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This morning's comment spam

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Got interesting comment spam this morning from someone using the name "Robert." He or she posted two comments (one on an old entry, one on a new one) that were vaguely on-topic and appeared to have been written by a human rather than a bot. (And had an email address allegedly from Bulgaria, but an IP address from Canada.) But both of them contained an inline image tag that pointed to a JPG image called "spacer.jpg" on the spammer's website--and if you loaded that image, it redirected to another site, with a domain name that appeared to have something to do with Amazon's Associate program.

I imagine Amazon won't look kindly on this use of their name in a domain name (it didn't appear to be an official site), but it's not worth my time to report it to them.

Anyway, it wasn't clear to me how this approach was going to make money for the spammer, but I imagine they had something in mind. So I figured it was worth posting about: if any of you are getting the usual sort of not-quite-relevant comments from total strangers, might be worth looking at the raw HTML for some of those comments, to see if any of them include an invisible "image."

(One reason I didn't really notice these comments at first is that I do get these kinds of slightly off-kilter comments from random strangers all the time, without the image tags; and unlike a lot of such comments, these two weren't actively abusive or nasty.)

Oh, and "Robert," if your comments somehow weren't actually spam, feel free to drop me a note in email explaining all the mysterious circumstances, and I'll consider reinstating them (without the image tags).

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