Beware of Referral Key

So when you’re in the process of looking for employment opportunities, you tend to pay a bit more attention to emails and your LinkedIn profile.

On Feb. 11, I received an odd email from one of my LinkedIn contacts about what sounded like a lead to possible work. Since it was from someone I knew on LinkedIn, I trusted the link and opened it.

Note: I removed the sender’s name and business.

To read the entire message, you need to join the site, Referral Key, which as we all know only takes a few seconds to do. The message itself included this YouTube video, which instructs the user on how to export their LinkedIn contacts to their profile.

However, the video does not inform you that completing the process will email ALL OF YOUR LINKEDIN CONTACTS.

For someone who has 730+ LinkedIn contacts, that created quite the mess. I’ve already had to email countless friends and colleagues who messaged me to see if I had been hacked. (Apologies if you were one of them…)

Mashable endorsement?

Mashable endorsement?

So was I hacked? Technically, no. Apparently this site is real. I’m still having difficulty figuring out what its exact uses are, though. All I know, is that a few clicks can easily damage your reputation, so I advise you NOT to join this site.

The same exact thing happened to poor Cathy Miller…”How Referral Key’s Spammy Practice Embarrassed Pollyanna.” AND this article is another one I wish I would’ve read before this happened – it would have saved me a ton of grief.

Needless to say, I have already emailed the site and deleted my account. I also messaged the contact who initially invited me to the site.

Have you heard of this website? Has the same thing happened to you? I’d love to hear about it. Definitely NOT how I intended to spend my Wednesday afternoon…

*Update (2/13/14)*

It appears the site has removed the “Contact Page,” which is where I sent my complaint. Instead, they now have a “Support” page, which gives a quasi-FAQ. It conveniently has buried the fine print that the user is “100% responsible” for how they use the site. However, none of this verbiage was even on the site before. And, not surprisingly, I haven’t heard anything back from them.

Advertisements

65 thoughts on “Beware of Referral Key

  1. Cathy Miller says:

    Hi Rebecca: Thanks for the shout-out. I cannot believe ReferralKey is still using those same spammy (IMHO) tactics. We work hard on developing our business relationships and this could kill one in the beginning stage when the person doesn’t know you well enough to know that’s now how you operate.

    Thanks for sharing the message. Hopefully, it will help others from getting the nasty surprise you & I did.

    • Rebecca Forman says:

      You bet! The worst part about it? I know better! I still can’t believe I fell for it – but because it comes from people you’re connected with (on LinkedIn of all platforms), you think it’s legitimate. I, too, hope this will prevent it from happening to others!

  2. doctor games says:

    My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different website and thought I might as well check things out.
    I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to finding out about your
    web page yet again.

  3. pagan says:

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as
    though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog
    when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  4. pagan says:

    It is really a great and useful piece of information. I’m satisfied that you just
    shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us informed like this.
    Thank you for sharing.

  5. http://animewaffles.tv says:

    I blog quite often and I really appreciate your information.
    Your article has truly peaked my interest. I will take a note of your site and keep checking for new details
    about once per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

  6. Pingback: Homepage
  7. vinyl die cut machine says:

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I
    find this matter to be actually something that I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and very broad for me.
    I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  8. Wood lathes says:

    Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new project in a community
    in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!

  9. micro sd class 10 says:

    I don’t know if it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else
    encountering issues with your website. It seems like some
    of the text on your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback
    and let me know if this is happening to them as well? This may be a issue with my browser because I’ve had this happen previously.
    Thanks

  10. Www.youtube.com says:

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is
    an extremely well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info.
    Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.

  11. the Best car polish says:

    I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme.

    Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz respond as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to
    know where u got this from. kudos

  12. samsung double Door Refrigerator says:

    Its such as you learn my mind! You seem to grasp so much about this, such as you wrote the e book in it or something.
    I think that you simply could do with a few % to drive the message house a little bit,
    but other than that, this is great blog. A fantastic read.
    I will certainly be back.

  13. Wood Lathe chucks says:

    I’m not sure exactly why but this website is loading incredibly slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  14. Youtube.Com says:

    I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is tasteful, your authored material
    stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness over
    that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more
    formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot
    often inside case you shield this increase.

  15. canon s95 Battery says:

    Hey would you mind stating which blog platform you’re
    working with? I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future
    but I’m having a hard time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different
    then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  16. Youtube.com says:

    I do trust all the ideas you have introduced for your post.
    They are really convincing and will definitely work.
    Nonetheless, the posts are very short for starters.

    May you please extend them a bit from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

  17. Starla says:

    Howdy! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came
    to check it out. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this
    to my followers! Excellent blog and excellent design.

  18. Pingback: chaudhuri
  19. Pingback: visit our website
  20. Samsung Lcd 32 says:

    Awesome blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?

    A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really
    make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you
    got your design. Cheers

  21. best Air cleaner says:

    I seldom comment, however i did some searching and wound up here
    Beware of Referral Key | Rebecca Forman. And I do have 2 questions for you if you do not mind.
    Is it just me or does it seem like some of these responses look as if they are written by brain dead individuals?
    😛 And, if you are posting at additional social sites, I’d like to follow
    anything new you have to post. Would you list of all of your shared pages like your twitter feed,
    Facebook page or linkedin profile?

  22. Pingback: click
  23. http://youtube.com says:

    I do not even know the way I stopped up right
    here, however I thought this post was once good.
    I don’t know who you’re but definitely you’re going to
    a well-known blogger in case you are not already.

    Cheers!

  24. cosmic case classic says:

    Fantastic blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little
    lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like
    Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed ..
    Any ideas? Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s