Comfibook Displays Your Information, Against Your Will

Scammer Information

Scammer Name(s):

Scammer Location:

Scammer Website:

Scammer Email(s):

Scammer Phone Number(s):

Scam Details

When Did The Scam Take Place:

The Promise:


This website claims to only display information gathered from public sites, but actually removing this information is such an ordeal it is impractical and tedious. It also requires you handing over a large quantity of personal information to them.

Their short-term solution of registering for an account to control your settings does not work, since they do not have an option to claim or delete your profile.

It’s just a tiny bit shady that your information is being displayed against your will, unless you are ready to jump through several hoops to get it removed, and give this random company a lot of personal information in exchange.

Author: Anon E. Muss

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20 Comments

  1. The data contained in GoDaddy.com, Inc.’s WHOIS database,
    while believed by the company to be reliable, is provided “as is”
    with no guarantee or warranties regarding its accuracy. This
    information is provided for the sole purpose of assisting you
    in obtaining information about domain name registration records.
    Any use of this data for any other purpose is expressly forbidden without the prior written
    permission of GoDaddy.com, Inc. By submitting an inquiry,
    you agree to these terms of usage and limitations of warranty. In particular,
    you agree not to use this data to allow, enable, or otherwise make possible,
    dissemination or collection of this data, in part or in its entirety, for any
    purpose, such as the transmission of unsolicited advertising and
    solicitations of any kind, including spam. You further agree
    not to use this data to enable high volume, automated or robotic electronic
    processes designed to collect or compile this data for any purpose,
    including mining this data for your own personal or commercial purposes.

    Please note: the registrant of the domain name is specified
    in the “registrant” field. In most cases, GoDaddy.com, Inc.
    is not the registrant of domain names listed in this database.

    Registrant:
    Domains by Proxy, Inc.

    DomainsByProxy.com
    15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
    Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
    United States

    Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
    Domain Name: COMFIBOOK.COM
    Created on: 01-Sep-09
    Expires on: 01-Sep-13
    Last Updated on: 02-Sep-11

    Administrative Contact:
    Private, Registration COMFIBOOK.COM@domainsbyproxy.com
    Domains by Proxy, Inc.
    DomainsByProxy.com
    15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
    Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
    United States
    (480) 624-2599 Fax — (480) 624-2598

    Technical Contact:
    Private, Registration COMFIBOOK.COM@domainsbyproxy.com
    Domains by Proxy, Inc.
    DomainsByProxy.com
    15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
    Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
    United States
    (480) 624-2599 Fax — (480) 624-2598

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  2. It is a very odd scenario indeed that they require you to send a copy of your driver’s license to remove information about you. It wouldn’t be a big deal if they would simply remove the info. It would appear that they are definitely walking a very fine line.

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  3. It’s not just Linked In. There are several problems with Comfibook of which I will describe just one or two here.

    Comfibook scours the web for people information to add to their database so they have a commercial product to sell. How do they make money? I don’t know all the ways they make money, but two ways are these: 1. The existence of their website is made possible only by compiling this data. Having that, they then sell ads to advertisers. They may go further and start selling the data as well. 2. They make money off people who have accounts with them by charging them to access certain information about people in comfibook.

    What’s wrong with that? It’s all public data, right? Wrong, it is not all public data.

    For instance, they ransack Flickr accounts for images of people then store those images in their database. They ignore the published copyright restrictions that Flickr users post on their images. I think Comfibook is walking a very fine line by claiming that is a non-commercial use, and many Flickr images are restricted by at least that restriction and some have total copyright restrictions. I think Comfibook is frankly kidding itself on this.

    There are nonmonetary issues as well:

    They store archived versions of Flicker images (and presumably all other data they pilfer off people’s websites) so that when those Flickr pages are updated, the Comfibook information is not updated. So scenarios like this exist (I know of one): A Flickr user removes someone’s name from a photo he has posted to protect that person’s safety, because the person is under threat. Comfibook, which stole the photo to begin with and is using it commercially in my opinion, despite denials of that, continues to produce the unmodified, now archive-only version of the Flickr photo, thus continuing to endanger the subject of the photo. To remove this from Comfibook, this company demands incredibly sensitive information from you, including a copy of your driver’s license.

