Friday, February 28, 2014

Blitzed with spam

I have two email addresses. I use one for personal reasons (contact with friends and family, etc.) and the other for business purposes. To my business email, I also get every comment that comes through the blog.

Lately my business email has been getting more and more and more spam.

Here's a sampling of the kind of junk I've gotten just today (certain emails arrive multiple time throughout the day as well) -- and as I post this, it's only 12:30 in the afternoon:

• Who's Who Among Executives and Professionals (two emails)
• Try a sub-prime credit card (two emails)
• Pastor kills high blood-pressure with one weird food
• Time to cut the phone cord and upgrade to VoIP
• Reverse mortgages
• VA loans -- $0 down -- pre-qualify today!
• More info on What *vydox Can make you do!
• Grow your audience with email! (two emails)
• Need natural-looking dentures? Find top dentists!
• Your February auto-insurance payment (a false attempt to get me to "click here") (four emails)

• Cloud hosting services
• Your credit score just changed -- please review! (by "clicking here") (three emails)
• Life is Short -- Have an Affair! (three emails)

• CEO Webinars (two emails)
• Save thousands on auto repairs (two emails)
• Let the government subsidize your solar installation!
• Reduce tax debt now!
• Information for medical-billing schools are right here!
• Business funding -- new business opportunities daily!
• Cut health care costs with cheap dental plans
• Revealed: #1 tip for perfect skin
• Gorgeous Russian women starved for love and affection! (yeah right)

• Private yacht rental quotes (three emails)
• Look 10 years younger in less than four weeks!
• Get DISH for only $19.95 per month!
• Arrive in style -- fly on private jets!
• Huge vehicle specials in your area!
• Discover great deals on walk-in tubs!
• Brazilian singles!

...and on and on and on. And these are the "G-rated" emails. I won't delve into the X-rated ones.

On top of this sludge, I get dozens, sometimes hundreds, of spam comments on my blog. Typical examples are as follows:

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...and on and on.

This onslaught seems to be getting worse. Last Tuesday, I had 149 spam emails and one legitimate comment.

I can't change my email address because it's tied to my website, so I guess I just delete 'em as I get 'em. I've even been known to accidentally delete legitimate emails in a fit of cleansing.

No point to this blog post, I'm just venting.

Postscript: Wanna hear the height of irony? Within two minutes (two minutes!) of posting this, I got my first spam post on this post. Grunt.


  1. Shut the door on anonymous comments. I had the same problem.

  2. Patrice I have great luck with my business email by having it forwarded to a gmail account. Google does an excellent job of cutting out the spam. Then you can set up that gmail to use your business email address to send emails. I know that WordPress has some good spam filter programs, but I am sorry, I don't know anything about Blogger to give any advice for that.

  3. I agree with Stephen. Removing anonymous as a possibility should at least reduce the volume, as well as removing snarky comments.

  4. Ralph has been LOADED with spam of late..may similar to yours and a whole boat load of the African money scams ones!
    It is sad that with all the benefits of the internet we also acquired SPAM. Hang in there!

  5. I prefer to comment anonymously on blogs, but what Stephen said is true, if you block people from commenting anonymously that will really help with your spam comments.

  6. I download my web-space email to my desktop via Thunderbird. Which does a pretty decent job of sorting out the majority of the spam email (your spam reads alot like mine BTW, we must be on the same lists). Doesn't help with the spam comments though!

  7. My brother was getting a lot of spam comments, so he turned off anonymous comments and turned on verification for all other comments.

    If you have gmail, you can teach it what is spam. I was getting a lot of emails like that at my last email address, so I switched to gmail.

    I understand that you feel you can't change your email, and what I'm suggesting may be a lot of trouble; but if you can't change your email, perhaps you could get a gmail account and filter all the mail from your business account through it. That way you still have your business email; but gmail will filter most, if not all, of that spam mail for you so you keep the important stuff.

    Hah. I should have read all your comments first. I see Terry just said basically the same thing.
    Good luck and have a wonderful weekend. ♥

  8. lol, just like the national and state do not call lists where we register our phone numbers perhaps there should be a way to register for a "do not spam" list... i usually dont get much spam-perhaps five to seven spams a day and i think it has a lot to do with the security program that i have used the last two or three years..(kaspersky) of course, i dont have a blog page so i dont know how that would work. i wish you luck and lots of patience.

  9. I used to get a lot of spam email. Instead of just deleting them my email program would let me mark them as spam. I never seem to get them anymore.

  10. That stinks about getting all that spam; my email accounts filter it all out. The "Life is Short--Have an Affair!" one made me laugh, as if cheating on your spouse is the best way to spend your limited time here on Earth.

