Wikiscam

Just because something has the word Wiki, community and/or .org in its name, doesn’t mean it isn’t a scam. I just received an email from someone called Navin Mirania about Wikimmunity which on first glance sounds like a worthy project: a website designed around local community content. But on closer examination it has the word ‘spam’ written all over it: 

How are you?  My name is Navin from Wikimmunity.org. I recently tried to contact you by phone regarding your blog/web site Endangered Spaces to see if there was any opportunity for us to work together.  Wikimmunity.org, the local community source, is looking for writers to write about local organizations, groups, attractions, people, places, and more.

We pay a modest fee for writing about places and things that you already know about in and around your local area.  Your idea/topic list is unending. Let me know if we can set up a time for us to discuss further. We’d like to help you to generate additional revenue from your blog.  In the mean time, visit  https://www.wikimmunity.org/affiliate/scripts/signup.php to register.  I’ve also included some other links that you might be interested in visiting below. Thanks and I look forward to hearing from
you NAME HERE

Navin calls himself a “Content Distribution Specialist” which is a new one on me. I guess it sounds better than “spammer who forgot to set the autofiller in his distribution list software”.

And what of the website itself? Well, it looks and feels like Wikipedia, until you realize there’s no information about who’s behind it, and until you start reading some of the entries. Which are, it has to be said, unconsciously amusing. Try this one, for example, about Walmart:

walmart has a lot of people’s needs at great prices. they have snacks, electronics, drinks, furniture, sports stuff, music, and many more. they have video games and acsessories and many more. If you want the newest things for a great price go to walmart. They have so much sales and and items you know it is goinig to be a good store all around prices. if you wann visit their online store [1]. they are one of the best stores to go to. they have toys, fishing equipment, tires, and even t.v. so for this holiday that is coming up you must go to walmart for their awesome prices

Copy I’m sure Walmart would be proud of. Or this one on Barnes & Noble:

Alot of people should be Familiar with this store. In case you don’t know this is a book store. in this store you can get all kinds of books in this place. they have fiction, non-fiction, realistic fiction, and many more. They also have new releases of books all the time. They also have cd’s. the music they have is rock, classic rock, country, rap, and others. this is a good store to get both books and music. They also have drum books. They have Jimi Hendrix cd’s!!!

Well, blow me down. Jimi Hendrix CDs?

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26. November 2007 by jeremy
Categories: Scams, Spam | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 comments

Comments (3)

  1. Well no one said that Wikis were perfect. Since anyone can write just about anything (just like you do on this blog), the content isn’t always stellar (just like on this blog). Wikimmunity happens to be a work in progress and it’s not perfect. You might find it worthwhile to become a contributor by fixing some articles or adding new ones. Don’t bash something unless you know what it’s about. Try reading the home page befor jumping to conclusions and saying it’s not a worthwhile project.

  2. Wikimmunity.org is meant to provide a local community guide for local hot spots. People from particular cities can add info on places and things that interest them. Here is just a sampling of some interesting, legitimate articles on Wikimmunity.org. Small businesses can add their info to get free advertising:

    http://www.wikimmunity.org/wiki/index.php?title=Black_Rose_Caff%C3%A9

    http://www.wikimmunity.org/wiki/index.php?title=New_York_Harbor

    http://www.wikimmunity.org/wiki/index.php?title=Emerald_Loop_Bar_%26_Grill

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/100228/how_to_get_free_advertising_for_your.html

  3. I just came across your blog while doing research on Wikimmunity in response to an email I received from someone affiliated with it. I usually do research before clicking on unknown sites I get mail from. While I figured it was scammy when I couldn’t find anything about it on Wikipedia, I googled it and found your article, which laid it out clearly. I then visited their site, and read a couple of entertaining, although useless, articles. Anyway, I’m grateful for the email because it led me to your blog, which seems to have entertaining and useful stuff. Cheers, Carloz