The Un-ending Battle Against Yahoo Groups Spammers

Experience has led Groups Owners/Moderators to watch for certain indications a prospective new member may be a spammer.

For Groups requiring a comment on the request to join page, this is a spammer tactic:
Using random letters and/or symbols.
Just the word 'hi'.
The phrase 'i want to join' or a similar statement.

Not all requests of this nature are from spammers, but a high incidence indicates the possibility. Some people just do not know what to input into this field and Yahoo accepts anything.

Some potential spammer members will join a group and remain silent for a few months. This is because some Group Owners/Moderators will take new members off moderation after they have been a member for a while.

This tactic may work with a few Groups, but most savvy Groups Owners/Moderators keep members on moderation until posts by the member have shown them to be really OK. Also some Group Owners/Moderators check the new/prospective member's profile to see how long they have been a Yahoo member. A brand new profile is suspect, but not a positive indicator the member is a spammer.

If the new member has an email address starting with something like 'software123m, helpss4u, etc and ending with yahoo.com, you can be sure this is a spammer email. Not all spammers use a Yahoo email account, but the majority do. If the new member joins and immediately posts a spam message they can be removed and banned.  If the profile is checked, the spammer will be set to 'No Mail'. This is probably an indication the Yahoo email address is not valid.

A really good tool in the effort to reduce spamming members is to require a prospective member to complete and return a survey. Yahoo allows this to be sent automatically when someone requests to join a Yahoo Group. The Group's Owner must however set up the survey to be sent; it is not automatic. If the requesting member is using an invalid email address the survey will be sent into cyberspace and never returned. Another weapon against spammers!

The most aggravating spam that comes with Yahoo Groups is the spam sent to the Groups owners. The spammer cannot be stopped with the normal methods and until someone comes up with a brilliant solution; the only alternative is just delete the spam. Unfortunately this type of spam is on the increase. At one time we could assume the spammer's email address had been spoofed. Now however, it is probably coming from a former member whose email account has been hacked.