Website Form Spam

Recently, we have recieved responses to our "request a quote "form that contain garbled text and links to other websites. I imagine these are computer generated spam.
I’ve considered including a Captcha image that requires users to enter the jumbled letters before submittal, but don’t know if it’s worth putting potential customers through that hassle.
Has any one else experienced this? If so , how do you deal with it?

I haven’t personally as I only offer my e-mail address on my website. I do however have a friend that has a small biz that changed his like you are considering because he experienced such a problem with getting the spam.

He told me it got so bad that he was receiving 5-10 per day before he got it changed. If you have received some already it might be a good idea to protect things before you make it on a list and the onslaught begins.

I get about 10 a day also. I just deal with it, and delete them.

Chris and Alex. Do you guys get them too???

I get over a thousand a day. If you funnel your address through a gmail address… They will for the most part be stopped.

How do you set up the filter?

[LEFT]Forward them to your gmail address.

Use Gmail for you email add, or use Gmail to forward them to your regular address. Monitor them through gmail and hit “report spam” when you catch one. gmail will eventually learn whats good mail and whats not.

You can use gmail and make it look like you are using your old email add as well. You can send and receive emails and no one would ever know you were using it.
[/LEFT]

Thanks Chris,
I already foreward them through hotmail, so it sends me a text when a form is filled out. Hadn’t thought of using it for spam as well.
Thanks for the tip!

You can set up your robots.txt file to stop this. I have mine set so the only spiders that enter my site are from google, msn and yahoo. Other then that, the spider is redirected to disney.com

Another thing you can do is DO NOT write your email address in your website. If you do write it like this.

name [at] website.com

Some of the bots (that’s whats getting your form filled out) read the @ symbol know it’s an email addy and then spam you. I think adding the Captcha would be fine. Google does it, yahoo does it so why not you? Many adult sites where webmasters have partnerships for submitting websites etc. Use the captcha, it’s a great way to stop the spam. But all 3 in conjuction will really dump the spam. Another thing to think about, is it really worth the effort to have the form? How many potential customers contact via it? If you are getting 1 contact per month, IMO not worth the headache that can come from a security flawed submittal form.

BTW Google webmaster tools has a generator for the robots file. Very easy to use.
http://www.google.com/webmasters/tour/tour1.html

Heres a recent decent read on the topic.

I also use Gmail with my website and don’t have any problems.

I see you are from Dublin, Ohio. I spent a few childhood years there. Many moons ago. Lived in Muirfield Village, you get much business from there?

You’re right Jugg, I may need to rethink the form page. I’d rather get a phone call anyways. I’ve added the robot.txt. Will give it a month or so and see how it goes.

Sean,
We do some houses in Muirfield. We’re mostly commercial though, only about 10% residential.