Sunday, July 26, 2009
The slime of spam
Early in the morning of July 8, 2009, there were 551 on the forum, the most we've had online concurrently (see the bottom of the RV Travel Forum screen). What that means is on July 7, there was an ad placed online promising a great deal of money to computer users all over the world if they would register on as many websites as they could. I assume the pay was per website or per post made on a website. Remember that it is called the World Wide Web for a reason.
On July 8, I received over 100 new forum member enrollments that needed to be read and approved or removed. On an average day, we receive 3-4. Nearly all the potential members were spammers and had invalid email addresses. Each spammer had to be investigated and removed individually.
Since the 8th, I have received at least 50-60 registrations a day, 95% of which is spam and must be individually removed. Those who list their location have sent their spam from Croatia, The Gambia, Egypt, the Czech Republic, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Ethiopia, Guam, Bolivia, Ecuador, Russia, Kazakhstan, India, Pakistan, Burma (which we all know is actually Myanmar), Abu Dhabi, Belarus, Bali and many other locations. Of course, most of these are false and I can trace them back to their IP address through the major servers in the US.
I have no idea how much the spammers are paid or how they verify their work, but I remove them from the forums (yes, they try on http://www.freestays.com and http://www.freecampgrounds.com, as well as the blogs) immediately. By the time they report their work to whomever the BBS (Big Boss Spammer) is, they have no proof.
That means I work 8-12 hours a day seven days a week keeping the forums spam-free, and all posts have been read and edited if needed. Unless the spammer is extremely clever--and some are, registering months before their first post with a legitimate email address--you will not be subjected to their spam.
And that's why I haven't blogged.
P.S. If there are any spammers reading this, you will never successfully register and exist on the database for more than a couple of hours. Forum administrators never sleep either, no matter what side of the planet we occupy.