How to Reduce Contact Form Spam on Your WordPress Website With Gravity Forms | JSMT Media (2022)

Unsolicited service emails and contact form spam are as old as the internet itself. This type of spam can range from unsolicited business offers and phishing attempts, to x-rated messages and more. These types of contact form submissions at best are annoying, and at worst a security risk. This article was created in attempt to help eliminate a portion of contact form spam with the popular WordPress contact form plugin Gravity Forms.

What Do We Define As Contact Form Spam?

Contact form spam is a form submission of unsolicited offers of business services. These services can include things such as offers for blog posts, business funding, IT services and more. Often they will include a link in the email for you to opt out of receiving future messages. You may receive multiple copy and paste contact form submissions in the same day or week from these senders.

Note: Clicking on any links from unsolicited spam emails is a recipe for disaster. If you receive emails of this nature, we recommend marking them as spam and deleting them from your inbox. Do not give any personal information, visit these websites, or complete their opt out forms.

Here is a good example of contact form spam from Randy at Talk With Lead

Hi,
My name is Randy and I was looking at a few different sites online and came across your site (insert website here) . I must say – your website is very impressive. I found your website on the first page of the Search Engine. Have you noticed that 70 percent of visitors who leave your website will never return? In most cases, this means that 95 percent to 98 percent of your marketing efforts are going to waste, not to mention that you are losing more money in customer acquisition costs than you need to. As a business person, the time and money you put into your marketing efforts is extremely valuable. So why let it go to waste? Our users have seen staggering improvements in conversions with insane growths of 150 percent going upwards of 785 percent. Are you ready to unlock the highest conversion revenue from each of your website visitors? TalkWithLead is a widget which captures a website visitor’s Name, Email address and Phone Number and then calls you immediately, so that you can talk to the Lead exactly when they are live on your website — while they’re hot! Try the TalkWithLead Live Demo now to see exactly how it works. Visit:… When targeting leads, speed is essential – there is a 100x decrease in Leads when a Lead is contacted within 30 minutes vs being contacted within 5 minutes. If you would like to talk to me about this service, please give me a call. We do offer a 30 days free trial.

(Video) How to Stop WordPress Contact Form Spam FOREVER! (5 EASY METHODS!)

Thanks and Best Regards,
Randy
Randy@TalkWithLead.com

If the above message looks familiar, you are not alone. This is one of the most common spam emails we see submitted across our network of sites on a consistent basis. Talk With Lead’s approach violates the most basic principles of consent in email marketing (if you even consider this email marketing).

What is Consent in Regards to Email Marketing?

While randomly spamming website contact forms is in no means email marketing, many of the principles around consent apply here. Furthermore, many of these spam emails contain links to opt out of further messages implying an automated aspect to this approach. We felt like this was a good opportunity to explore the issue of consent and the important role it plays in email marketing.

When it comes to email marketing, getting permission to email clients or potential clients is step number one. This is one of the major reasons we would never advise buying an email list for marketing purposes. Consent falls under two categories when it comes to email marketing; express consent, and implied consent.

Express Consent

(Video) Stop Gravity Forms Spam - 4 FREE Methods That Work

Express consent is exactly what it sounds like. People who have given express consent to be emailed by your company, took the first step and let you know its ok to contact them with service offers or business updates. A good example of this is someone who signed up for your email newsletter on your website or social media promotion.

Implied Consent

Implied consent comes from someone who you have an existing business relationship with. Good examples of implied consent are current clients, colleagues from business networking groups, people who have donated to your charity, or fellow members of a club, group, or organization.

Note:

Be careful with implied consent. Before adding someone to your email marketing list under implied consent ask yourself “is my email message wanted/useful to this person?” If the answer to that question is iffy at best or no, don’t email that person.

(Video) How To Stop Contact Form Spam (WPForms)

For more information about best practice and the importance of getting permission before emailing clients or potential clients, Mailchimp has a great article on this topic.

How Can Gravity Forms Help Slow The Flow Of Contact Form Spam?

