Classmates.com & Reunion.com Scams

Graduating ClassmatesLike everyone else, I imagine, I’ve been bombarded for years from e-mail spam from Classmates.com and Reunion.com. I’ve dutifully ignored this crap. My general logic has always been that the companies who offer genuine products and services might send out advertisements, but they don’t have to spam the hell out of everybody. It’s a simple equation: spam = scam.

Reunion.com has been sending me something that finally got me to go over there and take a look. They’ve been sending me messages for weeks that claim someone named Carol Beck has been trying to add me, and asking me to confirm the relationship. As you may know, my older brother whom I’ve never met is named Jay Beck, and his mother’s name is Carol. That’s a hell of a carrot to dangle in front of someone.

Against my better judgment, I finally went over to Reunion.com just to see what the spiel was. Since I rotate my e-mail addresses every year and am about to retire the ones I’m using now, I went ahead and registered for a free account. After all, even if they start drowning me in spam, I’m about to delete the account. It’s New Year’s Eve.

Anyway, upon registering, the first thing I noticed was that there was no mention whatsoever of this Carol Beck who was trying to get in touch with me. Wow. Big surprise there, huh? All I found was that the owner of Reunion.com was in my friends list, and he’s keen on the idea that I should really upgrade to a Premium (read “pay”) account. Sorry, Charlie. No sale.

I didn’t really expect that Reunion.com was on the level, and I’d never give them a dime. Hell, all you have to do is Google the phrase “reunion.com scam” to find out what a joke this web site is. What intrigued me was how they came up with the name “Carol Beck”. Was that just a fluke? A coincidence? Or did some pathetic worm at reunion.com have the time to go digging through my blogs to find key words to include in these spam messages? If so, that’s kind of scary. But given the amount of determined people who spam blogs and forums with comments even though they have to register with each blog and forum, I shouldn’t be surprised that one of these maggots took the time to get to know me personally enough to know which key words to hit.

I suppose if anything amazes me, it’s that some people actually believe that if they harass the shit out of you, or attract your attention on false pretenses, you’ll still give them your money. Someone must give them money. Otherwise, there’d be no motivation to go through this much trouble, would there?

I’ve read on the Internet that some people claim Classmates.com is better. But from my impression, they’re just as big of a joke. My evidence? Well, essentially the same thing as with Reunion.com. A month or so ago I signed up for a free account at Classmates.com, thinking that I’d be able to look through the site and see what people I knew had registered for an account. Unlike Reunion.com, I was able to look at a good bit of information with a free account, and see just which of my old high school buddies were on there. Sure, I’d have to pay for an account to contact them through Classmates.com, but there was no one on there I’d want to be in touch with, anyway.

Where the Classmates.com scam came into focus was the almost daily e-mails I got (11 messages since I registered the account on December 6th), telling me about how my old classmates are supposedly talking about me on the forums and searching for me, and how some are supposedly trying to get directly in touch with me. How would I accept contact with all of these people? Why, by upgrading to a pay account, of course, upon which time I’d be given full access to all of these people who are trying to find me.

Want to know the catch; the one thing which makes me laugh about all this? I registered my account as Wicasta Lovelace. Anyone who went to school with me would not be looking for Wicasta Lovelace. No one knew me by that name back then. I went by my first name, Kevin, in my school days, and I used my step-father’s surname, Childers. So if anyone was looking for me, they’d be looking for Kevin Childers, not Wicasta Lovelace. The point? Classmates.com’s assurances that my old high school buddies are looking for me is a lie. There is no way dozens of people from my old high school have been searching for “Wicasta Lovelace”.

To a lot of people, the idea that Classmates.com and Reunion.com are scams, at least of a sort, is a “duh” factor. But a lot of people get caught up in this crap, looking for old friends, relatives and classmates. We all want to reconnect to our past in some way. Personally, I think it’s ghoulish that there are people out there who have found ways to profit from that innate desire in people, just as I think it’s unconscionable for the maggots at Ancestry.com to lock down all those databases of genealogy information and census reports, and then charge people for even the most basic information. But I suppose as long as there have been human beings, there have been people who’ve found ways to charge people for their hopes.

The only reason I wrote this is that I’ve noticed that when you write things like this, they tend to have long lives on the Internet. Hopefully at some time in the future if someone is motivated enough to Google phrases such as “reunion.com scam”, this page will come up as one of the results. Hopefully, they’ll save their money and their time, and they won’t fool around with such laughable ideas as Reunion.com and Classmates.com.

Hopefully they’ll realize in researching such things that if they want to get in touch with old friends and distant relatives, there are plenty of free resources out there. I’ve kept in better touch with boatloads of distant relatives since discovering MySpace, and I’ve found quite a few old classmates on Facebook. Neither one cost me a dime.

