Scams, Slams, and Spams—Windows Live Messenger Block Checking Sites


I’m writing this post because I received an e-mail from “Status Checker” today.  One of my friends used their “Who’s Blocking You” feature to check their Windows Live Messenger lists.  I’m sure you’ve seen these e-mails and IM’s.

Immediately, I sent my friend an e-mail reply suggesting that they change their password.  Why?  Because they just gave it to someone they don’t even know (a third party), with no guarantee that the site/owners/operators won’t use the login information to spam people with “Acai Berry” links or other Messenger garbage.  Not even counting the fact that my friend just gave them complete access to their e-mail account.

If you get e-mails or IM’s with supposed “Block Checking” capabilities, ignore them.  They’re fakes.  How do I know this?  I’m basing it upon the theory that a majority of the users of Windows Live Messenger haven’t changed their default privacy settings.  My understanding is that the “Block Checker” will check to see if your “friend” is online.  If so, then they will check to see if your “friend” is online on your Messenger.  If not, they’ve blocked you.  If they show up offline in both places, they haven’t blocked you.  If they show up online in both places, they haven’t blocked you.

Now, I could be wrong about their methods.  Maybe they have a secret way of bypassing the Privacy settings, or they are able to access your friends Messenger List somehow.  But, I doubt that.  I think it’s just a simple check to see whether your friend is online or not.

Why is it fake?  Because here is the default privacy setting for Windows Live Messenger.

MSNBlockList

You’ll note two things here (aside from my pathetic attempt at redacting):  1)  The check mark in “Only people on my Allow List can see my status and send me messages” and 2) the only item you can read in my “Bock list’” is “All Others”.  This means that if the status checker is not on my allow list (which it isn’t), it can’t (or shouldn’t be able to) tell you whether I’m online or not.  Thus, it can’t tell you if I’ve blocked you or not.

Typically, if you’ve been blocked by someone, you’ll know it.  Either you’ve gotten into a fight with them, or you’ve done something and they told you they were going to block you.  Also, if it’s someone that you haven’t talked to in years, should you really care if they blocked you or not?  I would say “No” because it’s not like either of you has made the effort to talk. (This doesn’t include the “I never see them online, so I never try—but I send them e-mails” group)

My point is, if you really want to know if someone has blocked you, send them an offline message.  If you can’t, then either they don’t have the latest versions of Windows Live Messenger (which probably means they don’t even use it anymore), there is some issue preventing you from sending it, or they have you blocked.  Don’t waste your time with these checkers.  9/10 times, they aren’t going to give you an accurate result.

If you use a “Status Checker” or “Block Checker”, you’re most likely 1) opening your account up to be used as a spamming tool 2) risking your e-mails and personal information being used without your knowledge or leaked to the web (Sarah Palin’s Yahoo account anyone?) or 3) If your messenger or e-mail account is used to spam people, you’re risking getting blocked for real.

Have a great day:)
Patrick.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *