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Fake Leads

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I am having a problem in which spammers submit inquiry forms from our landing pages- they put legitamate-sounding names and sometimes even legitimate-looking information (City, phone number, email, etc) but leave links and general spam in the comments field. 

This happens in sprees of 3-10 spam leads at a time, once a week or once every two weeks.

 

I haven't been able to make much progress on resolving this so far. Has anyone else had a similar problem? And is there any way to report and block such spammers? 

Any input is appreciated, thank you in advance!

4 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Fake Leads

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Tracie,
Yes, I've experienced this and I still do to some extent. It's incredibly frustrating.

What I've done to prevent this is as follows -
1) I've made my lead form pages secure (using SSL)
2) I've added form validation to lead forms
3) I've used javascript forms
4) I've used cloudflare and IPtables to block the countries that the spam is coming from

Blocking entire countries may not be for everyone but blocking China, Brazil, India, Russia and all African countries pretty much stopped the spam for me. Something to consider.

Re: Fake Leads

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor
What about CAPTCHA?
Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Fake Leads

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Hi Tracie,

Sounds like folks are clicking on your ads then leaving links and general spam. Are you wanting to block those folks from seeing your ad?

You can try to find the IP addresses of these people in your web logs, then block those addresses. If these submissions seem to come from one or a few countries, and you don't get significant business from those countries, you can try geo-targeting and exclude those countries, as Dave suggests.

If the spam is just annoying and comes from sources in addition to AdWords, I wrote some Javascript that checks for certain html tags and blocks the form submission if there is any html in the comments, or if anything that looks like a URL is included. If you are displaying the contents of the form at anytime through the web site, you really should be checking for html anyway, to prevent injection attacks. That cut down the number significantly, but didn't stop it. I still have all that script on my pages, then I added a confirmation cycle to the process. The form must include a valid email address. I send a confirming message to that email address. If the user does not confirm by clicking on the link in the email, the data in the form submission is discarded.

So, how do you go about finding the IP addresses? You'll likely need to look through your web logs to find that unless your software is recording the ip address when the form data is saved (that would certainly make things easier). Otherwise, look for the hits on the page that follows the form and try to match up with the time the form was submitted.

Best of Luck!

Pete
petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords

Re: Fake Leads

Rising Star
# 5
Rising Star
Cloud fare and ipblocking would be bit of pain when it comes to countries that host dynamic ip address most of the time. Also as mentioned before if you don't have business from certain countries you can exclude/block out certain countries from your target list.

Although I would go with Recaptcha or Captcha in this scenario. At least it will work on most of basic automated spamming soft wares out there