic. They should be punished for stealing and causing spams.

Posted by Sunil on October 29, 2007 at 11:01 PM PDT #

I think I gave up my gmail address :( It's unethical to ask for the password anyway and that's what is irritating.

Posted by Arun Gupta on October 30, 2007 at 12:59 AM PDT #

Just change your passwords for gmail before your accounts got lost !

Posted by Ilya Erlikhman on October 30, 2007 at 08:07 PM PDT #

Yeah, I made that change already :)

Posted by Arun Gupta on October 30, 2007 at 09:14 PM PDT #

No point in changing the password guys .... they steal the addresses when you are signing up.

This is absolute nonsense. Yaari is a virus.

Posted by TK on October 31, 2007 at 11:41 AM PDT #

Great post Arun, they even screwed my contacts.

Bad website and shameless copy of hotornot. As always, another non-innovative Indian website

Posted by Rahul on November 02, 2007 at 12:14 AM PDT #

I had the SAME experience with Yaari and encourage everyone to 1) not sign up and 2) spread the word. Yaari is in the business of phishing, and unless you want your entire address book hijacked, do not sign up. I was in the precarious position of having to send an apology email to everyone in my address book, including to 3 senior executives at a Fortune 100 company I am currently interviewing with. How embarrassing, and just disrespectful.

Please spread the word - boycott Yaari.com.

Posted by Mayura on November 24, 2007 at 09:25 AM PST #

I am also the victim of YAARI.COM.but I dont know where to complain.Pls anybody suggest how to react for the same.

Posted by Srikanth on December 05, 2007 at 01:08 PM PST #

Yaari.com. STOP your unethical marketing strategies.

Posted by Shankar on December 26, 2007 at 07:12 PM PST #

There is a method to break into almost any e-mail account and do the abovementioned acts.

Posted by guest on December 30, 2007 at 12:38 PM PST #

How dumb do you have to be to give yaari ( or any other portal for that matter) the password to your email account?

Quit complaining and grow some brains!

Posted by Watcher on January 08, 2008 at 11:02 AM PST #

"Grow some brains"? Ok...that makes sense.

Anyways, I made contact with the President of Yaari, and she is aware and taking action on this subject. She seemed very geniune, and apologized for the issue. I think her mission is a good one - she just didn't have the right development/legal staff supporting her.

Posted by Mayura on January 08, 2008 at 11:30 PM PST #

She may be a good individual but certainly does not have business sense cause what she did was unethical and painful. This due diligence is important even before starting a mom-and-pop shop.

Posted by Arun Gupta on January 08, 2008 at 11:44 PM PST #

Hello Friends,

Please do not accept the Friends request for yaari.com posted to you as mail by your friends name from the yaari.com itself. and also if you do have your account on yaaari.com then beaver of this problem b'coz the same will/was happen with your address book email also. so my suggestion is to delete your account from yaari.

--
Regards,

Rishikesh Khodke

Posted by Rishikesh KHodke on February 21, 2008 at 03:29 PM PST #

Yes, absolutely "yaari.com" is intervening in public privacy, they send mail to every contact list that i had in gmail account, referring each of the adressee to join the community, even i had to face my senior to stop sending this nonsense, it is humiliating, they are just too mean to hack your email address to increase their account. Stop doing this! infact boycott "yaari.com"

Posted by uma r on February 26, 2008 at 08:42 PM PST #

file a complain over here

https://rn.ftc.gov/pls/dod/wsolcq$.startup

rgds
uma r

Posted by uma r on February 26, 2008 at 08:49 PM PST #

This just happened to me today. It has been awful. I have been dealing with this problem all day. I have gotten SOOOO many e-mails from people in my addressbook, most of whom are professional contacts. Yaari should be shut down. When I e-mailed them about it, they claimed that they got my permission to do this in the fine print of the Terms and Conditions. I don't care what the terms and conditions say, this is a CLEAR violation of privacy.

Posted by JBTMOM on March 26, 2008 at 12:23 PM PDT #

Hi
I also registered with yaari.com a while back, forgot all about it
and today they seem to have sent their horrible marketing rubbish to all in my address book several times.
sent an email complaining about this to abuse@yaari.com
been sending out appology emails all day
B\*\*\*\*\*

Posted by jbains on June 08, 2008 at 07:31 AM PDT #

Watcher: they tricked you. 6 months later and they're still spamming.

