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Urgent Message - Spam

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This morning Bariatric Pal received a strange post from a first time poster. The poster after leaving a message that didn't make any sense requested members to contact them using private message. The thread appeared to originate from Russia. It appeared to be a type of honey trap enticing members to communicate by PM where they might fall prey to a spam attack.

These attacks seem to be targeting a number of different types of message boards at the moment. On one of the other boards, the moderator recommended the following actions:

Would members please try to recognise and ignore the spammer posts instead of replying to them. Just report them. If you mistakenly report a bona fide member, don't worry, better to be safe than sorry.

What might indicate a message is Spam?

1. Profile entries sometimes have very basic spelling errors eg "Unated States"

2. Profile page shows a business link (sometimes)

3. Messages posted sometimes have what appears to be a string of nonsense letters - for example djhpownkggstr
NEVER click on these to quote. Recent ones are from the Ukraine. They have been detected as infected on other sites

4. Posts with blue links placed below the message in the left lower corner of the post as you look at the screen.

5. Words in blue embedded in an otherwise plain text post - the blue words are hidden spam links that open up when you click on them - may carry malware

6 Obvious spam links from new members with little or no posting history

7. Look out for several brand new posters showing up in a thread and congratulating one another on their good advice.

8. Never open links that are posted in these thread topics: Bitcoin, travel tips, vaping, gambling, viagra etc, essay writing, smoking, cannabis in any form.

9. Be mindful that spammers usually lie about the country that they are in - the Ukranians say they are in the USA, the UK, one of them claimed to be in Mali...

10. Look for new members who join with "whole" names like JamesWilson for example, or EllaSmith, these are quite common lately

12. Look for new members who interrupt a completely unrelated thread with a first post that says "Hello! Nice to meet you!!"

They are devious and malicious, and can trick both new and old members. If in doubt, report and we can check out their real location and posting history.

The Russian, Ukranian and Muldovan spammers seem to be getting more numerous in targeting our social forum lately. They are producing most of the current spam, though there are some from Pakistan also posing as ordinary members who are also active. Before most of the spam of these kinds seemed to be USA based, and the change to the Russian speaking countries has happened in the past 12-18 months.

Please be vigilant and report.

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Thank you @James Marusek!!! I sparkle heart you and your great info!

(Where ya been? You are missed!)

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Great information James! I would add one more important warning ⚠️ Never ⚠️ give your personal information/username or password to anyone especially if you’ve clicked on one of those links. Go directly to the website you’re looking for by typing in the information yourself looking for the ‘https’ in the browser window to know it’s a secure sight. Most spam site do not have the ‘s’ at the end. Also ⚠️ Never ⚠️ provide hours banking information on a site if you clicked through a link embedded in a message. Err on the side of caution and type in the actual website for yourself.

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Thanks for the heads up!

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Thank you. I saw a response to what I now realize is spam on a post of mine. The original comment was removed. The Russian trolls and spammers are out in droves Now, especially when it comes to politics.

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1 hour ago, James Marusek said:

5. Words in blue embedded in an otherwise plain text post - the blue words are hidden spam links that open up when you click on them - may carry malware

Thanks for the info! Re: the point quoted above, this is only partially true. BariatricPal auto-links some things to their shop. Hover over the link to see where it leads to be sure.

Example: Protein Shakes

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I’m on my computer. It alerted my message box. I thought it was @FluffyChix. I clicked it and automatically opened. (no link to click) Its only effecting this app. pages shrink. Tried logging back in. I’m now going to my protection software

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