A New Breed of Comment Spam



spam

Commenting or comments is one of the essential parts of a blog. Weblog owners provide and allow users and visitors to leave comments so they can easily share their thoughts and opinions which encourages participation and gives the readers a sense of belongingness. However, spammers are abusing the system and are flooding blogs daily with comment spam.

Thanks to Akismet and spam captchas like ReCAPTCHA, fighting comment spam is a bit easier now. However, spammers are also getting smarter. Nowadays aside from their spambots, they hire real people to post spam comments because they can answer and bypass spam captchas. They are also changing their style of commenting by leaving comments that read and sound like they were legitimate comments. These days we are seeing a new breed of comment spam.

Here’s one particular comment spam that I’ve received several times:

This comment was posted automatically using Blog Comment Poster software. Would you like to make serious money in this way of advertising too? So start today!

This one can be easily identified as spam, but what makes it interesting is the fact they are actually selling software that would automatically post comments on blogs. Although it may seem as an effective and convenient way of advertising it the comment says, I’m sure legit business owners wouldn’t jeopardize their business by using this method of advertising.

Here’s another one I received a couple weeks ago.

hello , my name is Richard and I know you get a lot of spammy comments , I can help you with this problem. I know a lot of spammers and I will ask them not to post on your site. It will reduce the volume of spam by 30-50% .In return Id like to ask you to put a link to my site on the index page of your site. The link will be small and your visitors will hardly notice it , its just done for higher rankings in search engines. Contact me icq 454528835 or write me tedirectory(at)yahoo.com , i will give you my site url and you will give me yours if you are interested. thank you

Right away, I knew it was comment spam but unlike Aja who also got the same comment, I didn’t delete it right away but instead kept it in the comment queue for future reference. It was the first time I received this type of comment and I thought it was ingenious. I’m sure it has duped a few people. So if you ever receive this comment on your blog, NEVER reply! If you make the mistake of doing so, you’ll only be providing them with your precious email address and most likely be receiving more spam in your inbox.

Have you also received this same comment on your blog? What was your first reaction or response? If not, what would you have done if you received this comment? Would you have replied to the email address provided or would you have deleted it right away? Share your thoughts.


Owner and editor of JaypeeOnline. Self-proclaimed geek. New media writer and consultant. WordPress advocate. Loves blogging, gadgets, video games and sports. You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

26 Comments

  1. JP Habaradas

    September 29, 2007 at 4:10 AM

    @Bull3t – Good for you. Enjoy it while it lasts. Hehe you’re welcome! :D

  2. Bull3t

    September 29, 2007 at 4:06 AM

    My blog doesn’t seem to be getting hit by these spam comments just yet, but it will do soon I should imagine. That is annoying! Thanks for bringing our attention to this.

  3. JP Habaradas

    September 28, 2007 at 5:40 PM

    @blogOloco – Same here, I only use Akismet. I used to have spam captchas but it caused problems with trackbacks so I stopped using it.

    Btw, I haven’t tried CS and I’m not that familiar with it. :)

  4. blogOloco

    September 28, 2007 at 5:36 PM

    both of them are great. akismet and re captcha but at present i’m just using akismet and it seems to do the trick. I’ve got another blog which is powered by, well i hate to say this but, ok, CS but they do get spammed quite a bit. in my experience anyway and some of the CS MVP sites are being spammed as well it seems.

  5. JP Habaradas

    September 28, 2007 at 12:30 PM

    @aj – Yeah, Akismet isn’t perfect. Some comment spam still get through but I can’t complain coz it’s still doing a very good job.

    I’m not sure when it will come but like you, I look forward to the day when spam will be extinct. :D

  6. aj batac

    September 28, 2007 at 12:26 PM

    akismet can’t catch them all unfortunately. recently, i am getting tons of spam (comments that looked legit) on a specific post.

    i gave up after a few days disabling comment for that particular post.

    somebody should upd the fight with spam. i hate it. if there’s only a way… emails are not yet being considered here, just blogs. :cry:

    ill be the happiest person when i see this on the tech headlines – “The End: SPAM PWND by ___ software.”

