I don’t know if it’s just me or if the same thing is happening to other fellow WordPressers of late, but I’m receiving emails—sometimes dozens a week—telling me that somebody has started following me via email.
I receive notifications telling me that I’m being followed by such and such a person and initially I was quite chuffed that this spate of people wanted to receive email notifications every time I posted something. That was until I became suspicious, something that didn’t take long.
I decided I’d check my profile one day to see how the email-follower influx had impacted my stats. I wasn’t entirely surprised to find that these countless email followers weren’t there.
So, what’s patently happening is that email spammers are following my blog and then just as quickly unfollowing—no doubt as soon as they deactivate the email account after spamming and phishing the poor souls they prey on!
My concern here is what their game might be. Spammers and phishers don’t do the things they do without a purpose. What are they trying to do when they follow me? Are they trying to gain access to my blog and post stuff on my behalf? How would following me via email help them achieve that?
I get several surprise emails weekly telling me I’m owed money or that my purchase has gone through successfully and to click the link or download the attached PDF to find out more. Obviously, I’m not stupid enough to fall for their ploy and immediately delete these emails. I recently had my personal Instagram—thankfully not my blog Instagram—hacked, whereupon an advertisement for Ray Bans was posted on my feed and every person I follow tagged in it. Exceedingly annoying and an advert for people to continually change their passwords and use different ones for each account they have.
I’ve ranted before about these cretins who maliciously and spitefully do things to infect people’s hardware with viruses and malware. My opinions on that subject haven’t changed and never will. These people are utter scum and don’t deserve the intelligence they evidently possess. They don’t deserve the oxygen they breathe either! What drives a person to want to be that vindictive?
The issue is that these people aren’t going away; they’re only going to multiply. We have to protect ourselves against them. The best way to do this is by having different passwords for everything and making them as elaborate as possible, downloading nothing that you aren’t absolutely certain is safe, avoiding suspicious hyperlinks, and creating multiple backups of anything important you may have on your devices. Digital thieves are out there in a desperate search for your personal details; make it as difficult as you can for them to get their hands on those details.
As for my blog, I’ll have to keep my eye on the suspicious email-follower situation. The last thing I want and need is someone gaining access to the blog and then posting adverts for pornhub or information about the next Ku Klux Klan AGM. It’s a shame that we can’t all just be safe to have these online luxuries without someone trying to sneak their way in. I post enough controversial opinions off my own back without that lot upping the ante sans my prior consent!
I’d be interested to find out if there are any other bloggers suffering the same email follow notifications that I am. I’d hate to have to remove the ‘Contact Me’ option from my menu as a result of this. I like my followers and readers to know that there’s a way of reaching me in private to discuss anything they see in my posts. To remove that option would be a shame. I’ll keep that under review for now.
In the meantime, everyone stay safe online and protect yourselves as best you can. These snivelling excuses for people are after your personal details and they will use them if they get them. Don’t let it happen!
2 thoughts on “Spam & Phish is Leaving a Bitter Taste…”
I’ve had those spats of random email followers happen twice now earlier this year… all saying they are from outlook accounts. That’s initially what made me suspicious. Turns out it was also happening to some other bloggers I’m in a blogging group with. None of us can figure out what their end game was/is either. I deleted the few that were still there, but most did disappear almost right away as well… WTF are they doing??
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I’ve been trying to work it out, but I can’t think of any logical reason as to why they’d be doing it. It’s definitely something dodgy, no question about it.
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