Spammy follows from @outlook.com email addresses

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    Posts
  • #3092821

    wadams92101
    Member

    I’ve recently experienced the same issue identified in two other now closed forum threads (see https://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/unusual-e-mail-follower-sign-ups?replies=41 and https://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/weird-followers?replies=49) – prematurely closed IMHO. Did you ever figure out the motive for these follows? Obviously they are doing it for non-bona fide reasons. How do they benefit? What are they getting out of it.

    The blog I need help with is calbevlaw.com.

    #3092949

    timethief
    Member

    Note all the open threads on the issue listed here https://en.forums.wordpress.com/tags/outlookcom-spam

    Staff are helping those who post into this thread https://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/emails-from-fake-followers?replies=18

    #3092975

    kokkieh
    Staff

    Hi there,

    Those threads were closed because the issue from January was fixed. The current issue is a new spam attack where the spammers have changed tactics to get around the fixes we put in place in January, but we are aware of it and already working on blocking the new signups as well.

    Did you ever figure out the motive for these follows? Obviously they are doing it for non-bona fide reasons. How do they benefit? What are they getting out of it.

    My guess is it’s an attempt to overload our (WordPress.com’s) mail servers by making us send out more subscription emails than our system can handle. The other option is that they’re hoping bloggers will email them at that address to thank them for following, which will give them access to active email addresses which they can then attempt to spam or hack directly.

    The follows in themselves are not an actual threat, though – our system can handle many times more emails than these additional subscriptions are making us send, and there’s no way receiving these follows can compromise your site or account, so really all they’re achieving is to annoy people.

    We’re working on our end to get these follows blocked, and we’re also removing fake follows as we detect them. On your end, just ignore them for now. And if you have email notifications active for new follows on your blog, perhaps disabled those until we’ve managed to block these subscriptions so you don’t receive an email from us every time one of them comes through.

    #3093120

    pviljoen
    Member

    I’ve, again, been getting an outlook follower about once a day, since the first discussion in January. I simply delete them from my gmail account. Looked up this thread in order to see what’s up.

    #3093121

    pviljoen
    Member

    I’ve, again, been getting an outlook follower about once a day, since the first discussion in January. I simply delete them from my gmail account. Looked up this thread in order to see what’s up.

    #3093146

    ngoodrich18
    Member

    I keep getting these as well, in the last 8 days it’s been constant. The most recent follower must of been found by wordpress. I went to remove them and they were already gone.

    #3093147

    Hi Im also getting email notifications from wordpress about followers from outlook email addresses, except the new followers arent showing up under my list of followers on my site. I thought it suspicious and wanted to report it to wordpress. Is this the place to do that?

    #3093148

    justjennifer
    Moderator

    As staff have already indicated in this thread, they are removing the suspect followers for you. That is why you don’t see them in your People/Email Followers dashboard.

    Until this current wave is over, you can turn off notifications of these new followers by changing your settings here: https://wordpress.com/me/notifications Click the arrow on the right and uncheck the box next to Site follows > Email.

    #3093149

    Thank you for this useful thread. I also am getting these spammy follows from outlook addresses.
    I wondered why my number of followers was so low, but the email notifications were almost daily! Now I know.
    Thanks WordPress for removing these followers. I’ll turn off notifications.

    #3093150

    kokkieh
    Staff

    Hopefully we’ll be able to block them completely soon, so you won’t get notifications about them any more.

    #3093151

    nancykym
    Member

    I am also receiving these including 3 yesterday and today.

    #3093152

    denvirj
    Member

    I too am receiving suspicious new followers with odd sounding outlook.com accounts. Please help me.

    John Denvir
    Guileisgood.com

    #3093153

    kokkieh
    Staff

    @denvirj

    Please read my first reply above. We are already working on this issue, but it takes time as we want to block only the spammers, and not real people who just happen to use outlook.com email addresses.

    We are automatically removing these follows as we detect them, so there is nothing else you need to do at this point.

    #3098057

    The same happened with me as well. And I was the fool to thank them for following also. Thank god I found this.

    #3098210

    Thanks for helping with these ridiculously lame Outlook followers, WordPress. I get 4-5 a day. But with your help (as the Magic 8 Ball used to say) …. the Outlook is good!

    #3098248

    Thanks for being on top of this, WordPress, and for letting us know that we basically don’t have to do anything about it. Lovely to see a site protecting its users.

    #3098665

    Just echoing the thanks of others before me who were also concerned about this outlook email follower problem. Annoying for everyone but hopefully fixed soon.
    Emma

    #3099091

    Hi – Is there a way to use a reCaptcha or something, so only real people can follow us?

    #3100793

    themoonstone
    Member

    Even I have been getting follows everyday from these Outlook addresses. It’s good I going this chain. Was wondering what was happening.

    #3101220

    pixelshrink
    Member

    Thanks for all your work on this. I agree about adding the captcha option to the form as this is a long-standing issue which keeps coming up. And maybe the new subscriber notification needs to delayed, to give time for spam subscribers to be deleted, and then the notification only gets sent if the subscription hasn’t yet been deleted during that delay period.

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