Is this an Indie Troll or a Russian, Iranian or North Korean Hacker trying to trick me with a Trojan Horse?

A few weeks ago, two e-mail alerts landed in my Gmail inbox telling me new comments had been submitted to two of my four blogs. This isn’t anything new. My four blogs have had more than one million views over the years, and I get e-mail alerts like these two all the time.

Once I see an e-mail alert, I go to the specific blog and either delete the comment if it’s SPAM or approve it.

But these two e-mail alerts were different.

The first time these e-mails landed in my inbox, since I seldom if ever click on links in strange e-mails, I went to the two blogs and couldn’t find the comments where they should have been, waiting for me to delete or approve them.

So, suspicious, I sent both of those e-mails to SPAM and blocked them from my Gmail account. Now they land in the SPAM folder instead of my inbox. The Gmail block is not stopping them.

Imagine that, some anonymous person is using two of my own blogs as Trojan Horses to trick me, but what is their goal?

Those two suspicious Trojan Horse emails have now become a pest I can’t get rid of. The two pretenders keep reappearing in SPAM instead of my inbox. If that was it, problem solved. I’d just ignore them.

But, after I blocked and sent those two Trojan Horse emails to SPAM, all of my WordPress blogs and the ones I follow are also landing in SPAM, innocents being sent to jail for a crime they didn’t do, and I have to keep bailing them out every day.

A WordPress expert is helping to determine how this is happening and part of that process is to make these three screen shots public.  Do not, I repeated, do not attempt to visit any links inside those screen shots.

In the first screen shot, you may notice that these two email appear to have originated from two of my blogs: iLook China and Lloyd Lofthouse. They didn’t.

While both e-mails say they are new comments waiting for approval on Lloyd Lofthouse and iLook China, they are not!

I hope no one else with a WordPress blog is having a pest like this one to deal with. Hopefully there is a simple solution.

UPDATE (reply from WordPress Expert User:

It seems like these emails are actual WordPress.com notification emails, however the comments the notifications were about are indeed spam comments made on your sites.

In case you cannot see the comments on the site, that means that they have either been filtered out or deleted automatically. WordPress.com is using advanced methods to filter out spam comments on your website, so they shouldn’t appear on your website.

Please safely ignore messages like these. Unfortunately it is very common on the internet that specific websites/blogs get targeted with bot spamming attacks.

I wouldn’t advise blocking WordPress.com-related email addresses from your incoming emails, as it can cause issues like the ones you have also faced with not receiving important blog notification emails.

You should be able to disable notification emails on replies made to your comments from your Notification Settings here:

https://wordpress.com/me/notifications/comments (please disable the tick from the column of “Email” in the row of “Replies to my comments”).

Thank you for your kind understanding!

All the best,
WordPress.com Expert User

NOTE: The troll also sent another e-mail soon after this post was published, looking like it was another alert from this post (not the other two blog posts), suggesting to me, using the same Trojan Horse trick it used before, that I could also click on its icon to fix the problem. I didn’t do it. I’ll follow the WordPress experts advice instead.

One response to “Is this an Indie Troll or a Russian, Iranian or North Korean Hacker trying to trick me with a Trojan Horse?”

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