Saturday, October 10, 2009

On Catching a Liar: Anatomy of a Spammer

Like almost everyone who uses e-mail, I receive a ton of spam every day. Much of it offers to help me get out of debt or get rich quick. It would be funny if it weren't so exciting. - Bill Gates

Why the Animosity?I hate spam. I immediately erase it if I get one. It’s analogous to a thick-faced salesman knocking at your door then places his foot at the door gap to get your attention. They wear different masks and specialize on different communication medium. Some are telemarketers, others in the form of “e-mailers” and blog post commenter. They are insensitive, out of topic and devoid of proper decorum.

Blog spammers,, in my opinion, are one of the worst. They disrespect owners by ramming their way into other people’s blogs. And since a lot of visitors not only read posts but comments as well, they also used it as a platform to sell their wares.

First Encounter
Take for example this comment I erased in my KaBlog Station Page:

“I just made $1003 this week working from home for google. I cant believe how easy this is. Im recommending this to everyone, check out this guys google blog makemoneywith-google.com”
It seems harmless and “friendly”, but in effect, designed to increase traffic of the linked site by dangling possible monetary gain on na├»ve readers. To counter it, I went directly to the spammer’s page and leave this message:

“If you want to put ads, do it in your own blog. Don't go around spamming other sites with your ads. Do that again in my site and I'll recommend that you be remove from this network.”
This incident happened a month ago and then thought nothing of it. But last week, I was blog-hopping on some of my friends KaBlog Station page and noticed ALL of them have spam comment similar to what I deleted. They only differ in monetary value, but verbatim, they are all the same. It made me assume these are all software-generated, randomly inserting monetary numbers for each comment. I went back to the spammer’s page and things got interesting. Somebody responded to my comment.

Can’t Hold His TongueA certain Joey Parman, a KaBlog member, left this message on the spammer’s page:

“Wala akong malay sa sinasabi mo blogus! Before you make any threats you might want to consider other posibilities kung bakit may pumasok na ads sa site mo na allegedly saken galing. For all you know it could be a malaware na nagamit ang pangalan ko. Please refrain from making harsh accusations. Kahit magsumbong ka pa! Hindi ko gawain ang sinasabi mo.”
Nagging QuestionWhat has this spammer, whose profile is female from New York, USA, got to do with Joey Parman from Taguig City, Philippines, that he thinks my comment was addressed to him? I don’t know him or mentioned his name nor did the spam comments ever use his name for that matter. Unless the spammer’s page and "DakilangAlalayMo" are owned by one and the same person, I can’t think of any other reason for him to “sing”. Claiming to be another “Jackie Bermejo” does not hold water either, since the spammer’s page title and URL address are in concordance with what it actually do – to advertised “MakeMoneyWithGoogle.Com”. If that too was hacked and changed, why didn’t he report it to the proper authorities of KaBlog Station?

Possible AnswerKaBlog Station is a social networking site. If you want to comment on a page, you should be a member and log-in first. To do that, you must register. Since the intention is to spam, an existing member created a fictitious account to divert attention away from him. Nice deception and smart, but not smart enough. He forgot one thing, the "code of omerta” – keep your mouth shut!

The ball is in your court Joey. Try to make sense and have a plausible alibi this time.

33 comments:

  1. I admire the way you handle a very sensitive issue like this, Mr. Blogusvox.

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  2. RJ, thanks, to say something else will put me on the same level with this guy.

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  3. Kawawa lang talaga yung mga inosenteng napagbibitangan. Ito ang technology may nakakatulong at meron din nakakasira. kaya dapat maging aware tayo sa paghandle sa kanila.

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  4. Dear Blogusvox,

    I checked the Kablogs Station kanina, kasi I did put the banner na gawa ni Chico for PEBA. Nagulat nga ako at tadtad ng Google ads comment na ganito ang mga pages ng members.

    Kaninang hapon, nagmeeting kami nila CM at Pope, at napagusapan this blog mo about the spammer.

    We have deleted the spammers and we will be taking a closer look at each members profile and suspicious spammers in the future, hoping this will not happen again. Its truly annoying.

    We also found out that www.makemoneywith-google.com yan ang naka register member's name sa kablogs and he used Janet53158@gmail.com for his email.

    We have created measures to prevent this. Sorry for what happened. Thanks to you.

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  5. LifeMoto, in the case of Ms.Bermejo, yes it's sad. But for those who are caught with their pants down yet still insist on their innocence is something else.

    Kenjie, I'm glad you took action to correct it. Pero sana hindi nyo tinanggal agad. Kasi I linked the page to show "proof" of his action.

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  6. Ay, out of circ ako! Matagal ko nang hindi nadadalaw ang Kablogs!

    Hindi kaya your comment became a spam na rin kaya it went to a different address?

    I'm impressed by the way you handled this.

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  7. Nebz, sa sci-fi books lang nangyayari yun. Yan ang sinasabi kong hindi sana dinelete ang page nung spammer. Doon makikita mo both our comments. It will only show if both of us commented on the same page.

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  8. funny how these spammers work. delete. delete. is all we have to do.

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  9. even twitter have spammer..and d obsence type of spammer pa!

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  10. "code of omerta" .. the same ba ito sa you can only catch a fish by its mouth? hehe :)

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  11. woe to those who have nothing to prove that they are innocent...i'm glad you handled this fully well. Ako kasi pinapabayaan ko na lang, but i sure hate getting spams...