Gravity Forms is one of the most widely used contact form plugins for WordPress websites. It is incredibly flexible, and integrates with a whole host of third party services including PayPal, Zoho CRM, Mailchimp, Constant Contact and more.

Out of the box Gravity Forms includes some helpful anti-spam measures including:

With a few further customizations, you can eliminate known spammers with a few extra steps.

Hi Randy, No I’m Not Interested In Your Lead Generation Services

This list of contact form spammers fall under the “don’t call us, we’ll call you” category. From fast business funding, to lead generation services, these companies consistently spam contact forms with offers of service. Any company spamming thousands of sites is probably not your best option even if you are in need of their services. What’s worse is you may still get hit with spam emails of this nature even if you have taken steps to protect yourself with measures like Recaptcha, honeypots, or Akismet.

(Video) How to Kill Gravity Form Email Spam - Zero Spam

Stop Known Spammers From Submitting Your Contact Form

Gravity Forms has a great feature that allows you to apply conditional logic to the contact form submission button. People or bots attempting to fill out your contact form with an email address from any of the sites below will have the submit button disappear upon entering their email address and will be unable to submit the form. This is a great additional step to stop repeat offenders in their tracks. We have compiled a list of some common contact form spammers you can add to your websites Gravity Forms using the conditional logic method.

Spammers to add to your forms:

  • Talkwithcustomer.com
  • Talkwithlead.com
  • Awardrecognition.org
  • Business-funds-365.com
  • Fastcapitaladvisors.com
  • Profunder247.com
  • Getmybusinessfundednow.com
  • Makebusinessontop.com
  • Getabusinessloan247.com
  • Businessfunds365.com
  • businessloansfunded.com
  • Fastfundingadvisors.com
  • getabusinessfunded365.com
  • Findbusinessfunding365.com
  • Getabusinessloan365.com
  • Inspirationtoaction.net

How We Compiled This List

This list of common contact form spammers was compiled by reviewing 3+ years worth of contact form data (2015-present). Many of these spammers contacted multiple sites within our network only a few minutes apart with the same copy and pasted message. If you feel like your company was listed here in error, contact us to state your case.

Step-By-Step Instructions To Enable Conditional Logic on Your Gravity Forms Submit Button

The following step-by-step instructions assume that you have Gravity Forms installed on your website and are comfortable making adjustments to the settings.

  1. From the backend of your WordPress website on the left sidebar, hover over Forms and from the menu below select Forms. You should see a list of all of the Gravity Forms you have created for your website.
  2. Select the form you would like to enable conditional logic on from the list of forms.
  3. Once you have selected the desired form, you will be in the form editor section of Gravity Forms. Once here, hover over Settings in the top banner and select Form Settings.
  4. From here you will want to scroll down to the form button section and check the “Enable Conditional Logic” box. Checking the box will enable a few options which you can select from.
  5. Update your settings to “Hide” this form button if “Any” of the following match. “Email” “Contains” —-> Insert domain name. You will repeat this step for all of the domain names listed above.
  6. Once you save your settings you can check if your conditional logic is working by testing your contact form on the front end of your website. Simply try to complete the contact form using any of the excluded domain names. Example enter test@talkwithlead.com and you should notice that the form submission button disappears.

FAQs

How do I stop spam from my website contact form? ›

Ways To Stop Spam From Your Contact Forms
  1. Disable contact form autoresponders. Turn off all autoresponders that send people a confirmation email about what they submitted. ...
  2. Rename your fields. ...
  3. Add a unique quiz/comment field. ...
  4. Add reCAPTCHA 3. ...
  5. Add a Honeypot. ...
  6. Add a paid Spam Screening plugin.
30 Jan 2020

How do I block email in gravity forms? ›

Installation
  1. Visit Plugins > Add New in the WordPress admin dashboard.
  2. Search for “Gravity Forms Block Email Domains”
  3. Install and then Activate Gravity Forms Block Email Domains from your Plugins page.
  4. Navigate to your gravity form.