Posted by Jonno on June 14, 2008 at 08:12 AM PDT #

i just got invited by a person i never knew... checked out what site it was that i was invited to.. thanks for the update.. i'm registering, period.
keep it going.. dude!!

Posted by utsav on June 18, 2008 at 02:00 PM PDT #

I signed up for Yaari after getting invitation from my relative.I did not know at that time that he was also the victim of Yaari's cheap gimmicks to gain members.But the worst thing is I could not even access my yaari account to deactivate, I am getting msg stating that I am not a member but all my contac IDs were stolen. What to do now.

Posted by Praveen on June 21, 2008 at 09:55 PM PDT #

I found myself I am the victim today.
I also couldn't login their site to deactivate just as Praveen reported above.

>But the worst thing is I could not even access my yaari account to deactivate, I am getting msg stating that I am not a member but all my contac IDs were stolen.

Changing my yahoo password won't help?
Then, what we can do?

6 month later, they are still spamming!?
NO!!!!!

Posted by MM on July 01, 2008 at 03:06 AM PDT #

Shameless creatures!! Why donn US governing body do something, just throw them out, miss prerna and her damn company

Posted by uma r on July 06, 2008 at 10:39 PM PDT #

I don't appreciate receiving YAARI junk and I did not even register with them.The sorry guy I dumped did and clearly forgot to delete my address.Unsolicited mail stinks.YAARI get a grip!

Posted by digusted on July 11, 2008 at 03:33 AM PDT #

I can't believe a social networking site can be so intrusive and abusive. I also advocate boycotting Yaari.com, see my page for details on how it abused me.

Posted by Mohammad Keyhani on July 13, 2008 at 09:08 AM PDT #

Hello,

I recently received an invitation to join Yaari.com. I made a terrible mistake, which was joining that network with my most used Gmail account. Upon signup I provided my Gmail password.

Guess what: _ALL_ my contacts received an invitation to join Yaari.com.

I wasn't even asked wheter I agreed to submit such silly invitation to ALL my contacts.

I received phone calls and emails from customers, family, friends asking whether they should accept this invitation.

Believe me, being an IT professional, I felt _really_ stupid having provided the credentials of my most widely used email account to such a dishonest, unethical and irresponsible company: YAARI.COM.

At least I will spread the mouth to alert people not to join such network.

Trust me: STAY AWAY FROM YAARI.COM, they exercise unethical Spam 2.0

Posted by Alex S. on July 17, 2008 at 02:17 AM PDT #

Everyone,
Are you all going to complain or are you going to DO SOMETHING?
Yaari's practices are not just unethical they are ILLEGAL.
They contravene the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act.
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/canspam.shtm

1) Go to the FTC page http://www.ftc.gov/spam/
2) Click on "File a Complaint" (on the left column).
It's a bit slow so be patient.
3) Click on "FTC Complaint Assistant" (On the right)
4) Is your complaint concerning identity theft - NO (hit next)
5) Dissatisfaction with other Business Practices (hit next)
6) Select "Internet" and "Other Internet Practices" (hit next)
7) I have a complaint about my options (or lack of) for protecthing my privacy online. (you can also select option 1 if you have children in your email list). (hit next).
8) Do you know the name of the company (Yes) (hit next)
For the company details enter www.yaari.com. You can use Prerna@yaari.com for the email. (Just put zero dollars).
For Step 5, I put the following in the additional info
"This company is a social networking site. They contacted me by sending an invitation that impersonated the email identity of someone known to me. After signing up on their site http://www.yaari.com I found out that they take all of the addresses from my email address book and send invitation emails to each contact that claim to be from me. I believe that this practice contravenes the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act."

-- Please don't just grumble. Make a difference: File a complaint with the FTC.
Tim

Posted by Tim on July 26, 2008 at 04:24 AM PDT #

I recently received an email invitation for Yaari, and because I had never heard of it before, I decided to do some research first. After reading your blog, I can tell that Yaari is bad news. Thanks for the help!

Posted by Mike Li on July 26, 2008 at 06:57 PM PDT #

Yaari are still doing this! I had a mail saying a friend in India invited me to join. I joined, and have now had to mail everybody I ever mailed warning them.
This is a shameful activity and is spreading now outside India, not helping India's reputation in cyberspace, as there is no other Indian networking site that has a high profile outside India.
Yaari are breaking the law, and need to be reported to the Indian police.

