hey there, i kept a travel blog for family and friends etc,..anyway, I have about 38 subscribers show up the last few weeks,.. but i am very sure they are not 'real' as the names and addresses sound fake, no one i know,.. and when i click on their email,..(well just tried a few out of curiosity),..the email gets returned saying it cannot be delivered.
Is this a common issue? and whats the deal?
thanks for any help if anyone knows!
[ Edit: Edited on 11-Oct-2013, at 00:50 by syreeta hewson ]
Oh, how annoying! I just checked my test blogs, and two of them have gained nearly 300 fake subscribers as well (since april 2011! Heh, don't know how I never noticed that before - though there's been a big push on oct 6th).
This is caused by a spammer-created script which fills in forms it finds on the internet, hoping them to be registration forms so that it can leave actual spam on the other side. In this case it doesn't find such a thing, but it still fills up the database here. Meh.
Anyway, you can safely delete all such fake subscribers (if you click on the checkbox in the header, it'll select all subscribers, and then you can just uncheck the legitimate ones before unsubscribing the rest). I figure now that it's been brought to our attention, Peter will put an item on his todo list to deter spam scripts from filling in this form.
Peter: Most of these fake subscribers use real @yahoo, @gmail, @msn, etc email addresses. I want to bet some of them are even registered. Blog updates going to these email addresses (where obviously they'll be unwanted) might explain a lot of why travellerspoint email was marked as spam a while ago... GAAH!
Ah yeah, there does seem to have been a spike in these recently. Seems like a full time job just trying to keep the spammers away
Probably the best solution for this is requiring them to confirm they want to be subscribed. Although the bots even work around that on our site quite regularly. There's a lot of bots creating blogs and posting spam and in order to do that they are required to verify their email address which they seem to do with no trouble at all. And these are also gmail addresses, etc. so they've already had to pass through all gmail's spam control mechanisms to get that far.
Anyway, you can safely ignore or remove any subscribers you think are fake.