What is anti spam honeypot? ›

Honeypot, as the name suggests, is a “trap” that is designed to lure bots and computer programs into accidentally revealing their identities. The idea is to provide something that is going to attract the bot, the “honey”, which is invisible or hidden from legitimate human users.

Does gravity forms have reCAPTCHA? ›

Gravity Forms has built-in support for Google reCAPTCHA v2, and integrates with both Checkbox and Invisible reCAPTCHA.

What is the best anti spam plugin for WordPress? ›

9 Best WordPress Anti-Spam Plugins
  1. Akismet Spam Protection. ...
  2. Spam Protection, AntiSpam, FireWall by CleanTalk. ...
  3. Antispam Bee. ...
  4. WordPress Zero Spam. ...
  5. Titan Anti-Spam & Security. ...
  6. Captcha by BestWebSoft. ...
  7. WP Armour. ...
  8. Stop Spammers Security.
18 Apr 2022

How do I add a spam filter in WordPress? ›

From your WordPress dashboard
  1. Visit Plugins > Add New.
  2. Search for Spam Protection . Find and install the plugin.
  3. Activate the plugin from your Plugins page.

Why is my website getting spammed? ›

But the question remains—why do spammers register on your site? There are various reasons these malicious spambots want to spam your signups. One is that they're looking for weaknesses in your site to exploit them for further gain. It could also be to gather all of your email addresses and send you spam.

Why do bots spam contact forms? ›

Why Do Bots Spam Forms? Bots spam forms to try and spread malware, phishing links, or sales messages. Since most website owners don't publish their email addresses, using forms is an easier way for people to add spam comments.

Which plugin helps us to protect spam comments? ›

Akismet Spam Protection

With over five million downloads, Akismet is the most popular plugin for protecting WordPress sites from spam. Akismet checks comments and contact form submissions against its global database of spam and filters out any that seem like spam. You can review the comment spam in your dashboard, and.

Which CRM software has the best spam filtering system? ›

MX Guarddog A spam filter that also blocks DDOS attacks, phishing attacks, malware, and viruses. SPAMfighter A spam filter for Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail, and Thunderbird.
...
  • SpamTitan. ...
  • Mailwasher. ...
  • ZEROSPAM. ...
  • SpamSieve. ...
  • Comodo Dome Antispam. ...
  • MX Guarddog. ...
  • SPAMfighter. ...
  • ORF Fusion.
14 Jun 2022

How do you turn on honeypot gravity forms? ›

To enable honeypot spam fields in Gravity Forms, do the following:
  1. Go to the WordPress admin menu > Forms.
  2. Hover over the form you want to edit, then hover over Settings, and click Form Settings.
  3. At the bottom, check the box for Enable Anti-Spam Honeypot.
  4. Click Update Form Settings.
19 Mar 2018

What is honeypot in Wordpress? ›

A form honeypot trap is a trap that adds a hidden field to your form. Human visitors can't see the hidden field and will leave it blank. Spambots, however, will fill out every field, including the honeypot field, because they can't “see” it.

Can honeypot be used for spam filtering? ›

Honeypot protection provides the following security mechanisms: A hidden field, unseen by users, is added to the form. If a value has been entered in the field when the form is submitted then this indicates that the form was completed by a spam bot, and the submission is blocked.

Does CAPTCHA prevent spam? ›

CAPTCHA prevents any spam or bots from entering data into fields on your site. This can include fake comments on posts, emails, fraudulent transactions, contact form entries and fake registration submissions. CAPTCHA comes in many different forms.

How do you integrate reCAPTCHA in gravity form? ›

Adding Recaptcha to Gravity Forms - YouTube

What is the difference between reCAPTCHA v2 and v3? ›

What is the difference between reCAPTCHA v2 and v3? ReCAPTCHA v2 requires the user to click the “I'm not a robot” checkbox and can serve the user an image recognition challenge. ReCAPTCHA v3 runs in the background and generates a score based on a user's behavior. The higher the score, the more likely the user is human.

How does honeypot gravity work? ›

Gravity Forms comes with a built-in anti-spam “honeypot” that helps to identify and prevent spam submissions. A honeypot is a hidden field that only bots can see. If a submission comes through with an answer supplied, it will be rejected as spam.

