how to deal with persistent spammers

5 ways how to deal with persistent spammers

I’ve been plagued by a bunch of persistent spammers recently.

They have been busy this morning as I found I’ve had another ‘attack’.

Plagued by spammers

One way to recognise spam, as well as the fact that there are a lot of comments from the same person, is that they don’t say anything. One liners with no punctuation or grammar is a sure indication.

Actually there isn’t much you can do to stop these persistent spammers, but you can make your life a little easier when you have to deal with them.

1. Activate Akismet

Make sure you have activated your Akismet plugin. Get the necessary API by following the instructions from the ‘Sign up for an Akismet plan’ link in the plugin’s details:

Akismet API key

You will need to sign up for a WordPress.com account too, if you haven’t already got one.

Akismet have been very busy dealing with spam for me over all the years I’ve had this blog:

How Akismet has been working for me

But just occasionally it needs a bit of a boost.

2. Blacklist the IP addresses

I’ve been collecting the IP addresses of these persistent spammers (they are constantly changing them, by the way, which shows they are spammers) and adding them to my blacklist area in the Discussion Settings.

This is where you find the IP addresses in the spammer’s comment:

IP address of spammer

Then go into Settings > Discussion in your Dashboard left sidebar:

Where to find Settings Discussion

And pan down the page a bit until you find the Comment Blacklist box you need to add the IP address to:

Comment Blacklist

As you can see I have also been busy collecting persistent spammers’ IP addresses! And you can see that some of them are similar too, which is another indication of how a spammer works.

Don’t forget to save the Settings page at the bottom.

3. Use the ‘Check for Spam’ button

If adding the IP address to the Comment Blacklist works, the next time your spammer has a go at your blog, you might see a little note from Akismet:

Akismet flaggs spam

At the top of the list there are a series of buttons:

Check for Spam button

When you click on the ‘Check for Spam’ button, even if there isn’t an Akismet flagging note, if you’ve been diligent with blacklisting the IP addresses, all the spam should be moved to the spam collection area.

Note in the image above I had 27 after my spam link, so after I’ve clicked the ‘Check for Spam’ button:

After I've clicked the Check for Spam button

You can see all the spam has been moved over and I now have 37 spam to deal with in my spam collection area.

4. Delete all your spam

Now all your spam has been moved to the spam collection area. Go check it out by clicking on the ‘Spam’ link next to the number of spam you have. (Look at the image above and you’ll see the ‘Spam’ link in the red circle). Now you’ll need to delete all your spam.

Vicky persistent spammers

I’m showing Vicky’s spam, because since she writes a bit more than one line, she has to be caught by the Antispam Bee plugin:

Antispam Bee plugin

And you will probably notice it has indicated Vicky is a CSS Hack. Very reassuring to know Antispam Bee has caught her amongst the other persistent spammers.

However, for good measure, I’ve added her IP address to my Comments Blacklist.

Now why is it imperative you regularly delete all the spam (and not let it build up)?

When spam is deleted, Akismet adds its details to their database of persistent spammers. This makes them extra vigilant against those details and they try and prevent that spammer from attacking other blogs.

So I need to click on the ‘Empty Spam’ button to send the information to Aksimet:

Empty spam button

And once done, it is always gratifying to see an empty spam collection area again:

All persistent spammers gone

5. Ask Akismet for advice

Since you’re using their plugin, there is no reason why you can’t contact Akismet to get them to help you.

Go to their website and click the help tab to find the contact us link:

Akismet website

Underneath the massive search field there will appear a form where you can type in your questions about your persistent spammers.

Ask Akismet a question

The ‘Happiness Engineers’ are usually very good at getting back to you with advice or solutions. The last time I contacted them, they adapted my API key to deal with the persistent spammers I was being bothered with, and told me about the ‘Check for Spam’ button.

Alice Dec 2023 paper background
Alice Elliott

Alice Elliott (aka the award winning Fairy Blog Mother) has been helping bloggers understand about blogging for two decades.

She has also been scrutinising the benefits of commenting on blogs and social media for both individuals and businesses for a decade.

She offers web design with empathetic encouragement and understanding.

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