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Joined: 01 Jan 2006
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Quote admin Replybullet Topic: On-going battle against spam
    Posted: 04 Dec 2016 at 10:28am
The two methods of joining this site are 1. to click on the Register button and create your own username and password and become a Newbie.
Newbie status permits you to post but your posts will be hidden until approved by a moderator.
Newbies will recive an email from requesting confirmation they are not a spammer or a robot. On reply to that email, they are upgraded to Newbie Plus.
That status permits you to post openly on the forum.

The other method is to email with a prefered username. Your membership will be created for you with Newbie Plus status and a temporary password you can change one yuor profile has been created.

The forum has been gaining in popularity with 1.5 genuine new members joining each day on average through November. However, we have also had increasing numbers of attempts to join by spammers.
This morning, Sunday 4th December, for instance, there were 20 attempted membership applications. Most of them have benn removed. Occasionally they won't remove for some unknown reason and remain being shown as a member but unable to post.

A new member application from a "Cynthia01" looks genuine enough until you look deeper. Logging in as Admin, provides an "Edit this member's forum settings" button at the foot of their profile page.
From the page then revealed, "Amin & Moderator Functions" leads to the profile page of that member revealing their email address. In Cynthia01's case this was At this point it is usually possible to know it is a spam application. Most spam comes from hotmail or yahoo mail and has an unpronouncable jumble of letters. Also most spam applications do not fill in their real name on the profile page.
However, if doubtful, the email is then checked out on the website which, if found, reveals the IP address and country of origin. In Cynthia01's case this was (a Japanese server). 9 of the 20 spam applications this morning came from that same IP address.
To delete a member, there is a checkbox to tick. A second safety layer kicks in with another box opening to confirm before the profile information is updated. This usually returns the message that the member has been deleted. However, just occasionally, the message "The changes you requested to the table were not successful because they would create duplicate values in the index, primary key, or relationship." is received for some reason. In these cases, they are still shown as a member but unable to post

The next thing is to ban the IP address. Logging in again as Admin permits access to the Admin control panel from where IP address banning is one of the options.
Now is on that list, we should not be receiving any more requests from spam posters via that channel - but the battle continues.

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