Is Akismet anti-spam free? ›

Akismet is one of those WordPress anti-spam plugins which is not only essential, it's also highly recommended. It's an official free plugin by WordPress parent company Automattic and, if you aren't using it, you should be. Spam comments are nothing new.

What is Akismet anti-spam? ›

Akismet identifies spam comments from across websites using anti-spam algorithms. Every time a user posts a comment, Akismet examines it based on its database. If the algorithms identify a comment as spam, it will be removed from your website.

Is Clean Talk Free? ›

Anti Spam by CleanTalk offers a free trial, you can look at the pricing here. We provide anti-spam services at the highest level.

What is WordPress spam? ›

The term spam is used for unwanted user content. In WordPress, it is used for unwanted content submitted by comments, user registration, posts, contact forms, or any other way. A spam message, comment, or content usually contains excessive links, links to unethical or illegal websites.

What is form spam? ›

Form spam is the filling out and submission of web forms with irrelevant or fake information, including abusive language, ads, spam links to malware-laden sides and phishing websites set up by scammers. Most form spam is created by bots which are programmed to find web forms and fill them out.

How do I stop spam bots on my website? ›

Learn how to prevent bad bots from overrunning your website.
...
How to block spam traffic in Google Analytics
  1. Filter Traffic Analytics. ...
  2. Add Personal Spam Referrals. ...
  3. Block Bots and Spiders That You Detect. ...
  4. Setup a Bad Bot Referrer Filter. ...
  5. Block Traffic Coming From Specific Countries.
19 Feb 2021

How do I stop SEO spam? ›

To prevent cybercriminals from sinking your rankings and eroding your credibility, strengthen your website's SEO security with the following steps:
  1. Update your software and plugins. ...
  2. Sanitize input fields. ...
  3. Use a CAPTCHA. ...
  4. Keep track of backlink profiles. ...
  5. Install a web application firewall (WAF) to prevent spammy comments.
12 Mar 2020

How do you protect spam bots? ›

How to stop bots from filling out forms? Best ways
  1. Use a CAPTCHA. ...
  2. Use a double opt-in form. ...
  3. Add a test question to your form. ...
  4. Add an unseen extra field or honey-pot. ...
  5. Block Comment Spam. ...
  6. Implement time-analysis. ...
  7. Hide target request. ...
  8. Form validation after geolocation of the IP address.
12 Mar 2018

How do form spam bots work? ›

How do spam bots work. Spammers create spam bots by writing computer programming code that allows these programs to mimic human behavior in order fool web servers into delivering their payloads, such as spam or viruses, to the intended victims.

Which plugin is best for showing AdSense ads on our website? ›

Easy Google AdSense

Easy Google AdSense is designed to improve the performance of your AdSense advertisements. This plugin uses machine learning to decide what ads fit with the content on your site. Then, it recommends the best times to display the ads for optimal visitor experience.

How do I delete all comments in WordPress? ›

Log in to your WordPress dashboard, and navigate to the Comments section. On the Bulk Actions dropdown menu, choose the Move to Trash option. Select all comments, then click Apply.

What are the rules that you have to follow for WordPress plugin development? ›

7 Simple Rules: WordPress Plugin Development Best Practices
  • Rule 01: Have a Strategy.
  • Rule 02: Use Consistent and Clear Coding Standards.
  • Rule 03: Take Security Seriously.
  • Rule 04: Access Web Services Intelligently.
  • Rule 05: Internationalization.
  • Rule 06: Load Only What You Need.
  • Rule 07: Tidy Up After Yourself.
28 Nov 2011

Which spam filter is best? ›

The 9 Best Spam Filters in the Market
  • 1) SpamTitan (TitanHQ) SpamTitan is suitable for all types of businesses. ...
  • 2) ZEROSPAM. ...
  • 3) Spambrella. ...
  • 4) MailChannels. ...
  • 5) Xeams. ...
  • 6) Topsec Email Security. ...
  • 7) Symantec Email Security. ...
  • 8) MailWasher.

