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Friday, February 10, 2012

Spam Comments

This morning I deleted a spam "comment" that had appeared in my comment box overnight. I haven't seen one in a while, so I read carefully before deciding it was spam, even though the so-called comment was followed by an advertising link. The spammer had actually given a name. Probably a fake one, though I guess even spammers have to have names. Out of curiosity I checked the spammer's profile and sure enough it was very recent, followed by a long list of advertising sites. They're quite good, these spammers. I was actually sucked in once and published the comment,before taking a good look at it. They write something like, "I really love your site, I'm using this for research,keep up the good work!" The thing is, they never explain how your actual post helps them in their research or say what they're researching, apart, perhaps, from how many suckers - whoops,customers- they can get through spamming. They never comment on the post itself. This one was attached to one of my interviews and totally irrelevant to it. I did once get a comment from someone who had been trying to contact me and couldn't find an email address, but since then I've put in a contact link. So, to future spammers, don't bother visiting this site. I'll catch you out every time.


Lan said...

I always wonder what the success rate of these spammers are because they seem to want to keep doing it regardless. Sometimes, when I'm feeling very vindictive, I think about tracking them down and spamming them back.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Well, it's free, isn't it? Cheap advertising. And when you do publish the "comment" without checking too much, anyone who clicks into the link finds themselves on an advertising web site and the reasoning is, maybe someone DOES want a vacuum cleaner or a fake Rolex watch. Tempting as it is to spam them back, I don't. It just confirms that you're active and next thing they do is sell your details to their slimy mates.

I must admit, I have collected a bunch of Nigerian scam emails which I have considered, for years, publishing in a blog for laughs. ;-)

Sean said...

Theres actually a group who engage in winding Nigerian scammers up. Can't remember where I heard of it but they take great delight in making them think they have got an easy mark

Sue Bursztynski said...

Sounds like fun. Let me know if you ever remember. I just don't reply. I did read an article one time in which someone had opened a special email account for the purpose of harassing spammers. They had a lot of fun replying to every spam message that came in and the spammers had no idea what to do with them.

I used to get spam from a company that sold SF stuff, till I simply blocked them. When I saw their stall at Armageddon convention I was so very tempted to go up to the stall to tell them why I would never buy anything whatsoever from them. I resisted temptation.

Sean said...

If they are local they have some obligations under legislation. They can receive a hefty fine

Sue Bursztynski said...

I think it's referred to as "direct marketing". Pretty much like getting phone calls you didn't request. You can, thank goodness, go on the don't call register, but otherwise they're not breaking the law. Companies actually BUY lists of email addresses and phone calls that were never handed over by the owners. Every time you enter a competition and give the competition runners your phone number or email address, you're taking the chance they'll sell on your details. I remember once asking a telemarketer about this and that's what she told me.

Ah, well. No reason we can't find some way to make spammers suffer. ;-)