MySpace is deleting fake user profiles, spoofed to appear to have been created by Tom Anderson, the website’s president and co-founder, that offer free access to ringtones.
Anderson’s profile today thanked users for notifying management of the social networking website about the forged profiles, reaffirming that MySpace is not in the ringtone business.
“Tom is glad users told me about the fake Tom profiles. I’m not selling ringtones,” he said in an announcement on his page. “We are deleting them now. Happy New Year! MySpace will remain open and free!”
Consistently ranked as one of the world’s most popular websites, MySpace allows users to collect “friends,” or contacts with the other users. When a member signs up for the service, Anderson, known informally as “Tom,” automatically becomes his or her friend.
The fake profiles offer 24 hours of free access to a MySpace ringtones section, and advertise that cell phone games, wallpapers and ringtones will be made available on a daily basis. Users are redirected to the site by an included link.
Chris Boyd, security research manager at FaceTime Communications, told SCMagazineUS.com today that most users should be able to spot the profiles as shams.
“They’ve tried to make it look as legit as possible, though, of course, anyone receiving an [advertisement] from one of these profiles should already be aware that the very first friend they have is the real Tom,” he said.
MySpace last year became a favorite target of spammers, hackers and malware creators. Last month, the social networking website sued Hong-Kong-based Blue China Group, alleging that the defendants spammed millions of the site’s users.
The MySpace pages of celebrities Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, Hilary Duff and Tila Tequila have all been hacked in recent months.
A MySpace representative could not immediately be reached for comment.