Louise

Posted by Louise Larchbourne on August 05, 2008 at 06:46 PM PDT #

I am also a victim of this horrible site! I immediately deactivated my account and changed my email password. Will they keep on spamming my contacts? Even if I have deactivated?

Posted by fashion girl on January 12, 2009 at 07:28 PM PST #

why not we join hands and do a DNS attack on yarri,com

Posted by guest on January 13, 2009 at 04:48 PM PST #

I got from a friend to join yaari again, it's 4th time since I deactivated the account..it is happening all again.silly, they should stop doing this..really absurd

Posted by Uma C Ram on January 14, 2009 at 09:52 PM PST #

I just got an invite today.
While I was interested in joining, I decided google first then join.
After reading this blog I definately will not be joining up.

Thank you for the info!

Posted by Rani on January 20, 2009 at 01:45 PM PST #

Hi,

I went directlt to the CEO and got following response. She never admitted any guilt or tried to change their sneaky policies.

They are scumbags and destined to fail.

From: Prerna Gupta <prerna@yaari.com>
To: rgarg_1@yahoo.com
Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 9:11:33 PM
Subject: Explanation from Yaari

Dear Rajesh,

I just read the message you left me on Yaari. Please accept my sincere apologies for any miscommunication regarding our process. We have deleted your contacts from our databases, so they should receive no further emails from us. I would be happy to send an apology email to your friends, if you will pleas send me a csv list of the email addresses you would like me to contact.

Best,
Prerna

--
Prerna Gupta
Chief Executive Officer
Yaari.com

Posted by Rajesh Garg on January 24, 2009 at 11:25 PM PST #

Are you guys impotent?

Shut down Yaari.com

Period

Posted by Shankar on February 03, 2009 at 11:42 AM PST #

Hi folks,
I do not believe the website is interested in changing the practice.
Everyone should make a concerted effrorts to stop this stealing of provate information.

Thanks,

Posted by Neelesh on February 04, 2009 at 11:06 AM PST #

I have deactivated my account and is still sending e-mails, It is very embarrassing as some of my professional contacts are very highly placed people, looks like there is nothing that we can do unless I disable my gmail account.

Posted by Dinkar Karumuri on February 08, 2009 at 03:25 AM PST #

I don't think it helps to disable your gmail account, since they already have all of your address book.
The mere fact that so many people have been spammed and are getting spammed means that Yaari.com is creating a bigger and bigger mass of enemies for itself. It's only a matter of time before a critical mass is reached and Yaari becomes a victim of it's own greed.

Posted by Mohammad Keyhani on February 08, 2009 at 04:49 AM PST #

ha!ha!ha!

Posted by Prerna Gupta on March 02, 2009 at 12:10 AM PST #

Hey Suckas:-)

Posted by Prerna Gupta on March 03, 2009 at 04:06 AM PST #

We should all install the Web of Trust add-on into our web browser software (http://www.mywot.com/). "WOT is a Free Internet Security addon for Firefox and IE that warns you about online scams and risky websites that try to deliver malware or send spam."

Yaari got bad ratings from WOT for trustworthiness, reliability, privacy and safety.
http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/yaari.com

Posted by brthomas on March 15, 2009 at 04:50 AM PDT #

I will personally e-mail your contacts & apologize to them if that is what you all want.

However, keep in mind that you willingly uploaded your contacts to my website w/out reading the fine print.

For that, I have no apologies..I apologize if you are naive & unthorough in your affairs. Your loved ones must have plenty of complaints about you all. But, ahhhh anyway this shouldn't be about disparaging you. I will personally go through the extra step of e-mailing your contacts directly.

Have a Great day everyone!

Sincerely,

Prerna
CEO of Yaari
Prerna@Yaari.com

Posted by Prerna Gupta on March 26, 2009 at 12:46 AM PDT #

Does Miss Prerna, means that everyone complaining is wrong, what the dumb suckas to her if the fine print is micro print. nonsense and unethical. than aslo it is hacking

Posted by uma c on March 26, 2009 at 03:55 PM PDT #

Prerna,

this is pathetic. If you have any brains you know that you are acting against any common conventions in the web in order to get e-mail addresses. That's immoral.