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  12. Pasensya na pre sa pangyayari, hindi namin akalain na papasukin ng spammer ang KaBlogs Station, we'll do our best para maiwasan to...

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  13. huli! he he. nakalimutan mag log-out bago nag comment! yan din lagi ang bad trip sa mga nagba blog para kumita. iikutin ang blogosphere at magdemand na i link sila. tapos wala nmang laman yung blog nila kundi sponsored posts!

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  14. bing, yan yung mahihilig sa "kitang lugaw". Gustong kumita ng malaki na hindi nag babanat ng buto.

    theo, ibang klase naman yan. Dapat mag patingin na sa psychiatrist.

    bw, yes. If he just kept quite, he won't be caught. >: D

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  15. sheng, if you're not guilty, there are several ways to prove your innocence.

    CM, okay lang yun! Ika nga as the saying goes... "Sh*t happens"!

    r-yo, like any wrong doing, even how careful a perpetrator is, sooner or later he will become arrogant, bold and therfore become careless.

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  16. I also received that comment bro..pero hindi ko na lang pinansin..yong makemoneyonline nabwisit na talaga ako niyan..ilang beses na ding pumasok yan sa email at comment box ko..

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  17. ruel, papano hindi ka aabatin ng spammers, e kinakaibigan mo. Ayun o, isa sa mga "friends" sa KaBlog Station page mo. : D

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  18. i also received some offer similar to this. before i used to discuss things with them, this time, i just check if it's really something worth reading.

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  19. Finally the Spammer meets his Catcher, hehehehe, that teaches them some lessons.

    Thank you for handling this thing professionally, I am sure that KABLOGS administrator/s and its members will take a closer look and scrutinize suspected spammers and other unwanted invitations.

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  20. donG, meron pa nga'ng "pyramid scam" in the form of social networking.

    Pope, catching one won't stop these spamming. But at least this one is exposed. Mahihiya ng magkalat dito sa cyberspace.

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  21. Spam comments sometimes comes to my blog and it's kinda like I just leave them alone; maybe they add up to my traffic :-)

    But they really make the comments thread ugly.

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  22. MajorTom, yes it does. But spammers get the better of the trade because it entice your other visitors to visit their blog.

    BTW, thanks for dropping by!

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  23. nakakainis nga pag may mga spammers na nagli leave ng comments sa blog mo, pero ang galing mo naman kung paano mo hinandle 'to saludo talaga ako sa'yo hehehe di ko kaya yan eh, ang nakakinis kasi bakit di na lang sila magcomment ng base sa pinost mo na blog di ba? then baka pa may magtangkang magvisit din sa blog nila eh di kahit paano may dadalaw din sa blog nila at magkaron pa sila ng fans di ba? hehehe

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  24. Sardz, salamat. Alam mo, karamihan sa mga spammers' blog walang kwenta, tadtad pa ng sponsor's ads. Kaya ganyan ang ginagawa nila because nobody's interested on their blog. At least the moment you visit their blog, points agad yun sa blog traffic nila.

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  25. blogusvox, hataw ba si spammer para kumita?

    nobayan, ganun na ba kadesperate sa pera mga yun?
    Mang i ispam to get clicks, mama mia.
    There are so mny useful things to do in life!
    like, mg bigti sila kya sa puno ng kamatis...heheheh

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  26. hay, sa wakas nakapasok din ako.
    tagal ko ding di nakapasok huh, namiss ko blog mo bro lalo na yung buhay buhangin na peborit na peborit ko.
    wala e, talagang binlocked kami ng husto dito at lahat ng gamitin kong proxy ayaw gumana at gumana man nasusundan parin, sana naman magtagal ako sa ere,nakakamiss dito,tagal ko ding naburyong kakaisip kung pano makakabalik.
    nice to be back here.

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  27. wala, pagdating sa mga ganyan abnot ako talaga hahaha diko nga alam kung anu yung spammer, na pwede ka palang kumita sa blogging etc etc kasi nga abnot ako pagdating sa mga ganyan lol anak ko nga lang (when he was 6 yr old) ang nagturo sakin mag open at gumamit ng PC, aray ko!

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  28. Francesca, hataw sya dun sa Kablog Station. Lahat ng members inis-spam. Ewan ko lang kung ilan ang na dinggoy nya.

    TZ, long time no hear from you ah! Akala ko nag sawa ka ng mag blog at tuluyan mo na kaming iniwan. Henewey, welcome back!

    Bad trip naman yang mga singkit na yan! : (

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  29. susme puro copy and paste na nga lang laman ng blog ko e hahaha dont worry intact pa rin utak ko at pwede pang ibenta ng second hand like a brand new hahaha dahil di nagagasgas kakaisip ng iba blog.

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  30. I agree, nakakainis yang mga spammer na yan pati sa blog... Ayoko yung nagcomment lang para mag-alok ng ex-link...

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  31. Darn spammers. I get loads of those and I just erase them. Nakatanggap ka na ba nung blog comment na generic na "I love this article." o "I think you're right. I love what you wrote" tapos when you click the name of the commenter you will be brought to this or that site na gimmik gimmik lang din?

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  32. TZ, hehehe, kahit "copy & paste" basta nakakatuwa, okay na yun.

    Axel, wanna exchange link? (jok, jok, jok) : )
    BTW, thanks for passing by!

    Katz, minsan yan ang sinasabi ng mga bumibisitang walang masabi ngunit gustong pumugay sa may-ari ng blog. : )

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