    I hope cloudmark’s technology becomes available on blogs too.

    :neutral:

  7. JP Habaradas

    September 28, 2007 at 9:15 AM

    @rino – I think it gets through Akismet because it uses different IPs and email addresses. If it uses the same IP or email address from a previous comment that you flagged as spam, Akismet would identify it as spam. Maybe if the comment uses a unique keyword or the name of the company in the message, maybe you can add the keyword into your blacklist.

  8. rino

    September 28, 2007 at 9:09 AM

    The spam I am receiving right seem to slip through one particular post I have made. They come from different sources/email address but always the same post about a job offer. I would always tag these as as spam but yet another one will slip through akismet using a different email address but with exactly the same comment on exactly the same post. Have any idea about this?

  9. James

    September 28, 2007 at 8:30 AM

    Hi Jaypee,

    Sorry to be off-topic but let me be the first to tell you the good news:

    PAYPAL PHILIPPINES can now RECEIVE payments!

    Wohoo!

    PayPal Phillipines can now receive payments

    James
    http://www.pinoymoneytalk.com

  10. blogOloco

    September 27, 2007 at 11:52 PM

    @trench – so long as their comments are published in a timely manner it shouldn’t be a problem.

  11. JP Habaradas

    September 27, 2007 at 11:51 PM

    @blogOloco – Which plugins are you referrign to?

  12. blogOloco

    September 27, 2007 at 11:50 PM

    cool plugins.

  13. JP Habaradas

    September 27, 2007 at 6:55 AM

    @trench – I do the same thing for this blog. Aside from keeping the blog safe from comment spam, I moderate all comments because I also like to see new comments as they get posted and read them. :D

  14. trench

    September 27, 2007 at 6:54 AM

    This is why I moderate all comments regardless….

  15. JP Habaradas

    September 27, 2007 at 5:32 AM

    @Dre – You’re welcome! :)

  16. Dre

    September 27, 2007 at 5:30 AM

    Thanks for the heads up!

  17. JP Habaradas

    September 27, 2007 at 4:17 AM

    @Ade – Some comment spam do get through Akismet but only a few and after you flag the first one as spam, the next time it comes Akismet knows what to do with it. It’s always a good practice to moderate comments. :)

  18. Ade

    September 27, 2007 at 4:16 AM

    Yeah, spammer beat Akismet lately. Thank goodness I moderate first time commenters.

  19. JP Habaradas

    September 27, 2007 at 1:25 AM

    @jhay – Yeah, I also read the comments first before I moderate them. Yup, some of the comments made by these human spammers are funny. :D

  20. jhay

    September 27, 2007 at 1:24 AM

    Been catching these kind of nu-spam lately. I always read the ones held in moderation first before doing any action.

    It’s a good thing though that some of those human-made spam comments are funny to read. :lol:

  21. JP Habaradas

    September 26, 2007 at 5:05 PM

    @mr nice ash – I also receive those type of spam comments. Those are the regular ones and they’re always flagged by Akismet as spam so I don’t worry about it. :)

  22. mr nice ash

    September 26, 2007 at 5:04 PM

    got a lot of spam comments…

    “I like your site.”
    “Nice site.”

    and their URL will tell that they are spam comments…

  23. JP Habaradas

    September 26, 2007 at 3:20 PM

    @derek – Really? What happened after you replied to it? Are you receiving more spam in your email or blog? Sorry bout that. I wish I posted about this earlier. Anyways, just learn from it so you know what to do next time. :)

  24. derek

    September 26, 2007 at 3:17 PM

    You know what Jaypee, I accidentally hit reply to one of those comments and I’m now paying for it. :(

  25. JP Habaradas

    September 26, 2007 at 9:15 AM

    @Aja – Oh okay. Let me know when you’ve published that article so I can also read it. I might have received that comment too but have deleted it. :)

  26. Aja Lapus

    September 26, 2007 at 9:14 AM

    I’m actually keeping another similar comment for a possible follow-up entry about increasingly elusive (but nevertheless stupid) spam for about a couple of weeks now. It has a different sense, but I know it’s still spam. I think I’ve received that (one I’m still keeping) about three times already.

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