The page that shows you all the contacts is obviously set up to deceive users. It is easy to exclude existing members from getting an invite. As for the others (those you want to grab), they sit at the bottom and are preticked, so 1st you hope users will not see what you plan and anyway think nothing happens when they say "untick all" at the top.
Then: unlike for the existing users the other contacts do not have "untick all". I unticked those on page one and left the page. And still you send messages to all others.
Sorry, but this cannot be attributed to stupidity alone. This seems require some criminal energy.
The fact that you didn't change the setup by now, although it has clearly been misunderstood by so may users, shows that you seem to be prepared to deceive users. I honestly hope that not only does Yaari fail, but also that the web is powerful enough to make all people you try to do business with in the future think twice very carefully before dealing with you. Personally, i certainly wouldn't buy a bowl of rice from you.

Posted by Sven Ringling on April 12, 2009 at 08:31 PM PDT #

I just wanted to update this page and let anyone interested know that I just filed a complaint with the FTC and I highly encourage you to do the same. It takes less than 3 minutes and you might actually cause some change rather than just bitching about it on a blog. Thanks Alex S. for posting those step by step instructions for how to file a complaint with the FTC.
Just FYI, like another poster on here mentioned, as soon as I realized that the site was just spam, I did NOT COMPLETE the registration process. Yaari doesn't care....they got enough info and now I'm in the same spam boat that everyone else is in. This is annoying because now I can't even sign into Yaari (I have NO ACCOUNT with them) to adjust the settings.

M0nkey

Posted by M0nkey on April 13, 2009 at 10:38 AM PDT #

Is it just me, or does everyone find Prerna (CEO of Yaari)'s last comment offensive?

One thing I definitely need to clarify: it is NOT about AGREEING or DISAGREEING to the privacy statement. I have a friend who just clicked open the website and immediately closed it got hacked into his email account. More than a hundred emails was sent to people including his old boss and not-so-familiar professional contacts. It's totally embrassing and discrediting for him. So just keep your heads up. YAARI will HACK YOUR ACCOUNT EVEN IF YOU DON'T REGISTER AND DON'T AGREE TO ANY OF THE SO CALLED "fine print".

I'm not a legal expert. I don't know if it is legal to tell people that you want to hack their email account in your privacy statement. But, what I AM SURE is that if people who have not agreed to whatever privacy statement is there and got hacked, that is a criminal offense.

I'll be checking back on this forum. If any legal prosecutor needs a witness account, I'd be happy to provide one. As I'm sure anybody who'd been a victim of this website would be too.

Posted by Apple on April 20, 2009 at 12:36 AM PDT #

I vehemently disapprove of Yari sending invitations to my contacts from my address book ...god kows how they got hold of it . I want to reiterate that I have not sent any request to any body and I am not a member of Yari.....

Posted by arundhati on April 28, 2009 at 12:02 AM PDT #

these guys sent me a message and claimed that i had been invited by a friend of mine.when i asked the friend she denied having suggested me to the site.So i logged on to see what it was all about. the next time i go to my mail box i find that i had been sent matches of ladies. i thought this was a joke and ignored.today i check my mail box i see that there are more matches then i log into the account and what do i find in my profile ,that am single and yet am married to a sweet wife and dont need another woman. Been scared out of shit. if my wife had seen those matches i would be without my balls now.I have just de-activated the account and never to return.

Posted by Finyanga minyo on May 21, 2009 at 09:51 PM PDT #

Even I was duped.

Yaari is totally useless spam social networking. I feel like giving the maximum punishment to the CEO and the management involved.

How dare they violate my privacy. They sent emails to from any1 to every1 including my clients and professors.

Posted by snemax on May 29, 2009 at 02:28 PM PDT #

i want to have someone to chat with

Posted by michael affum sekyere on August 29, 2009 at 06:09 AM PDT #

As described by Mr. Arun Gupta, i felt that those social networking harming privacy should not be encouraged. I observed one thing at Yaari is that , all of them seem to pose their relationship status as SINGLE. Is yaari something to do with divorcees, single persons etc., i really need some enlightenment with respect to this or it is just email friendship??
Anyways thanks for Mr. Gupta's caution, i deleted the account and feel that it is better.

Posted by P.Mohan on November 17, 2009 at 07:31 PM PST #

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Arun Gupta is a technology enthusiast, a passionate runner, author, and a community guy who works for Oracle Corp.


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