Unsolicited Private Message Spam

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    • Unsolicited Private Message Spam

      It has come to my attention that some idiot was sending unsolicited private messages through a script last night. As far as I can tell, I have deleted the private messages that they sent but if you have email notifications for private messages turned on, then no doubt that message will be in your email.


      I have no idea what the link was about or if it could do any harm as I refuse to click on them. If you have clicked on the link then I would suggest that you do an updated virus scan as well as download a couple of free spy bot programs, update them and then run them to. Malwarebytes, super anti-spyware and spybot are popular spyware programs that have free versions.
      It doesn't matter how harmless the link appears to be, with these types of things it is always best to err on the side of caution.

      I am considering disabling private messaging to new members to help deter this, please let me know what you think. If you ever receive a suspicious private message from here, always report it to me ASAP.
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary

      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • Re: Unsolicited Private Message Spam

      I did not send any PMs, other than clicking on the report icon, after receiving a PM from a spammer. After I received the spam PM and had sent a report to Sherrie, I disabled the private messaging. However, I marked the box to receive PMs from Moderators and Sherrie was able to contact me.

      If someone sent PMs pretending to be me, please be assured it was not I who sent them.

      To underline what Sherrie posted, a link with a harmless looking title, might actually be spyware or attack-ware, and it is very, very risky to click on a link from a spammer.

      In answer to the question posted in the sticky-announcement about PMs and new members, IMO, it might help protect members of the forum to not allow private messages until someone has been a member for a minimum amount of time, such as thirty or sixty days, and has contributed to the forum in a meaningful way. A minimum post count with real content, not just, "Me, too", "Congratulations" sort of posts. A standard along these lines seems to be the current line of protection on most of the forums I visit. One of the forums I visit has a more stringent standard.

      Some don't allow posting links to anything outside the forum, but only references to other sites.

      Sherrie, thank you very much for watching out for us so well! :)
      WOE: Dr. Richard Bernstein's VLC and no sweet fruits, and the 12 Steps of Archevore, per Dr. Kurt Harris' site.

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      The post was edited 5 times, last by Silver: clarified first sentence ().

    • Re: Unsolicited Private Message Spam

      One reason I have allowed them so far is that some members are shy and never post but will send a message. I already feel guilty for some of the other features I have had to disable.

      This person, Serependity I think their name was that spammed had joined up in March, so time limit won't work but they had no posts so that may deter them.

      I won't disallow links as I don't think that's supportive and what I don't like about some of the American/Canadian low carb forums. The 3 major ones have all told other Aussies off for linking here, which imo is just stupid as we are no threat to anyone and other Aussies may find this site very helpful, as US info can be very confusing for us. We still freely allow linking to them.

      I do dissallow spam links, which there is a bit of a grey area but that can be easily assertained by the person asking themselves; do they have a financial interest in posting a link? if so, then it is probably spam especially if they are new.
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary

      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • Re: Unsolicited Private Message Spam

      I think maybe having it on post count would be ok. It's a hard one. My partner runs a forum for an aussie gaming community and gets a lot of spammers there also *sigh*
      Not that I am keen to see it happen, as I have a darn hard time with them, but those "capture" things where you have to do a sum, or type some words or answer a simple question might help if it's just for sending PM's?
      I was recently on a site where you had to do this every single time you wanted to post which was really annoying but if it was just for PM's or just for logging in or something it might work?
    • Re: Unsolicited Private Message Spam

      I won't do it because that would annoy the snot out of me, if I look at whois online at the time it's happening I can usually see it or they may be stupid enough to send me a message! otherwise it's up to others to report to me when it happens and then I can go into the admin and have all the messages they sent deleted. Once I get the money together I will probably upgrade to the new version of vbulletin and hopefully that will have some added features. But because of my situation that takes time and usually if I have to do anything major with this forum I have to reteach myself all over again each time as well as needing to have the concentration at the time.

      But having said all this, I don't think it (PM Spam) has happened since, I hope you haven't jinxed me!!!
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary

      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.