Although the company positions itself as a “social experiment” that enables users to reap the monetary rewards of advertising profits garnered by site shares, some FanBox users have reported that the site doesn't live up to its promise, as indicated by more than 140 complaints to the Better Business Bureau. Chiefly, users complain about large amounts of spam emails from FanBox, which claim that you've earned money for essentially doing nothing. Although FanBox's emails feature an “unsubscribe” link, users report that getting rid of the emails for good takes a bit more work than a single click.
Typically, messages from FanBox aren't hard to spot; these messages are upfront about who they're from, and they often tell you that you're invited to earn money by advertising your product, service or blog, or that you have unclaimed money waiting, even if you don't sell products or have a website. Upon receiving any FanBox emails, mark them as spam. Virtually all email services or clients feature a “mark as spam” button available when viewing any particular email -- click this button when viewing any given message from FanBox. This helps your email provider identify future FanBox emails as spam, which in turn keeps them out of your inbox, as well as the inboxes of others.
Raise the Phishing Flag
Any email that tries to get a hold of your financial information or otherwise exploit your finances -- as some FanBox messages that ask you to a pay a "processing fee" reportedly do -- fall directly in the phishing category. If available, use your email client or service's “Report phishing” option -- available from Gmail's drop-down “Reply” menu, for instance -- if you receive unprompted messages from FanBox telling you about your unclaimed money. This prevents FanBox from sending you any more emails from the address in question and helps your email provider reduce phishing attempts in the future.
Perhaps the most effective tool in the fight against FanBox, email filters block incoming emails based on key words. Create a filter to automatically delete incoming spam emails from FanBox. Although the exact process varies a bit depending on your email provider, you can typically access your email's filtering options under the “Settings” or “Options” menu. From the menu, choose the “Add Filter” or similar option. Create filters for the words “FanBox” and “SMS.ac,” FanBox's parent company. While these two keywords serve as catch-all filters, you can create more specific filters for the following email addresses, as reported by users targeted by FanBox spam: @fanbox.com, @myfanbox.com, @corp.fanbox.com, @apps.fanbox.com, @fanboxapps.com, @sms.ac and @optin.fanbox.com.
Avoid clicking any link within emails from FanBox, including the link that reads “to stop receiving emails click here.” This link may not unsubscribe you from FanBox emails; in fact, some users report that clicking any link within a FanBox email simply lets the company know that your email account is active, potentially encouraging even more spam messages. Likewise, do not reply to any emails from FanBox if you're dealing with spam from the company.
- FanBox: A Social Experiment
- Better Business Bureau: BBB Business Review: FanBox
- Moneylife: FanBox Spam Scam: Don't Fall Prey to the Earnings Mailer
- ABC 13 Eyewitness News: Consumers Complain About Unwanted Emails Sent by Company Called FanBox
- Google: About Phishing
- Google: Using Filters
- Yahoo: Using Filters to Sort Incoming Email
- Dictionary.com: Phishing
- Photo Credit Eugenio Marongiu/iStock/Getty Images