View Full Version : spam from google groups

11-23-2009, 12:16 PM
Our union at work set up a Google Group to discuss current issues. The group is almost completely inactive at this time, except that we are all getting spammed with ads for porn sites. We have followed the "unsubscribe" instructions included in the spam and found that they are different than the "unsubscribe" instructions at the Google Group's help site. So, we also followed those instructions. The spam emails say this about unsubscribing (I've removed our groups name throughout this email and changed it to "ourgroup":

To unsubscribe from this group, send email to ourgroup-unsubscribe@googlegroups.com

The google groups help site say to unsubscribe to send an email to


Neither set of instructions works. We are all continuing to get spammed! Please help us! We are at our wits end!!!

Here is a copy of one of the spams (url removed so no one clicks on it):

Watch adult TV online, 24x7 hours per week, a lot of channels, FREE!
url removed
(18 years old or older only)
You’ve received this email because you indicated that you wanted to be informed of our groups activities. This communication may contain strategy or other important organizing information and is intended for union members only.

11-23-2009, 12:47 PM
Just setup the Google Group to require authorization to join, then remove the user(s) that are spamming you.

11-23-2009, 12:59 PM
Unfortunately, who ever set up the group is MIA. As I remember, it did require authorization to join though. We have sent repeated requests to close the group, but no one seems to know who started it, and no one is claiming ownership. It's a real PITA! :o

11-23-2009, 02:47 PM
Well, here's the thing - if it required authorization to join, then someone had to authorize you to be added to the user list. That person would need to take care of things. It is possible to have multiple list owners and multiple list moderators, this is something setup by the original list owner.

To find out who the list owner and moderators are, go to the URL for the group (http://groups.google.com/group/groupnamewhere 'groupname' is the name of the group), then click "members" off to the right side of the screen, then click the "membership type" link above the list of members to sort by status. If the triangle that will appear next to 'membership type' has the point going downards, the Group Owners should show up at the top of the list, followed by Managers, etc.

Managers should have the ability to boot/ban people. You can isolate and ban the member easily - just have the manager login, on the right-hand menu, choose "management tasks", find the email that is sending the spam (using search feature or otherwise), put a checkmark next to the user, and in the "set membership type" dropdown at the top of the list, choose 'unsubscribe' or 'ban', then click the OK button. See attached picture for an example.

11-23-2009, 02:52 PM
two other thoughts:

it is possible to request management status if your owner has gone missing. i will look into this.

one other way that you may be able to force-unsub the spammers would be setting up a fictitious email account, so that the 'from' field is the address of the spammer. then send an unsub email to ourgroup+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com - but understand that it's possible a confirmation "are you sure you want to unsub?" email may go to that email address, rather than immediately removing the person.