Suspicious email followers

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  • #3095925

    I have enabled the option to allow readers to enter their email address to follow my site. I’ve recently had a spate of really bizarre outlook.com email addresses follow my site. I get a notification from wordpress and then they don’t appear under my followers. I suspect that there are bots doing this and then when no one confirms the subscription, they are dropped as followers. I know there isn’t a lot that can be done about bots and the sort, but I’m wondering if I somehow set up this feature in away that is inviting abuse.

    The blog I need help with is amydegregorio.wordpress.com.

    #3096106

    Hello amydegregorio, thank you for posting about this because I’ve had the same thing happening to me for a few months now. I finally decided to come on here and ask for support on this suspicious matter. I hope someone can help figure out what exactly it is.

    #3096110

    Hey there,

    Are the email followers all from an @outlook.com email address? Outlook.com spam is an issue that we are in the process of addressing – it is affecting many users and we’re trying to clean the spam but at the same time make sure we’re not affecting actual users who have outlook.com emails. I have reported this internally and we’ll get it cleaned up soon for you.

    Thank you!

    #3096186

    Thanks! They are outlook.com email addresses. Thanks for looking into it, I’m sorry for posting on an issue that gets posted about a lot, I didn’t realize there were forums, I’ll look there first in the future.

    #3096187

    justjennifer
    Moderator

    Hey there @amydegregorio, no need to apologize and thanks for mentioning that.

    @darnelldibbles – It really would be helpful to users if there was some way to have the help/contact form bring up current Hot Topics, if any (we used to do this via forum stickies). We currently have many recent threads on the Outlook.com spam followers issue because it is natural for users to want to post via the contact form rather than look first at the forums (whose link BTW has been more or less removed from most WordPress.com pages anyway). Thanks for listening.

    #3096198

    @justjennifer – very good idea. I would be happy to look into this and to see how feasible it would be to implement hot/trending topics pull up on the contact form.

    Thanks for the suggestion!

    #3096199

    pechespoivre
    Member

    We’re experiencing the same problem and know of others on WordPress.com who are experiencing those weird outlook.com email followers.

    In our case, we’ve had a spate (90 emails), mostly from yulua.org, some .ru extensions and yahoo.co.jp. No reason for these addresses, they are clearly spam.

    If there isn’t a fix, it would at least be good to be able to block delete / unsubscribe spam followers. Right now it has to be done one by one.

    #3098279

    amandaragaa
    Member

    I’ve had the same thing; it’s been happening almost daily for about a week. There have been two outlook .com followers today, both with suspicious email addresses. They seem to ‘follow’ for a few hours and then remove themselves (or WordPress is removing them). If I hadn’t seen the email notifications I would not have known they had ever been there. I removed one myself a few days ago, but most have attached themselves during the night and have been gone by morning. I am impressed by the systems in place to intercept Spam on WordPress (a few real comments from genuine WordPress followers have even ended up in the Spam folder!) so hopefully these bogus bot followers won’t cause any harm!

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