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A spam-spotters guide


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#1    Saru

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 07:27 PM

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Thanks to your vigilance and assistance in reporting spam on the forums we have seen a substantial reduction in the amount of spam posts and registrations appearing on the boards in recent weeks. As ever we really appreciate the help members provide by reporting and letting us know when running in to spam on the forums - simply hitting 'report' on a spam post can make all the difference and helps to keep the boards clear of spam-bots. In addition to this we have just rolled out a new system that connects to a global anti-spam database and which can stop a lot of common spam-bots before they are even able to register.

Not all spam however is obvious - one of the problems we continue to face involves spam that is designed to be extremely subtle and difficult to spot, not all spammers will start topics with glaringly obvious titles and content. As such, the following is a quick guide on how to spot hidden spam on the forums.

The "brute force" spammer
Very easy to spot, this will basically be in the form of topics or posts created by a new member containing a mass of blatant advertising rhetoric about mobile phones, Nike shoes, fitted kitchens or some other irrelevant guff.

The "link hidden in a wall of text" spammer
This type of spammer will make one or more posts often in response to existing discussion threads containing a stock paragraph of information about something that's usually not related to the topic. Inside it will be one or more underlined text links promoting some product or other. It might not be obvious that this is even spam at all, often members will respond to such posts believing them to be legitimate. A telltale sign is to roll your mouse over any underlined text and see if there's a link there - once you've spotted this then it should be easy to tell if the user is spamming or not.

The "hidden image" spammer
This one has turned up relatively recently. The spammer will register and start making posts on existing threads that seem to be legitimate, but that contain a tiny 1x1 pixel image link hidden inside it, usually at the end. This can sometimes be given away by the text "posted image" at the end of every post which makes this type of spam easier to spot. The post content will again usually be some stock nonsense with little relevance to any topical subjects.

The "I'm pretending to be a genuine member" spammer
These guys can be a pain to find. They join the forum, post relevant topical messages to make them seem legit and then come back a week ( or even months ) later and put a load of spam links in their signature or profile. This let's them hide the spam underneath old posts where it is less likely to be picked up.

Note that the vast majority of spam will be posted by users who are either new or who have a very small number of posts. Spam post content will also often be disjointed or will otherwise appear to be 'off' in some way, usually because it has been generated automatically by a computer.


#2    Lava_Lady

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 07:37 PM

Seems like a waste of their time, does anyone ever use their links and actually buy something?

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#3    freetoroam

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 07:38 PM

Does this mean I can`t sell my size 5 trainers, white with a red stripe on the side and flashing yellow lights on the bottom which would be a snip at only a fiver excluding p&p on here?









JOKE!!!!

Edited by freetoroam, 08 May 2013 - 07:40 PM.

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#4    Child of Bast

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 07:57 PM

Do you ship to the US? :P

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#5    Saru

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:02 PM

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View Postfreetoroam, on 08 May 2013 - 07:38 PM, said:

Does this mean I can`t sell my size 5 trainers, white with a red stripe on the side and flashing yellow lights on the bottom which would be a snip at only a fiver excluding p&p on here?

Do they come with a fitted kitchen, a Samsung Galaxy S4 and a copy of Iron Man 3 on DVD ?


#6    freetoroam

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:02 PM

View PostKasey2601, on 08 May 2013 - 07:57 PM, said:

Do you ship to the US? :P
Yes, $150 p&p.
Does make me laugh when the p&p is more than the product!

Anyway, how many pairs do you want? can get more from my Chinese supplier.

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#7    theSOURCE

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:02 PM

Shouldn't the title to the thread have been A Spam-spotter's Guide to the UM-verse?


#8    freetoroam

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:04 PM

View PostSaru, on 08 May 2013 - 08:02 PM, said:

Do they come with a fitted kitchen, a Samsung Galaxy S4 and a copy of Iron Man 3 on DVD ?

yes, give me time to get hold of my supplier in China.

Edited by freetoroam, 08 May 2013 - 08:04 PM.

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#9    Lilly

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:13 PM

Observation: Kitchen remodeling is not something I would have ever pegged for spam worthy...but there's a ton of it.

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#10    Saru

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:15 PM

It gets worse - we were seeing spam about funerals the other week. :hmm:


#11    freetoroam

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:21 PM

The spammers are not particular on who the spamee is or was. :cry:

Edited by freetoroam, 08 May 2013 - 08:21 PM.

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#12    Princess Serenity

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:43 PM

Thanks for this, Saru. ^_^


#13    Stardrive

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 09:33 PM

It's a shame to, because the advertising rates here are very reasonable. But as the saying goes, it's hard to fix stupid.

Edited by Stardrive, 08 May 2013 - 09:34 PM.

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#14    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 03:27 AM

View PostLilly, on 08 May 2013 - 08:13 PM, said:

Observation: Kitchen remodeling is not something I would have ever pegged for spam worthy...but there's a ton of it.
Those people are,well retarded ,and not in the good way .
Their profile usually has a url to a website to buy this crap too .

Who knew that conspiracy theorists and believers in the occult ,all want desperately to remodel their kitchens ...

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#15    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 03:28 AM

View PostSaru, on 08 May 2013 - 08:15 PM, said:

It gets worse - we were seeing spam about funerals the other week. :hmm:
This I have not seen . I've been mostly playing lately .Fun and games forum ,so I am missing stuff I think . I will try to be more diligent

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