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A little reminder to be cautious on the internet.

I spent some time last month applying for part-time jobs for the school year and one of those was with a new online fashion community, Vivvva.  As part of the application process, they asked me to create a profile and upload several pictures. I thought this was an interesting way to get fashion-minded people to know about their site in addition to making applicants familiar with their company, so I uploaded my pics and waited. I received an email a few weeks ago saying I was still in the running, but hadn’t heard anything since then. Until a few days ago when I received this email from Vivvva:

VIVVVA.COM  is a SCAM

We’ve got a complaint from our friend who is looking for a Fashion Stylist job , and we found out:

All the traffic to this site is derived from craigslist job posts.

The scammers who run this site has posted hundreds of repeating job posts in every possible us city , which required job seekers to open an account in vivvva.com and upload their art.

here is some examples from the last month (they are posting at least 2-3 month already):

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/wri/1864269109.html

http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/wri/1861133478.html

http://cleveland.craigslist.org/med/1852113798.html

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/wri/1889523044.html

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/wri/1880208448.html

http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/wri/1872542837.html

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/wri/1870466760.html

http://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/med/1903781204.html

http://newyork.craigslist.org/jsy/wri/1868927188.html

and hundreds more…

Abusing people who are looking for a job , and giving them false hopes while making them spend their time and upload their art work just so the site will have traffic .

who are the people behind this site ?

The founder: Dan Rolls.

Quote from an article in  sanjose.bizjournals.com about vivvva.com (http://sanjose.bizjournals.com/sanjose/stories/2010/05/31/smallb2.html) : “Vivvva says it has raised $500,000 from angels in Silicon Valley and expects to seek more money within a few months”

They SCAM their Investors as well ! we can tell from analyzing the site:

The homepage is sending  2 requests to Google analytics each time , this is a known scam for cheating unskilled Angel investors , showing a low “bounce rate” in Google analytics. Google counts as a “bounce” every user making just one request , which means he didn’t proceed spending clicks on the site behind his  first impression. so scammers like vivvva – are forcing 2 requests and magically the bounce rate is getting low .

Dear Angel investors, you can easily check the real bounce rate in a different method , luckily Google analytics provides lots of information , for instance you can check under  Visitor->Visitor Loyalty -> Length Of Visit  , and summarize the first 3 rows – this is another way to check the bounce rate , every visitor  leaving the site without spending a minute is considered a bounced visitor.

You can also check the source of the traffic and find out what part of it is from craigslist.com.

After checking a little about the background of the founder , we weren’t  surprised  when we  found that it is not his first scum . The site “famillion.com” (doesn’t respond at all)  is also one of his attempts.

here is some info about it: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/genealogy-web-site-attempts-to-map-out-entire-jewish-people-1.242974

Job seekers :  Don’t waste your time and hopes for this one – it’s a scam

Angel Investors:  claim your money back !

we will keep watching and alerting about scum’s and scammers we find out there .

If you’ve got this mail it is because you are on their mailing list . It was very easy to hack , they don’t care to much about the privacy and the security of their users.

http://www.hackersunderground.com/

Interesting, but are the accusations in this email true?

Vivvva’s founder quickly responded with the following email:

As you probably know, our website has been hacked yesterday. We have taken many measures to prevent this, but as a small start-up these things can happen.

The world of fashion is one filled with desires and ego, and there are some people out there who would rather see ViVVVA fail than succeed. They have used the most cowardly means possible to try and hurt ViVVVA and the message of free fashion that we are trying to spread. We are extremely sorry that the people involved chose to victimize our users as well.

ViVVVA.com is taking great measures, both technically and legally, to assure that this kind of attack will not repeat itself.

The people at ViVVVA.com work day and night with great love to ensure that ViVVVA gives our users the best experience possible, and to recruit the most talented people in the fashion industry.

We are asking you to help us look past those who would rather destroy than build, and continue helping us create a vibrant, joyful community of self-expression and great fashion!

I will also gladly answer any questions or concerns you might have – you can contact me personally at: [email protected].

Yours,

Dan Rolls
Founder & CEO
ViVVVA.com

Fashion bloggers are often exploited by businesses. Our pictures are used for their commercial gain (that’s why you should ALWAYS put a tag on your images like my Prom Mafia one), and our services are often demanded for nothing in return.

People in general are tricked and taken advantage of on the internet. How many times have you received an email from a Nigerian prince who wants to give you millions of dollars?

I’m not sure which side I believe, but the hacker is suggesting an interesting, though underhanded, marketing concept.  Sniff out people passionate about fashion and get them to sign up for your site for free and spread the word.

So, was this an exploitation or merely a misunderstanding?

What do you think?

 

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