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Celeste
Celeste
13 years ago

hi there! I just thought you might like to know that I googled “ruinion.com scam” and stumbled upon your page. I was caught in a similar situation, they basically dangled bait in front of my face, saying a certain person was searching for me….and i felt like i needed to know if it were true. I didn’t sign up of course, and searched to see how many sites claimed that reuinion.com was a scam after the 50th e mail they sent me. Thank you for posting your experience. What freaks me out most, but doesn’t suprise me is how they end up knowing the information that will attract people. ugh.

Tony
Tony
13 years ago

Those sites are misleading at best, and an outright scam at worst. I have been both a Gold and a regular member of Classmates throughout the years and I have to say I have never ben inundated with spam from them. However, due to my position I know that many people have ‘searched’ for me there, and dropped me emails. People that I met through my speaking and of which I never knew in High School. It seems possible that contacts you know now, or those you have made through your blog may be searching your background through classmates. I dont know how likely. But its possible. Its also possible that they are lowlife liars who spam you incessantly hoping to catch yo uat a weak moment. Regarding the Carol Beck thing, its my guess that the name Carol Beck was sent to spammed to many thousands of other non-paying members. Its just generic enough that we can almost all ‘think’ we remember a Carol Beck. I doubt they care more about your $39 than anybody else to spend any kind of time chasing it down. None of us are that special to them.

David
David
13 years ago

Thank you for giving me time to vent. Thankfully I have not been tempted by Reunion.com … which by the way was free up until 2002. There are many well known resources to meet people that are free whether its for reminiscing about school or finding a date. I know websites like Match.com are a scam as well. Thankfully I never paid a dime to any of these scumbags.

jean
jean
13 years ago

Don’t be fooled with online scams, they really sucks! I got a lot of e-mails every now and then telling me some sort of winning but actually will scam you if you’ll attentively reply to them with your personal information.

Earnest
Earnest
13 years ago

Alan Berk was my carrot. Alan Berk?? Who the heck is that? I just went in to the garage broke out the old high school yearbook. Checked all of the graduation pictures. No Alan Berk. Definitely a scam. Keep your yearbook next to you and you can spot that scam.

Heidi
Heidi
13 years ago

I was dumb enough to sign up for what I thought was a onetime fee. After hounding me for $39.00 which I ignored, they suddenly had a $9.99 special which I fell for. When you sign up, Classmates.com defaults you into an automatic payment so in about a year you see another $39.00 charge on your credit card. They claim, sorry it’s non refundable. So I filed a dispute with my credit card company for highly deceptive billing practices. I am in the process of filing a report to the BBB and the attorney general’s office. The two people who ever contacted me through classmates also got billed $39.00 in Dec/08. Coincidence? I get the feeling they are charging all existing members this fee right now before everyone loses their job or Classmates.com’s cover is blown. My guess is reunion.com is the same outfit. It will be interesting to see if these thieves try to screw with my credit card or identity. I picture some fat slob named Morris, in his underwear, chomping on a stogie, laughing and drooling every time a sucker sends him their credit card info. What was I thinking?

Denise
Denise
13 years ago

Well it is not surprising that the name “Morris” was on my complaint return e-mail now. It must be a generated e-mail from these idiots. Ye s i got suckered into signing up. I never had anyone contact me ffrom Classmates either we all use myspace and facebook. which sadly to say i didnt find untill after i signed up for classmates. i dont even remember when i signed up for them. But i just happened to check my credit account and saw a charge for $59 from classmates when i went to classmates the account was renewed for another 2 yrs. i then proceded to contact them and got politely told “SUCKER”. whatever you do dont be there next sucker. No one i repeat NO ONE uses there sites and yes i still get e-mails saying Do you know this person and someone is looking for you even as a member. So they spam the hell out you no matter what and then tell you it is not important to get reminders that your account is about to be charged for renewal. Now if you ask me i was the idiot in the first place for even signing up for there membership. and am now a meber for the next 2 yrs for something i dont even use…. waste of money…. Please dont be there next victim.

WENDEEDOH
WENDEEDOH
13 years ago

Classmates.com is a scam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do not join and certainly don’t pay them anything!!!! They automatically renew your membership without your permission. I agreed to pay one free and now they keep charging my card!!!!

