When I started getting repeated and persistent SMS.ac invitations from old friends — and even from an ex-girlfriend — I knew something was up, so I looked into it; you may have noticed the related links I posted to my del.icio.us spam tag. More details now from Joi Ito and Community Mobilization.
The gist of it is that when you sign up with SMS.ac, it apparently asks for your Hotmail/Yahoo Mail password, spams people in your address book with invitations appearing to come from your own name and email address, then continues to send those invitations even if you are not actively inviting people — and even if you unregister from their service. The invitations do include an “unsubscribe” link, but since when can you trust unsubscription links from a spammer?
SMS.ac, if it is indeed a legitimate service, is getting off on a seriously wrong foot here. I can see how their suits may have thought it would be a cool “feature,” but now I’m marking all email that appears to be an SMS.ac invitation as junk, and warning other people not to use it. Needless to say, I won’t be signing up at all.
Update: Comments on this entry are now closed, and the topic continues here: Update on SMS.ac spam.