How to terminate Washingtonpost.com referral scam?

by Jake Doe - -

Question

Issue: How to terminate Washingtonpost.com referral scam?

I have recently started running my own website and discovered unexpectedly high traffic from washingtonpost.com. Did some research, found out that it might be the referral scam. Can you give some tips how I can get rid of this annoying problem?

Solved Answer

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Washingtonpost.com referral scam is only one piece from a number of this type spamming techniques. Ordinary netizens should not worry much about it since it mainly targets web owners. The essence lies in altering the referrer link in the victims Google Analytics account and trying to deceive the targeted web admin into visiting the crooks’ domain. All the profit comes when a victim, trying to find out why the increased traffic leads to Washingtonpost.com, types its URL address in the search engine, and gets redirected to an altered domain monitored by the crook. As a result, the crooks receives huge traffic from affected web hosts and, likewise, earns profit from such activity.

Usually, referral scams succeed in their mission since they operate on the basis of a script allowing to meddle with the Google Analytics faster and attack hundreds of websites faster. Initially, such type of scheming does not have a destructive impact on your website or its position in Google ranking. However, inexperienced users might get puzzled after finding the traffic from washingtonpost.com, while, in fact, such increase is only a hoax. This type of felony is called “ghost traffic.” If you follow the link, you might find yourself in the domain promoting Trump. This spam is only one of several creations of Vitaly Popov who has been accused of launching other similar scams, for example, Boltalko.xyz referral scam. Follow the below guide to block Washingtonpost.com referral scam. For future note, keep your site log files in the area protected by a password rather than leave them accessible to the public. Likewise, you will prevent scammers from accessing your site technical information.

Step 1. Change Filter Pattern

  1. Go to Admin -> All Filters. Then go to New Filter and type Washingtonpost.com in the Filter Name box.
  2. Select Custom Filter Type, then choose Campaign Source from the drop-down Filter Field menu.
  3. Eventually, in the Filter Pattern field, enter Washingtonpost.com and click Save.

Step 2. Alter HTTP settings

  1. Sign in to cPanel account, navigate to File Manager section, and click on the checkbox called Document Root for -> your website.
  2. Click on Show Hidden Files and click Go. Once you locate the .htacess file, right-click on it and choose Code Edit. Enter the following text ant click Save Changes.

## SITE REFERRER BANNING
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} Washingtonpost.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} Washingtonpost.com
RewriteRule .* – [F]

Step 3. Modify Language filter

  1. In your Analytics account, go to Admin Tab.
  2. Click VIEW, select Filters and then hit +Add Filter.
  3. In the Filter Name box, type: Language Spam.
  4. In the Filter Pattern box, type in: \s[^\s]*\s|.{15,}|\.|,
  5. Click on Verify this Filter, then Save.

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About the author
Jake Doe
Jake Doe - Computer technology geek

Jake Doe is a News Editor at Ugetfix. Since he met Ugnius Kiguolis in 2003, they both launched several projects that spread awareness about cybercrimes, malware, and other computer-related problems.

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