    Keep in mind that all the while, all the time Comfibook is self-righteously claiming the public nature of all it compiles, it is an incredibly secretive company.

    It is extremely difficult to find out where the company is registered with regulators, who the CEO is, or the name of any single employee, where they are located — anything, anything at all. Even when they advertise job openings, they do not even disclose where they are or the name of a single hiring official with their company.

    They are irresponsible and unaccountable. They are totally secretive and making money off pilfering copyright protected information and other personal data they claim is totally public.

    It is evidence alone of how sleezy they are that they expect you to produce a driver’s license to a company that discloses absolutely zero information about itself.

    I would never in a million years produce my identifying information to them to get other information removed — it would just put confirmed identifying info into a database, published or not, that they may sell to people.

    I recommend pursuing any other avenue available, including consulting with a lawyer to remove info without turning over more info to them about you.

    Look in every nook and cranny of their website and see if you can find one shred of information about who, where, what this company is.

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  4. Hi everyone, I am glad to report that comfibook has removed my LinkedIn profile information! They did not email me back, but the information was removed. There is some basic info in the comfibook faqs on how to remove it, but it requires, as someone above noted, to submit a copy of an ID.

    I am not sure how successful others will be. My success probably hinges on the fact that I also have had my LinkedIn profile removed. I submitted screenshots of my removed LinkedIn profile (including visible url), of my comfibook public profile page, and of the xhtml code of the comfibook page, showing how it links to my LinkedIn profile. I argued that I did not see a need to submit state or federal ID info with my name and address, because the screenshots proved that the comfibook profile was obsolete. Maybe it would help to flood them with screenshots from updated LinkedIn profiles, requesting them to update the comfibook public profile.

    So this is not an end solution to the underlying issue of stealing LinkedIn information, and I encourage people to submit complaints to the blog I created.

    My blog post was tweeted by Brian Krebs, who I have been in contact with, and who wrote for the Washington Post as an internet security specialist for many years. He would be willing to investigate this issue further if we collect the basic information and complaints.

    I will describe in my blog later on in more detail how I was able to remove the profile information.

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  5. @Lianne: Please keep us posted on this site regarding your battle with Comfibook and Linkedin. We are eager to see how this turns out for you. Thank you.

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  6. I have battled with linked-in because my comfibook profile was linking to an outdated picture that was located on LinkedIn servers, EVEN AFTER linkedin had removed my profile (because I put information in there that they didn’t like, regarding this linkedin issue).

    I created a blog to further address this issue and update it with information:
    http://comfibook-linkedin-scam.blogspot.com/

    Please read it, submit a complaint to linkedin, leave a comment there, and/or add yourself to a specially created mailing list. I need to collect more names of people with complaints before I can engage an internet security specialist.

    Thanks.

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  7. @Clostich: Please keep us all posted. This seems to be a growing problem and would love to hear someone who is successful at overcoming this “situation”. Thank you for your due diligence….I’m sure it will help several others.

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  8. I found a page on the ComfiBook Web site where you can fax or e-mail your request to have your information removed. You must also submit a copy of your driver’s license. This is standard for all the people search aggregators like Intellius and Zabasearch. However, something caught my attention on the ComfiBook Web site. Their site states that you can submit your driver’s license with the photo, DOB and license number crossed out. How do they know which John Doe to remove from their site without the birth date? They’re just going to remove all the John Does? I’ve contacted Linkedin and asked if they can give any information on whethor or not this is a legitimate company. I don’t recommend anyone sending over their driver’s license just yet. Better to be slightly paranoid. I will however, post the results of my contact with Linkedin. If anyone else determines the legitimacy of this company, please post the results of your findings.

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  9. I wrote a complaint to the FBI. This is bullshit. They can’t just take our information.

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  10. I appreciate the FBI website information. My work has been compromised because of ComfiBook publicly posting my LinkedIn resume. The calls to the corporation from people posing as me, and attempting to obtain confidential information, is just endless. As Darlene noted, LinkedIn is not interested in hearing about their breach of privacy (all of my privacy settings were on total block). I scrubbed my LinkedIn profile to be blank, but the damage is done by ComfiBook already. I would gladly stand in a court and blast these people if given the opportunity.

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