How do I filter spam? ›

First, click on the Settings icon that looks like a gear. Then, navigate to “Filters and Blocked Addresses.” Choose “Create New Filter.” Click in the “From” section, and type in the email address from the sender that you want to keep out of your spam folder.

What is the best free spam blocker? ›

Truecaller Best free option. Among the most-used free spam blocking apps on the market with a large number of useful features. Nomorobo Robocall Blocking Good for complete blocking. It allows you to send spam calls directly to voicemail.

What is difference between CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA? ›

reCAPTCHA is a free service from Google that helps protect websites from spam and abuse. A “CAPTCHA” is a turing test to tell human and bots apart. It is easy for humans to solve, but hard for “bots” and other malicious software to figure out.

What is the best CAPTCHA to use? ›

Google reCAPTCHA

Google reCAPTCHA is an excellent captcha tool that protects your website from bots, fraud, and abuse. Built by Google, it uses advanced technology to keep malicious threats away and makes sure that legitimate users can easily pass security checks.

What can I use instead of CAPTCHA? ›

5 alternatives to CAPTCHA that won't baffle or frustrate users
  • Gamification. Starting at number 5 is an alternative to CAPTCHA that still slows people down, but incorporates a bit of fun into the process. ...
  • Simple questions. ...
  • Slider. ...
  • Checkbox. ...
  • Honeypot or time-based forms.

How does gravity forms send email? ›

How Does Gravity Forms Send Email? Gravity Forms sends emails and form confirmations through your hosting server. In fact, all emails from your WordPress site are sent this way by default. Your server uses the wp_mail() function, which is a pretty basic way to send emails since it uses PHP.

How do you turn on honeypot gravity forms? ›

To enable honeypot spam fields in Gravity Forms, do the following:
  1. Go to the WordPress admin menu > Forms.
  2. Hover over the form you want to edit, then hover over Settings, and click Form Settings.
  3. At the bottom, check the box for Enable Anti-Spam Honeypot.
  4. Click Update Form Settings.
19 Mar 2018

Does WP Mail SMTP work with gravity Forms? ›

By default, Gravity Forms uses the wp_mail() function to send mail. You can change that behavior and send mail via SMTP using a WordPress plugin like WP SMTP Mail.

How do you send Gravity Forms? ›

First, access the form that you want to create a notification for. This is done by clicking on Forms on the left side navigation menu, then clicking on your desired form. At the top menu, hover over Form Settings and click on Notifications. You should now see a list of all notifications that exist for that form.

How do I find my SMTP settings in WordPress? ›

Log in to the WordPress administration panel. Navigate to “Plugins” and click the “Activate” option for the “WP-Mail-SMTP” plugin. Go to the “Settings -> WP Mail SMTP” panel and the “Settings” tab to configure the SMTP settings of your email provider.

Does reCAPTCHA stop all spam? ›

What does CAPTCHA do? CAPTCHA prevents any spam or bots from entering data into fields on your site. This can include fake comments on posts, emails, fraudulent transactions, contact form entries and fake registration submissions.

What is difference between CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA? ›

reCAPTCHA is a free service from Google that helps protect websites from spam and abuse. A “CAPTCHA” is a turing test to tell human and bots apart. It is easy for humans to solve, but hard for “bots” and other malicious software to figure out.

What is the best CAPTCHA to use? ›

Google reCAPTCHA

Google reCAPTCHA is an excellent captcha tool that protects your website from bots, fraud, and abuse. Built by Google, it uses advanced technology to keep malicious threats away and makes sure that legitimate users can easily pass security checks.

Videos

1. Eliminate Form Spam in WordPress with v3 CAPTCHA for FREE (Gravity Forms, Elementor, CF7)
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2. Prevent Spam with reCAPTCHA on Gravity Forms | WordPress Tutorial 2021
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5. How to Build a Form with Gravity Forms | WordPress | WordPress Plugins | WordPress Tutorial
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6. Stop Gravity Forms SPAM with Gravity Perks via Disallowed Keywords in Discussion Settings
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