Posts Tagged ‘spam’

Bill Bartmann Has Changed His Name

October 5, 2009

I wrote before about a user called Bill Bartmann putting false compliments on the blog. He hopes I’ll approve them and thus add a link to some bad internet site.

Amongst the comments I received when I got home and restored my internet access was one from a “Jimmy Bean”. It had the same text that could apply to any blog with the irritating “on a daily basis” phrasing.

Either Bill has changed his name or somebody is mindlessly copying him.

Bill Bartman Has Changed His Name

Bill Bartmann Has Changed His Name

Give up, Bill and Jimmy!

Spam Email – The Same Old Tricks

September 28, 2009

A few years ago articles about spam or unsolicited email messages were in newspapers all the time. People feared that spam would overwhelm the Internet. Since then things have calmed down and I have not read much about it recently.

Part of it is that email filters have improved and most spam is trapped before delivery. My Yahoo and Gmail accounts both have spam boxes that are emptied regularly. A year ago I used to accumulate over 1,000 messages a week in my Yahoo spam box alone. Today I “only” have 313 in Yahoo but another 761 in Gmail.

Sometimes the filters are too aggressive. I remember almost losing a client in my consulting business because he wrote “we will pay you $ XXX” and my email promptly dumped it in the spam box. I said I didn’t get his mail and almost lost the job.

Only last week an important message from my bank was dumped in the spam box even though it was from a known email address. That caused me some stress and annoyance.

Still some notorious spam schemes get through the filters. Currently my Yahoo Inbox contains:

  • A variation on the famous Nigerian bank scam where a fake bank officer tries to get your cooperation to retrieve some finds. But this one is about a bank in China.
  • A fake email from the American Internal Revenue Service telling me I must go to some web site to update personal information, and
  • Something similar purporting to come from PayPal.

I am surprised that Yahoo email did not catch all of them. They are so obvious. But even my suspicious heart skipped a beat when I saw a message with the subject “Notice of Underreported Income”.

Yahoo offers “improved spam filtering” if you pay them for an upgraded account. I wonder if they let a few known spam messages through to their free accounts to make a point.

I created a new email account for “BKKPhotographer” and it has not received any spam. I have not published the address so no spammers have harvested it from web sites or other peoples’ address books. I have had my main Yahoo and Gmail accounts so long that the address must be in many places.

Spam is still an annoyance but it no longer seems to be bringing the Internet to its knees. The old technology is amazingly resilient and adaptable.

Bill Bartmann Just Won’t Go Away

September 22, 2009

I don’t know If I said it already but …Cool site, love the info. I do a lot of research online on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, :)

A definite great read..

He’s adding a comment a day to some random post with links to “bad” internet sites. The WordPress spam filter catches them, I delete them but next day, another faux compliment.

Another phrase that makes me wince: “on a daily basis”.

Give up Bill! I don’t need your fake compliments on a daily basis, or any other basis.

Keep Up the Good Work

September 7, 2009

He’s at it again – the comment spammer who posts faux compliments on random posts in the hope I’ll approve it and make a link to his get-rich-quick scheme.

Wordpress Spam Comment

The phrase “Keep up the good work” reminds me of a high school teacher unimaginatively encouraging a pupil. It sounds condescending to me.

Don’t bother Bill. I am not so desperate for comments or affirmation that I will approve this stuff.

WordPress Spam Comments

September 5, 2009

Fortunately I only get them a few times a week. The spamming user agents are clever that they don’t blast multiple comments on every post any more.

This is a particularly egregious one that WordPress caught:

Spam Comment

Spam Comment

I had a couple of more subtle spam comments earlier this week. They appeared to be a one-line compliment on a post: “This is very interesting” or “This blog rocks!”. The latter is inappropriate for my style of blogging, whatever this blog does is definitely doesn’t rock!

There were no obvious problems with the comment – no apparent links or mountains of keywords. But the author’s web site (an optional field when you add a comment) was a get-rich-quick scheme. If I hadn’t taken a look I would have approved the comment. I like compliments, even if they are content-free.

WordPress implements a policy where the first comment by a user is automatically held for moderation by the blog owner. If I approve the comment then subsequent comments from that user are approved automatically.

Thus a way to game their system is to make a “That’s a great point!” comment without a link. I’ll approve it and then the spammer can add others without me getting suspicious.

I think I can configure WordPress to make all comments wait for moderation. That would be a lot of trouble given the hundreds comments I get per day.

Annoying.

Another Flickr Spam Commenter

August 18, 2009
Another Spam Comment on Flickr

Another Spam Comment on Flickr

This appeared as a comment on one of my pictures as soon as I uploaded it. Again I deleted it and blocked the user.

Take care what links you click in Flickr photo comments.

I first noted the problem here.

Warning : Spam Comments in Flickr

August 7, 2009
Flickr Spam Comment

Flickr Spam Comment

Somebody commented on a photo I uploaded to Flickr about a restaurant (La Boulange on Convent Road) that’s recently changed to a 24-Hour Italian Restaurant.

The comment said “U WILL SURPRISE, CLICK HERE …” and gave a compressed URL.

Naively I thought someone was telling me that La Boulange has opened elsewhere. So I clicked on the link. But no, it was some kind of bad site. I closed the tab as soon as I saw it wasn’t relevant. I think Firefox is resilient to such things.

But I am pissed off.

I deleted the comment and blocked the user who put it on the post (probably something automated). I have used Flickr almost since they started and this is the first time it has happened to one of my pictures.

If you see a comment on your Flickr photostream from rekha1987 I suggest you delete it without clicking on anything and block that user. Of course that user has nothing in its profile and no pictures.