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Beware of ‘My’ Comment Spam on Your Blog

This week I’ve had four readers email to tell me that they’ve received comment spam on their blogs from someone using my name. The comments say something about how their blog is really getting better and/or that I’m enjoying it. The link left goes to a Penis Enlargement site (or some other dubious site).

While I’m not sure whether to be flattered or embarrassed to be associated with the Penis Enlargement industry I do wish to put out the warning that not all may be as it seems when you see a comment from me on your blog. I guess this tactic of using the names of real bloggers is another attempt by spammers to get their comments through moderation – I just hope Akismet don’t blackban my name as I’m sure a lot of these comments are going to be marked as spam.

PS: if you get one of these comments feel free to shoot me an email with the comment, link and the IP address of the commenter as I’d be interested to have someone attempt to track down the person using my name in this way.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. OpenID is a solution to all this for those who want to authenticate a “real” commenter. It would be great if ProBlogger supported it for comments… it takes all of 5 minutes to setup with a WordPress plugin.

  2. Thanks for the heads up! I’m always paying attention to every comment and trackback I receive. This is basically an identity theft. About Akismet, I’m sure that won’t be a problem, since it considers more factors than just your name (email, ip, website URL).

  3. blizme says:

    with all the tools to block spam it’s a wonder why spammers still do it.

  4. Jay says:

    so, this brings up a question. I am so happy to get any comment, that sometimes I approve comments even if the linked site is a bit shady. is this a bad practice?

  5. I agree with blizme. I mean, if you’re going to spam you’d think you’d use more sophisticated methods. Thank goodness for Akismet.

    Blue Sunshine
    http:///www.miscgarbage.com

  6. Good grief, Darren. As ProBlogger you take the hits in the blog-o-sphere minefields that haven’t even crossed most of our newbie minds.

  7. Bontb says:

    Go figure, I mean many people use your name but can’t go much further because real bloggers and bloggers do know what you are about who you are , how you look like and most important where to find your website.

    I wouldn’t be too much worried about, at least If I catch the guy ill provide you more information like who they are , where the spam came from if you want to get back at them! :)

    Cyberwar!!!

  8. God, what next. As an Admin of Holly Mann’s forum I deal with spam on a daily basis. This has to be about the most underhanded method I’ve seen yet. Then, these spammers always wonder why they never make many sales. Hmmm, I wonder?

    Cheers
    Davin

  9. A. Marques says:

    Spam, spam and more spam. It seems that it’s the only thing I’m dealing with… Hundreds of spam comments are left on my site per day, although trapped by Askimet and Co. Will it ever stop?

    And that is a very dirty trick from someone, using your name to entice clicks.

  10. Michael Beck says:

    Dang it… all this time I thought you were trying to lead my readers down the path of natural male enhancement!

  11. AV says:

    If views and subscribers indicate your manliness, then ProBlogger really IS the new Viagra.

  12. Self, I damn proud of you! This place is really something.

    We work well together.

    Hey, wait. If Fake Steve Jobs can do it…

    J/K Darren. ;~)

    But on a serious note, there has to be a powerful way to hammer maggots at IP or ISP level. Like the way cable did to illegal black boxes 20 years ago!

    Ed, (NextInstinct)

  13. You’ll be wasting your time trying to track any spammers via their IP address. They will all be using proxies that mask their real IP. That’s why you’ll often get a wave of 20 spams all with the same basic comment, but coming from 20 different IP addresses. It’s just a robot, cycling the comment spam through various proxy servers.

  14. Seduction says:

    My current beef is the CONSTANT Google Groups spam. Anyone else getting this? Askimet is not picking it up.

  15. Jeanette says:

    I think I miss good comments on my blogs because I skim so many spam posts. I always check the site that the comments link to for content.

    And Jay, don’t accept shady site links. If we all delete spammy posts, someday the spammers will gone onto something else.

    Joy!

  16. Michael says:

    That sure does suck Darren, I hope you get all this figured out and end it, spammers are terrible and I still don’t understand who the heck clicks on these links?

    Someone must, otherwise it wouldn’t make them any money.

  17. What the heck? ….you’ve sure had a lot going on lately Darren, I’m sure it will all get worked out though. Good on those bloggers who alerted you to this.

  18. Kishor says:

    When you get this much success you are bound to meet jealous people.

  19. I get a similar occurrence on my blog when spammers look at my top commentator list and use the name of one of my top commenters as their name. Usually I would let it slide if I was on auto-pilot. But thankfully, they don’t know my Top Commenters’ email addresses, so it goes into moderation. Then when I see “Aruni” and it links to said male-member elongating services, I’ve been able to delete them instead of letting them through.

  20. Frank C says:

    Wendy,

    A bug in some versions of the Top Commentator plugin allow a spammer to ‘take over’ a top commentators spot even it the spammer is in the Akismet filter. If you use this widget you have to keep a close eye on who’s on it, particularly if you have it set to start over again at the first of the month.

  21. Well said Aaron B. Hockley, Open ID is the way. I believe Darren should look into this as well.

  22. Otto says:

    Good luck in tracking the culprits down, it would sure piss me off…

  23. Let me at them. I’m a PI. I can use my talents for some good…

  24. Luis Gross says:

    How dare the posers! On the stready lookout Darren I got your back bud!

  25. I’ve just migrated my site -http://www.what-sells-online.com – from Typepad to WordPress just a few days ago. Since then, I’ve been receiving numerous spam comments which I didn’t get while my blog was hosted with Typepad. Guess one of the drawbacks of using WordPress is the absence of an integrated Spam blocking mechanism.

    However, the benefits of migration so far outweighs the disadvantages. Guess all I’ll have to do is to find a solution to this. Probably the OpenID solution suggested by Aaron would be a possible remedy.

    Cheers!
    Samantha
    http://www.what-sells-online.com

  26. I guess one way to look at it, is you are popular enough to be a target of some one trying to benefit from your name.

    It’s not quite flattering, but it probably wouldn’t happen to any of us :)

    cheers
    scott

  27. Website Tips says:

    This type of maneuver won’t last in the long run. We reap what we sow. However, it shows how popular you are and some wanted to bank on your popularity.

  28. The Frogg says:

    Darren, Frogg feels your pain, you are reaching a level of awesomeness that soon will match (but never surpass) Frogg’s own.

    Therefore, Frogg has decided that in response, he will track down these cyber criminals for you, and destroy them with the use of his moon laser.

  29. kusum says:

    great post man i wonder why they spam

  30. Darren, oh… life’s a challenge …

    While it is relatively minor issue, compared to my best friend being operated on right now in her battle with cancer, even your ProBlogger newsletter, to which I am subscribed, goes into the spam folder because your post contains the word ‘p e n . .’

    I’ll be sending you some white light, man!

  31. Dr. Nicole says:

    Oh my gosh what will the spammers think of next? Although I do agree that male enhancement is an important subject…

  32. Joe says:

    These spammer just won’t give up would they.

    I think Leo from zenhabit posted similar problem, maybe you should ask him. Work out a plan and track down the enemy *shifty eyes*

  33. Pentad says:

    Geesh. That’s really too bad! Ok, it just plain sucks. I really hope that your name does not run into trouble.

  34. Aman says:

    Somebody is spamming my blog. Does anyone know how to track the Ip address of that person.

  35. Darren Rowse says:

    That’s terrible. I can’t believe anybody would sink that low!
    :) Tom (err, I mean Darren)

  36. etoplum says:

    I guess one way to look at it, is you are popular enough to be a target of some one trying to benefit from your name.