Scammers and Spammers

1 year 1 month ago #35075 by robin.mousley
Just thought I'd put this out there for anyone who's interested...

We've had an increase in the number of spammers attempting to dump "information" about anything from Microsoft support to HP printer support to university paper writing assistance on the forum.  This requires the spammer to register manually (because the process filters out robots) - but it's apparently still worth their while to do it.

And that's why I manually authorise the first two posts by new members...  The smarter spammers see this and sometimes attempt to post relevant comments in threads before hitting us with the actual spam.  Incredible.

Recently there was a slightly strange post about GPS products - but the poster didn't know anything about paddling and linked to some inappropriate products.  I blocked him and (unusually for me) I emailed him to ask him not to do it.  I then had a hilarious and slightly surreal conversation with him by email where he asked me to unblock him and his links because that was how he made a living.  I explained why that wasn't going to happen, and he then thanked me and wished me luck with the site.  Bizarre.

And then today, the Facebook page for the ICF Ocean Racing World Champs was hit by scammers who dropped links that purported to be the video streaming for the event into the recommendations section.  Someone shared them, I saw the share and re-shared, before trying to login.  I quickly saw that it was a scammer site (but not before I'd stupidly handed over my credit card details.  They didn't charge my card, but I've had to cancel the card as a precaution).  I ended up having to delete all my posts, and edit my articles.  What a frikin waste of time.

It's a jungle out there!

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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1 year 1 month ago #35076 by tve
Replied by tve on topic Scammers and Spammers
I wonder how they find surfski.info... Have you tried looking back through logs to see whether the referrer field allows you to identify the sources? Maybe there are some commonalities? I assume they don't wake up and think "oh, let me google for a surfski site I can scam today"... Maybe you can include the referrer field into the moderation message you get.
Good luck and thank you!

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1 year 1 month ago #35077 by robin.mousley
Replied by robin.mousley on topic Scammers and Spammers

I wonder how they find surfski.info

I'd love to know!  I think they have a way of finding sites that have forums installed.

Have you tried looking back through logs to see whether the referrer field allows you to identify the sources

All I have to go on is the IP address of the spammer.  The less literate ones tend to come from India, but the one who actually engaged with me was from Russia.

I tried asking him some questions but  he immediately tried to segue into a negotiation where he'd be allowed to leave his links on the site.  Wasn't going to happen!

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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1 year 1 month ago #35078 by tve
Replied by tve on topic Scammers and Spammers
The first request from their browser to your site should have a referrer field and also a user-agent field. Your web server config should allow you to log those fields, allowing you to go back and see where they came from. Of course these fields can be spoofed, but I would guess they don't go through that trouble. These fields may give you some indication about how they find surfski.info and whether they use client software other than a std browser.

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