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Comment spammers’ new trick: Reposting your friend’s comments

July 2, 2009

I carelessly approved one comment that bore the nick of a regular commenter this morning. Seconds later I noticed the email address didn’t look right so I quickly unapproved it. If you get a comment from an email address like dodgyproduct17823@whatever.com, you can already guess what it is. Whew they nearly had me there.

The modus operandi is easy and insiduous. The spammer copies a recent comment on your blog, adds in a stupid random line at the bottom like, “Oh by the way you’re my favorite blogger now” and submits it as a fresh comment using your friend’s nick. But he doesn’t have your friend’s email address so he uses his own address.

You’ll think your friend was merely adding on to his previous comment. Maybe he’s having trouble with his usual email so he’s using a different address now.

Once you approve the comment, from that point on your anti-spam filter lets through all comments bearing that bogus e-mail address. Soon the bots will come and unload their junk on your blog.

So if you see a familiar nick in the comments pending box despite you having already preapproved your friend, be extra careful because chances are it ain’t from your friend.

If they can’t beat the spam filters with brute force, they try to use trusted names and flattery to dupe the blog owner into clicking the approve button. Someone out there is working very hard to turn your blog into a spam zombie.

(Btw gapnap, it was your comment that the scumbag cut and pasted to try and sneak into this blog. See, even spammers like your nick. 😀 )

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2009 3:34 pm

    hey so sorry bro ..

    got people use my nick for scams too..
    http://gapnap.com/2009/01/10/con-man-conned/

    using akismet ? can’t detect ? hmm…
    anything i can do to fix it ?

    No probs dude, not your fault. I use standard akismet on wordpress. I suspect if you mistakenly approve a bogus comment, by unapproving it wordpress will treat anything from that email as a first time post and dump it in the pending box. That’s my theory anyway. We’ll see what happens.

    By the way did u ever find out who the culprit was behind the scam?

  2. July 3, 2009 9:27 am

    the only way is to check the email b4 u approve. i actually auto-approve people using the same nickname and email. wordpress can do that. 🙂

    WP can do that? Maybe in the self-installed version. I’m on wordpres.com and apparently not all features are enabled.

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