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How to remove spammers who used Gmail addresses


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jeffwidman submitted a new resource:

How to remove spammers who used Gmail addresses - Spammers often use Gmail accounts, here's a quick tutorial for finding and removing

I'm cleaning up spam accounts in my forum, and found a bunch of email addresses with the following format:


Gmail treats these all as the same email account, versus Xenforo treats them as distinct email addresses, so spammers use this trick to re-use the same email address again and again when creating spam forum accounts....
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Active member
To do the account deduplication you'll need something that supports a regex-find-and-replace; last I checked MySQL doesn't offer this.

You could probably spot most of them by checking for gmail addresses with 4 or more periods by doing a simple query:
WHERE email LIKE '%.%.%.%.%@gmail.com
I'd be extra careful to make sure none of them are active users though. Just to be extra safe, you could also limit it to:
WHERE message_count = 0 AND conversations_unread = 0
although this will still delete users who sent PMs to others.
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