Mickey
13 years ago

Well I moved back to my hometown after 27 years although I was only a hour or less away. Being single I thought it would be nice to contact some old school friends. So I joined classmates.com and paid for membership. Denise who posted on February 27, 2009 is correct about the automatic renewal membership but you can go into “account” at the top of the page and change that so they won’t automatically rebill you.
Anyway all was fine with me being a paid member until I decided to make me a fake profile and see what my profile looks like when someone else looks at it. What I found was amazing. Number one I did a search from 1971 to 1977 of all members who had attended my high school during that period. On the fake profile I was able to see over 3100 persons who had attended, including several people who were close personal friends and did not show up on my search of the same years on my legit profile, which as I said I paid for and was a gold member. When I did the search on my real profile I only came up with a little over 1300 listings. Also my profile was 100% complete and I had about 10 or more pictures uploaded. When I tried to view my profile on the fake account there was very little I could view besides my answers to a few questions. There were no pictures to view, no story, or story line and at that point I became aware that something was not right with classmates.com. Also other peoples profiles were different than they were on my real account.
I really don’t get it. As much as people complain about these websites when you do a search on say classmates scam or any other website it seems like someone would step up, gather information on these websites that are literally stealing peoples money and not giving them what they paid for and be able to submit it to someone who could investigate and fine or shut down these sites that scam people.
Well at least classmates.com doesn’t cost as much as some other scamming sites like amateur match.com. I made a fake profile there with a picture of a horse and claimed to be a real live horse (the great, great, great, great grandson of Mr. Ed and have receive hundred of emails and close to 40 friends request. Ha. What a joke.

joe malley
joe malley
13 years ago

I am an attorney researching the business practices of reunion.com, as it relates to the unauthorized scraping of email address book, and pending my review shall consider legal action. I located your complaint from a google search of all those complaining about reunion.com and am sending this form letter to all. Any information you may provide would be helpful.
Here’s a few questions:
1) were you enticed to visit reunion.com after an email came to you, appearing like it was from a friend, inviting you to join reunion.com?
2) do you feel the terms of service and privacy policy noted on the site explained what exactly reunion.com was going to do to your email address book?
3) Were your email address contacts emailed an invitation to join reunion.com after receiving an invitation which claimed you sent them the invite?
4) how has your involvement damaged your reputation or any finacial losses?
So as to support my interest and qualify my identity, I would refer you to a few of my recent cases I filed, so that you can confirm that I do represent individuals in internet privacy matters. Google my recent cases:
lane v facebook,
valentine v nebuad
simon v adzilla
Once you locate these cases, review the atorneys noted, and then confirm I have the same email as the attorney noted on the lawsuit:
Joseph H Malley
malleylaw@gmail.com
Please feel free to contact me in confidence to discuss any issues. As noted at this point I am merely researching and discussing complaints to determine if there is any allegations of merit.
Thanks
Attorney Joe Malley
dallas texas
1-800-833-0101
email me back at: malleylaw@gmail.com

Hans christian anderson
Hans christian anderson
13 years ago

I’ve never had any problem with Classmates

Deano
Deano
12 years ago

I think Facebook has done a lot more to bring people together without hounding them like Classmates and Reunion. And are probably a lot more financially more successful. Classmates hurts themselves by being restrictive to who can join and actually see and interact with old friends. If Classmates were actually “free” they would probably pull in a lot more business but no, someone has to profit off everyone else. Whoever owns Classmates has no right to take advantage of “our” genuine friendships for their one personal profitable gain which is why I would rather use Facebook anyway.

TelephoneBill
12 years ago

Anyone else notice how on the “free’ membership, when you go to look up someone’s profile it directs you to a completely different person at another school, in another year? Talk about a F—ed-up website; they don’t even bother to maintain it.

Irene Towt
Irene Towt
12 years ago

Couldn’t agree more. I just cancelled my subscription to the latest bait and switch solicitation at Classmates.com. Thank you for inspiring me to stay away from these money mongers.

Michael
Michael
12 years ago

AGREED, TOTAL RIP OFF, truly a Scam in every sense.
Gold member, NEVER found 1 Person I was looking for. Watch out for re billing scam as well!!!!

Jody
Jody
12 years ago

Just wanted to say that my wife had paid for the classmates.com and canceled it, but they continued to withdraw money from her account month after month. She was unable to stop these withdraws! My wife ended up having to get rid of her bank card and have the bank make a new one. There should be some way to make classmates.com pay back all the money that they have taken. I have read many blogs about people going to the Better business, but what have they done about it! Nothing that I am aware of because this continues to be a major problem for people!

Lorraine
11 years ago

Don’t sign up, they will take your money and keep charging your card every year and when you try to tell them you don’t want it, they say you have to keep the membership for a year and they refuse to give your money back. DON’T SIGN UP TO CLASSMATES, THEY ARE A TREMENDOUS RIP OFF. I intend to write on the internet everywhere I can to make the public realize what they are doing. They are stealing from everyone that signs up.

Reba Newton
Reba Newton
11 years ago

I just found out classmates.com has billed my credit card for $39.00 to renew my membership to it. I did not agree to this & tried to contact them to cancel & reverse the charges. I can’t even log into my account to do it. When I try to re set my password to log in I get a message saying I did’t provide enough information to reset it. I called my credit card company to dispute this transaction & will be calling classmates.com tomarrow to let them know what I think of their service, if you can call it that.

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