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What is the best way to deal with spammers?

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  • What is the best way to deal with spammers?

    I suspect that my problem is not unique and I hope there is someone who can offer some advice as to how to best handle it. In short, I am getting plagued by spammers. By this, I mean there are people who come into my forum and post spam messages for everything from Viagra to cell phones to porn.

    So far, when I find these postings, I delete them and I ban the users who posted them. I require e-mail verification and I use the graphic during the registration process.

    Most of the culprits use e-mail addresses with or domains. Is there any way that I can block these domains from my system?

    Does anyone have any other useful ideas?



  • #2
    Most people are being hit with a lot of spam these days. Unfortunately there is no way to stop it unless you want to stop all new registrations. Some things you can do are:

    1. Moderate new registrations:

    Admin CP -> vBulletin Options -> User Registration Options -> Moderate New Members -> Yes

    2. Activate email verification:

    Admin CP -> vBulletin Options -> User Registration Options -> Verify Email address in Registration

    3. Activate Image Verification if your server supports it:

    Admin CP -> vBulletin Options -> User Registration Options -> Image Verification -> Yes

    Note: Imagemagick and GD (True Type Font) are more robust than GD (Simple Font) so use one of these if it's available on your server. And make sure you check all the Image Verification Options, with the possible exception of 'Random Shapes' which can make the captcha very difficult to read.

    4. Ban 'free' email domains many spammers use:

    Admin CP -> vBulletin Options -> User Banning Options -> Banned Email Addresses

    Also make sure you upgrade to 3.6.x if you haven't already since this includes an improved captcha
    for image verification.
    Steve Machol, former vBulletin Customer Support Manager (and NOT retired!)
    Change CKEditor Colors to Match Style (for 4.1.4 and above)

    Steve Machol Photography

    Mankind is the only creature smart enough to know its own history, and dumb enough to ignore it.


    • #3
      Go to and look through the plugins. There is one called "NoSpam! verification question" to add a question when new people try to register. If they get it right their in, if not they get a very deceiving error message. It stopped all my spam overnight. 2 months now with no spam or bogus registers.

      Here is how it works.
      Load the plugin and decide on a question that those who are truly legit would know where to get the answer. I asked a question on my site that requires the register to know a specific dollar amount for a local product related to our site. You can also have multiple questions.

      I used to get 20 of those .ru and many others a week and this has dropped all of them. May sound to simple, but realize most of these are people with little patients and move on quickly when they cannot figure it out. If they answer the question wrong the error says they typed the graphic wrong.
      Really frustrating to them.

      Hope this helps.

      Last edited by jvancamp; Mon 4th Dec '06, 9:00am.


      • #4
        Spam registrations all use Company: "Man"

        Getting a few more spam registration (have read most threads on this). I am verifying e-mail addresses, blocking some IP addresses and domains and that helps; rather not use image verification.

        All my spam registration have one thing in common: the Company field which I ask for always comes in as: Man

        I assume those are robots. Is there anyway I can block registrations based on that?


        • #5
          I implemented two hacks that eliminated spammers from my site. The first requires new registrants to answer a question. It can be something simple like "how much is two plus two". The point is that bots can't handle it. The second is a hack that allows me to enter common spam terms (viagra, mortgage, cell phone, etc.) and automatically moderate any new postings that contain those terms. I downloaded both from

          Since I implemented these solutions, I haven't had a single spam posting make it through to my forum.


          • #6
            Thank You


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