  11. I'm not very Internet/computer savvy. I've tried to leave comments on this blog using the various profiles, but none worked for me except "anonymous." I always sign my name, too. My system has a "Junk Mail" feature. It's like a block, I guess. When I get some SPAM, I hit the "Junk Mail" option and it's gone! I can also block whomever I choose.

    Another problem to watch out for with SPAM that a friend told me about: if you click on the "Unsubscribe" link, that particular e-mail address will unsubscribe you, but then passes you on to another address from the same company/business! THAT should be illegal and it probably would be if we had fair and considerate conservatives running those businesses, instead of liberal-progressives! --Fred in Arizona

  12. My husband and I have a very small consulting business, and we are having the same problem with our business email accounts. Spam filters don't seem to have much effect. I'm getting nearly the identical emails you are. We don't know what to do about the problem, and we're pretty savvy computer users.

  13. My husband and I have a very small consulting business, and we are having the same problem with our business email accounts. Spam filters don't seem to have much effect. I'm getting nearly the identical emails you are. We don't know what to do about the problem, and we're pretty savvy computer users.

  14. Hi Patrice,no spam here! just wanna tell you that we just received your book, Simplicity Primer. We are so looking forward to reading it.thank you for your great blog sight,really enjoy your pics,especially the cows! mike and mary ann in NH

  15. Hi Patrice,no spam here! just wanna tell you that we just received your book, Simplicity Primer. We are so looking forward to reading it.thank you for your great blog sight,really enjoy your pics,especially the cows! mike and mary ann in NH

  16. Hi Patrice, no spam here! just wanna tell you that we just received your bookSimplicity Primer,we are really looking forward to start reading it.Also,t/y for your great blog,esp love the pics of the cows. mike & mary ann in NH

  17. Hubby says the problem has to be caught at the server level. He is in the process of talking with our web host to find out if they can change SOMETHING.

  18. Maybe another general comment if you are not doing it: Use Ghostery or another tracker blocker. I don't know that it will help your spam level but if it even keeps out 10% it's worth it.

  19. Instead of just deleting them, mark them as spam so it teaches the email account to watch for them (at least it does for my account)
    As for the anonymous option -I can understand people might want to remain anonymous. (political concerns/disaster planning etc)
    Good luck with trying to weed out the spam

  20. Make sure you don't post the full email address on the blog. Instead of make sure it's name[at]domain[dot]com so that the spammers can't just automatically pick up your email address from the site. If you are interested in moving your site over to wordpress there are several good plugins that filter out spam comments. On my site i use antispam bee and it works like a charm. Another thing you can do is add a checkbox to your comment form that people have to check when commenting to confirm they're not a spammer. That automatically filters out spam machines because they can't see it. That's also available as a plugin for the wordpress framework (both of these are free) but I'm not sure if Blogger has any plugins or so much freedom of customization.

  21. I love SPAM.... Fried with mustard in a sandwich... Diced and fried and added to mac and cheese... Fried with farm fresh eggs! ;)
    ~Janae at Willow Creek Farm

  22. I was having the same problem at my old blog (24 Carrot Rabbitry). When I moved to my new blog, I looked for a plugin to help with the spam. I use WordPress, so I don't know if you can do anything comparable.

    The plugin I use is called "NoSpamNX", and it is amazing. What it does is add invisible fields to your comment form. Humans looking at your comment form will see only the normal fields. Spambots will see additional fields, and will automatically fill them in.

    Naturally, this tells the plugin that they are spambots, and so they never even make it to me. It has been such a timesaver. I have had... I think... one spam comment make it to me for moderation so far. It has stopped 3,701 spam comments so far, and I haven't even had the new site for all that long!

    Hopefully, you have something like that you can implement.

  23. I too have noticed a large amount of spam lately. I can not for the life of me think that spam would generate any money for the spammers! Who in their right mind would reply to spam? I guess you should never overestimate the intelligence of the public.

  24. Several of the blogs I follow have gone to verification....I don't mind at all. It really doesn't take that much time to verify. Its the least I can do for the blogger who takes time to post great info for me so that they don't have to deal with all that nonsense.

    1. Same here! I do not mind doing verification for the same reasons.

      I'm trying to avoid implementing it myself, but I know how time-consuming dealing with spam is, and I don't mind at all doing some sort of verification for the sake of the blogger's sanity.

  25. I host a website where I noticed a lot of bots registering. I added a hidden form text bos. The bots well always put a value in this hidden text field so I know if there's a value in the field I ignore the registration. You might be able to do similar on your blog.