How can I stop spammers from using the Contact Us form?

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SonAmyFan362
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How can I stop spammers from using the Contact Us form?

Post by SonAmyFan362 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:34 pm

I am using version 3.2.3 of PHPBB, and I am getting spam emails that come from people who obviously are sending just, well, spam. Ideally, I would like to restrict that functionality to Registered Users and higher. [spam link removed]
Last edited by stevemaury on Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Generally, board links in message bodies that are not related to the support sought, are considered spam. You can put a link to your board in your sig.

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stevemaury
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Re: How can I stop spammers from using the Contact Us form?

Post by stevemaury » Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:40 pm

For REALLY good and VERY inexpensive hosting CLICK HERE

I can stop all your spam. I can upgrade or update your Board. PM or email me. (Paid support)

SonAmyFan362
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Re: How can I stop spammers from using the Contact Us form?

Post by SonAmyFan362 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:31 pm

Thanks. Can either of these Extensions require someone to have an account?

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HiFiKabin
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Re: How can I stop spammers from using the Contact Us form?

Post by HiFiKabin » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:42 pm

I don't know about the other, but my extension viewtopic.php?f=616&t=2462711 is open to all to use, which is the whole point of the 'Contact Us' extension. Its there for people to contact you if they are having problems registering/logging in. Members can always PM you

If you would like it Members Only, I could add a switch for you. PM me or ask on the support topic if you are interested

John Robi
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Re: How can I stop spammers from using the Contact Us form?

Post by John Robi » Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:57 am

Hello,

Fastest way with no extension needed, no filters, no banned text list is to:

In ACP navigate to tab,General, Board configuration, Post settings OR to, tab Posting, Message, Post settings: (the same settings are found in both places) look for :

Minimum characters per post/message:
The minimum number of characters the user need to enter within a post/private message. The minimum for this setting is 1.

AND set the value to 20 characters. DONE!

Why does this work? Because spammers programs insert only 8 to 14 characters in the message body. phpBB, all versions, give a warning that the minimum amount of characters is needed. Spam programs can't handle that.

Yes it does mean the inquirer must enter at least 20 characters to be valid. AND anyone posting must meet the same requirement. I have never had negative feedback on this.

This will also stop dead any spam posts as well.

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Mick
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Re: How can I stop spammers from using the Contact Us form?

Post by Mick » Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:08 am

John Robi wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:57 am
spammers programs insert only 8 to 14 characters in the message body
That’s not true, spammers, both bots and humans, are much more sophisticated than you think. If it was just a matter of character count the spam problem would have been sorted years ago.
"The more connected we get the more alone we become" - Kyle Broflovski

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Re: How can I stop spammers from using the Contact Us form?

Post by John Robi » Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:49 am

Hello,

Mick, I understand your reply.

A few years ago I took over as administrator of a phpBB board. The board was getting more than 2,000 spam Contact us plus Posts per month, that's over 4,000 total. I implemented the settings and the spam dropped to zero after I clicked on Submit. It has been zero ever since. There are other boards with the same issue, once the setting was changed the spam was gone. It certainly could be I have some sort of something that keeps the spammers at bay, though I don't think so.

None of the boards I administrate get spammed. Do I expect to get spammed one day, yes. Though that battle is still somewhere in the future and I will adapt.

Anyway, maybe there is someone out there who will try it and post the results.

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Lumpy Burgertushie
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Re: How can I stop spammers from using the Contact Us form?

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:44 pm

I don't doubt what you say but I don't understand why only your spammers are posting with less than 20 characters. most spam posts I have seen around the net have way more than 20 characters. they are usually very long posts trying to get you to click on links within them.

glad you are not having a spam problem.

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EA117
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Re: How can I stop spammers from using the Contact Us form?

Post by EA117 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:55 pm

John Robi wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:57 am
spammers programs insert only 8 to 14 characters in the message body
Certainly hasn't been my experience here either, for what it's worth. You couldn't even fit the URL a spammer wants you to follow within 20 characters; let alone the brief to lengthy description they include trying to entice you to click on that link.

We finally implemented the ContactAdmin extension here this week, after a review of the phpBB error log showed the amount of Contact Us spam was more than twice what we assumed. Our email service provider's SMTP server had simply been rejecting more than half of the "successful" spam attempts, and the error log was filled with SMTP error traces of the server reporting "Message rejected for spam or virus content".

So, "great" that our mail provider had been preventing us from ever seeing these messages, but "not so great" that so much of the "email being sent by phpBB is flagged as spam." For that reason, in addition to now having ContactAdmin put up the reCAPTCHA v2 challenge, I also set it to post the contact messages into a forum, rather than via SMTP. So that even if/when they do get through, to our SMTP server it won't look like phpBB or our hosting account is the generator and sender of the spam these idiots are trying to send.

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