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Spam via Private Messages

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:38 pm
by Bieneke
[Dutch translation below]

Dear forum member,

Yesterday, several members received a dubious private message from a forum member called 'Caroluv'. This member has been deleted and banned from the database and I disabled the option to address private messages to more than one member. However, today, we received the same private message from 'caro73'.

Apparently, spammers (or at least, this spammer) have found a way to send mass messages even when this option is not enabled. I have no idea how this person has managed to do this, but I am quite sure we are not the only phpbb forum under attack. I am looking into it right now.

Probably needless to say, but I am saying it anyway: If you ever receive a romantic invitation from a forum member that you have never been in touch with: PLEASE IGNORE IT. It is most likely a scam. See also

Sorry for the inconvenience!



Gisteren hebben diverse forumleden een dubieus privébericht ontvangen van ene 'Caroluv'. Dit forumlid is inmiddels van het forum verwijderd en verbannen. Daarnaast heb ik ervoor gezorgd dat het niet langer mogelijk is om privéberichten naar meer dan één persoon tegelijk te versturen. Vandaag ontvingen we echter hetzelfde privébericht, ditmaal van 'caro73'.

Blijkbaar hebben spammers (of in ieder geval: deze spammer) een manier gevonden om massaberichten te versturen. Ik heb geen idee hoe deze persoon hierin is geslaagd, maar ik ben er vrij zeker van dat we niet het enige phpbb-forum zijn dat hier last van heeft. Ik ben er momenteel mee bezig.

Waarschijnlijk overbodig om toe te voegen, maar ik doe het toch: als je een romantische uitnodiging ontvangt van een forumlid waarmee je nog niet eerder contact hebt gehad: NEGEER HET BERICHT. De afzender is meestal op geld uit. Zie ook: (in het Engels).

Sorry voor het ongemak!


Update Spam via Private Messages

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:19 pm
by Bieneke
Hello again,

It seems that the spammer was not sending a mass pm after all. The person actually sat down for several hours to send the same message to each forum member individually! :roll:

What does this mean?
The good news is that we are not dealing with a spammer who has found a way to get around the forum restrictions. The bad news is that there seem to be people who are prepared to spend hours sending rubbish through this forum. I cannot prevent individual forum members from sending individual messages, unless I disable this option for everyone. Since it is a time-consuming and probably ineffective way to spam people, I do not expect to receive many more of these spam pm's. However, it can always happen again.

What can you do?
First of all: Do not respond to the message (see my previous post). Secondly, the next time you receive a suspicious private message, please contact me, EetSmakelijk or Joke asap. Since it takes a long time for the spammer to send messages to all forum members, the faster we ban the user from the forum, the fewer messages (s)he will be able to send.


Re: Spam via Private Messages

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:34 pm
by Sue
Hi Bieneke!

Thank you to you and the other moderators for quickly dealing with this problem. I hope this person gets bored and moves on.

Sue :)

Re: Spam via Private Messages

Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:11 am
by Jeff
Hoi Bieneke,

Thanks for the heads up even if I didn't receive any romantic invitations.

Re: Spam via Private Messages

Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:00 pm
by Bieneke
Hi Sue en Jeff! Nice to see you again. So there is one good thing about this spam attack after all: I have had a good excuse to get back in touch with all of you again. ;-)

Since I hardly ever send out mass mails to the forum members, I am still a bit clumsy at it. SORRY to everyone who received my message twice (or more?).

Today, Joke caught a new member called 'caroluv73c' in the act but she swiftly banned our pm-spammer so most of us have not received another invitation.

I hope that anyone who receives such messages (with lines like: "I have read your profile and I am really interested in getting to know you" ... bla bla ... send you my pics ...") realizes that the person has not read any profiles and is sending the same message to everyone. As long as people are responding to his/her messages, he/she will keep on bothering all of us with pm's. So please, do not respond!

I will see if I can set a daily maximum for sending pm's (e.g. a maximum of 3 messages a day) for new members.


Re: Spam via Private Messages

Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:10 am
by Sue
Yes Bieneke, there was a good side-effect of getting the spam - some old members have remembered this site exists!! ;) It is a good thing as I am just about to start another course.

Congratulations Joke for spotting that she was back again, you think that if she was a smart spammer (if there is such a thing!) she wouldn't use the same name every time!

Sue :)

Re: Spam via Private Messages

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 4:49 am
by EetSmakelijk
Hoi allemaal. I have to confess that I haven't been moderating much lately so please give all the credit to Bieneke en Joke. :D
Bieneke, je idee van 3 berichtjes per dag voor nieuwe mensen is heel goed.
Bieneke, your idea of 3 messages for new members per day is good.
I really need to come back to the forum more often too. :P I just miss that :P smiley so much! :P:P Ok, got that off my chest. [How do you say that in Dutch?]

Re: Spam via Private Messages

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:34 pm
by BrutallyFrank
EetSmakelijk wrote:Ok, got that off my chest. [How do you say that in Dutch?]
Zo! Dat is eruit!

Re: Spam via Private Messages

Posted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:01 pm
by ljml46
(BrutallyFrank: "got that off my chest" => "heb mijn hart gelucht" in Dutch)

For those who are interested in the nature of the pm's under discussion here, this is what I received no Oct.23rd. No further comment needed, I think.

Hello ljml46,

caro73 just sent you a private message.
Subject: Hello

It is my humble pleasure to write to you and i regard it as a golden chain of fortune.My name miss Carolin, 22year old, average in height and fair in complexion . I read your profile and find it so intresting to me then , i decieded to contact you. It is my pleasure to tell you that i really want to have a good relationship with you. so you can contact me through my Email: ( i am waiting to hear from you soon,so that i can be able to send my pictures to you and also tell you more about me. I know age will not be a bearier to our relationship,rather what i need is just your true love and caring.
Yours lovely,

contact me with([

Re: Spam via Private Messages

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:23 pm
by kwalijkje
Hey LJ,
I've got to admit. I just read your profile, and fell madly in love with you as well. :P
Zo, dat is eruit.