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New form of spam on answer sites?


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#1 papercut2008uk

papercut2008uk

    Neowinian

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 01:31

i'm a regular on Yahoo! Answers and come across a very suspicious activity.

 

I have no idea how to stop this as it's somewhat sophisticated, too sophisticated for Yahoo! or most forums/sites to spot. and frankly, Yahoo make it impossible to report anything to them.

I have come across people asking certain specific questions, ones that will show up in a search or search engine, Eg 'how do I recover files', the asker will add key words so it's more likely to come up in a search online, and then after a few days they will get an answer, that always seems to be very similar to others I've seen, recommending the same paid for software and site they may be spamming.

I have also found people linking in the same way 'cheap Microsoft codes' or keys saying 'they bought off of the site' and 'trust it', when in-fact it's a scam site, one that usually only just gets set up a few hours, days or weeks before.

they then mark the answer as the best and comment it 'thanks, it's worked, would recommend to anyone else in the same situation' or something similar.

these are nearly always new users

so how do you go about reporting or doing anything at all about these?

Yahoo aren't exactly the easiest company to contact, I doubt they would listen anyway.

 




#2 Rohdekill

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 01:46

If they won't listen anyways, why report the issue?



#3 OP papercut2008uk

papercut2008uk

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 01:56

because dont want people getting fooled by these spammers

 

it's that factor rather than anything else, especially with some of the one's i've seen where they link to sites selling 'cheap microsoft codes' and it's really just a fake scam site.



#4 Hum

Hum

    totally wAcKed

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 02:00

Can't you just post on Yahoo! which are the scam sites ?



#5 OP papercut2008uk

papercut2008uk

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 02:12

The've kinda made it impossible to report this sort of thing.

 

if i for example Report the Question or answer, they dont bother to actually look into it, they'll just glance over and it will look like a genuine question and genuine answer.

 

there is no way to inform them their system is being used in this way, bypassing search site's filters that would have put the scam sites right at the bottom of the list, because they have burried their customer support email somewhere, if they even have one.

 

no point listing it all on a question on their site because it will get listed as spam or something else that is against there terms of usage, it would also only get seen by a handfull of people.



#6 Kalint

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 02:14

I thought spam was normal on Yahoo?  Hmm...



#7 Aheer.R.S.

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 02:18

I gave up on yahoo answers a long time ago, at the time it was full of sex contacts in India, the more you report the more it hurts your standing, that's where Neowin's different, I can report all day long if I spot something suspicious, and not have it held against me..

 

Although this doesn't actually answer your question, and for that I apologise, my best advice to offer would be, let yahoo answers die, yahoo themselves care little about it, and long standing members (whom I used to be one of, a level 7 top contributor) get banned for protesting innocence over a tiny misunderstanding.



#8 OP papercut2008uk

papercut2008uk

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 02:30

it was?? it still is full of sex contacts in india. lol, the only difference is Yahoo have removed the international barrier so every english question gets dumped to everyone!

 

i got banned on a level 7 account aswell, had about 48,000 points, started again and upto just over 100,000 now, but still usually the first place people look.

 

i might contact some search engine companies, as the questions seem to bypass their filters that remove those sort of spammy links. 



#9 +goretsky

goretsky

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 08:04

Hello,

 

I call the tactic "set up spam," where the first part is the question, and the second part is the answer.

 

You might want to try sending the URLs via Twitter to an account like @YahooAnswers or @YahooCares or @YahooSafety or @YahooSecurity if you're not getting an answer through official mechanisms.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky



#10 Steven P.

Steven P.

    aka Neobond

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 08:11

How do you know if it isn't Yahoo's own "sponsored" content if they are so difficult to report/get removed?

 

Spammers here tend to register and post a few times (copying other peoples content) before they actually spam, so they are still easy to spot, and all of their posts get removed anyway when they get flagged.



#11 leesmithg

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 08:19

i'm a regular on Yahoo! Answers and come across a very suspicious activity.

 

I have no idea how to stop this as it's somewhat sophisticated, too sophisticated for Yahoo! or most forums/sites to spot. and frankly, Yahoo make it impossible to report anything to them.

I have come across people asking certain specific questions, ones that will show up in a search or search engine, Eg 'how do I recover files', the asker will add key words so it's more likely to come up in a search online, and then after a few days they will get an answer, that always seems to be very similar to others I've seen, recommending the same paid for software and site they may be spamming.

I have also found people linking in the same way 'cheap Microsoft codes' or keys saying 'they bought off of the site' and 'trust it', when in-fact it's a scam site, one that usually only just gets set up a few hours, days or weeks before.

they then mark the answer as the best and comment it 'thanks, it's worked, would recommend to anyone else in the same situation' or something similar.

these are nearly always new users

so how do you go about reporting or doing anything at all about these?

Yahoo aren't exactly the easiest company to contact, I doubt they would listen anyway.

That has been going on for years and years.

 

T.V. does the same when for example, big bang theory on the bookshelves, there are a heap of Norton Items.

 

As for yahoo, I wrote to them, I wrote to my local office, Covent Garden London.

 

I had sent numerous emails and left numerous questions for help on the moderators forum, thus had to write to them.

 

I sent it recorded, they refused to sign for it, they said no-one will commit to signing for it, all I wanted to know was if it arrived safely.

 

It was returned to me.

 

So I re-sent the questions via regular, unregistered post, this was November 2013 when I first sent it, then January 2014.

 

Not an answer.

 

Yahoo used to be good at customer service, they are now the worst I have ever encountered.



#12 +BudMan

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 11:19

"T.V. does the same when for example, big bang theory on the bookshelves, there are a heap of Norton Items."

 

Ad placement is not even close to the same thing as answer spam..  Have seen it a few times here on neowin even..  Someone asks a question about something, then couple days later they come back - or different account says.. Hey this is the best thing since sliced bread use it..

 

That is not the same thing as a TV actor drinking "coke" or a shampoo bottle on the sink or software titles on a bookshelf.  I would love to have them go this route vs actual commercials..

 

I have to agree - why are you on yahoo answers?  Its nothing but junk and gibberish and spam!!  If the few people that actually try and answer stuff would let it go, it would might die the death it deserves - whenever you query something and you see a link to yahoo answers, who would even go there?  I don't recall ever finding 1 bit of useful info via that channel, its all junk!



#13 Brian M.

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 11:32

We used to get the same tag-team spammers here, but they seem to have died out and now we just get the "copy a few posts, dump a spam post, then vanish" ones that Steve mentioned.

#14 Geoffrey B.

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    LittleNeutrino

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 11:54

I have noticed for a very long time whenever i do a websearch for anything tech related and i see a result from yahoo answers it is nearly always someone trying to get you to buy some thing, rather than trying to help you out.

 

Just stick with Neowin we will get it sorted :p (shameless plug)