Hackers scour websites to pick up email addresses and other contact details which can then be sold to other scammers and spammers. Some legitimate companies also use the same method to get contact details to then sell on, although they know that’s really not allowed (but it’s not a criminal offence).
Some hackers specialise in collecting contact information from websites that use contact forms, as this sells for a higher price. Typically companies are less wary of messages created on their own websites so the scammer or spammer can get more of their messages read.
There is software available to scammers that will automatically fill in contact forms on websites and that is a problem for the website owners, as the messages can look legitimate whereas spam messages arriving on email are much easier to filter out and automatically delete.
Below is a typical incoming message to the radio station using the website contact form to enter the information.
Name: Forest Bovril
Email: forrest.bovril @ gmail.com
I want to say what a beautiful shop you have made.
I am a regular customer of your website.
I visited your website last month and saw an item I wanna buy.
But I have a question today I wanted to order it but cannot find the product anymore on your website.
It looks like the first picture on this website (then a link)
Mail me if you are going to sell it again.
This is all rubbish – the radio station doesn’t have a shop and doesn’t sell anything online so the entire message is irrelevant and obviously the sender has no idea who they are sending to, so presumably the message has been sent to a huge number of random websites.
All just to get you to click a link which may simply be a website that the sender gets paid for each time someone clicks the link or it may be to download malware or anything else. Never click such links.
If you get a lot of such unwanted irrelevant emails from your contact page then you might consider implementing a Captcha on the form.
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