Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Self-Publishing Review got scammed and spammed

Self-Publishing Review is a useful and respected online magazine. It aims to legitimize self-publishing. Early this morning, SPR was scammed into carrying spam advertising for a seller of "Cheap Ralph Lauren polo shirts."

The posting -- which should have come from a person or company involved in self-publishing -- is from, and contains computerized nonsense text combined with links to the enjoypolo site. (Left-click to enlarge.)

Someone at enjoypolo apparently noticed that "Registering for this site is easy, just fill in the fields below and we'll get a new account set up for you in no time," and registered and quickly posted the crap. A Google 'bot noticed the crap and automatically posted it on my blog (which is hosted by Google's Blogger service), and probably on others. This automation added to the effectiveness and the annoyance of the spam scam.

If you operate an online forum, website or blog that is open to public comments, make sure that content has to be approved before it is published. Don't help the spammers.



  1. Having just dealt with a hacker on my own blog server, I feel your pain. It's never fun having unintended things posted to your site, no matter how it gets there.

    Out of curiosity was this simply a matter of open commenting, or did you have to take other security measures to prevent it from happening again? Always good to spread the word about these unethical folks.

  2. Yeah, spam has become a problem on the site. The problem is that this isn't technically spam - a real human logged in and created an account and then added the BS to the About section of the profile.

    I've looked into manually approving members but plugins haven't worked. I'll keep looking...

  3. ...minutes later, I think I found something. Sorry for the spam, and thanks for lighting a fire under me to fix this.

  4. This has been a problem for a couple of months. I contribute blogs to SPR so i monitor other postings and there is a pattern to this.

    They register to SPR and then immediately post a blog. Maybe the same blog content several times. The registered name is usually nonsense.

    They don’t make the featured articles because SPR monitors them manually but it is annoying.

    SPR has some great content. It is too bad the kids can get in there and work the system.