Question for fellow bloggers

So, in the past week or so I’ve gotten a surge of followers. Well, what for me is a surge — eleven — but here’s the thing . . . 

None of them are bloggers and they all have strange email names and they are all from @outlook.com.

By strange names I mean they could be names but if you try and guess how they might break up (first name, middle initial, surname or a combination of those) you get absolutely no hits in Google, and if it is a hit, it’s for acronyms of other stuff.

At first, I thought nothing of it as I occasionally get subscribers based just on an email address and no corresponding or associated blogs. But, these are all outlook emails and all have long names(?) that might be interpreted as from a foreign country (Slavic, Scandinavian, and for two of them, possibly Latin American) but not quite anything that’s immediately recognizable.  

I don’t want to post any of them here because they might be legitimate emails, but I’ll make a few up as an example:

palomaftjolves @ outlook.com

estevezgxmurielks @ outlook.com

salazarjxlilkatia @ outlook.com

I want to stress that I just made those up and it’s not anything I’ve seen (but I soon might). The names are all long and they are close to sounding legit except for these extra letters thrown in there. 

Some anonymizer programs let you come up with temporary emails you can use to register in places that you then don’t want to hear from again, but it’s not usually an outlook.com email; it’s their own servers address.  

So, am I the only one or have others experienced a similar uptick in subscriptions from outlook.com emails?

As far as I can tell, I’ve not had an increase in traffic (if anything, it’s been steadily dropping off) and I don’t have an increase in comments (if anything, they’ve been steadily dropping off) and none of the new followers have left any comments or “likes”.

I’m not overly concerned other than it seems strange and hence suspicious. I don’t know if this is part of some new kind of scam but if it is, I can’t figure out the play. 

It could be these are all from a given group of people who know each other (i.e. The Long and Strange Outlook Email Club or TLASOEC, for short) and are starting a cult following of my blog (hey, it could happen! . . . I’m a charismatic stable genius, don’t you know). 

I suspect it’s something else, and it has piqued my curiosity. 

If you’ve recently experienced something similar, let me know. 

If you are one of my new TLASOEC subscribers, let me know that you are real and truly enamored with my meager offerings. Or, leave me hanging, but I’ll stop worrying about it shortly, so strike while the iron is hot. 

And now, here’s the end product of me playing around with the first photo:

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

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Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re  likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Other Stuff, Stuff and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Question for fellow bloggers

  1. I haven’t had any unusual new followers. I’ve been very lacking in new followers. Hmmmmm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      I can send you these, if you like; they are low maintenance, they never comment or leave likes, and it’s like if they’re not even here. For all I know, they are fictional . . . but they still count in my total number of followers.

      Wait . . . aren’t you even getting any of the businesses? I get 3-4 a month that are business websites (selling stuff). Come to think of it, they also never comment or “like” anything.

      Like

  2. mvschulze says:

    No issues here with unusual followers. Like the finished image. M :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      Hmm . . . I’m going to be even more curious if it’s only me.

      I’m tempted to email them, but for all I know, it would get me on some secret government rendition list. When the government renders someone it’s not a pretty as when I render a photo.

      Like

  3. oneowner says:

    I’ve noticed in the past week or so that I’ve been “followed” by the same “.outlook.com” characters on the 2clicks blog (not the other, oddly). Every day there were more and more with different email addresses. I went to my follow list and deleted about 17 of them. But they keep coming back. I got 4 today. Let me know if you get any response from TLASOEC subscribers. I’d be surprised because my guess is that they are FAKE NEWS fishing for suckers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      Ah-HA! I’m glad I’m not the only one. I’m thinking it’s some sort of scam.

      I also think that deleting them might trigger more to subscribe. I’ll try ignoring them until something happens. I might also touch base with WordPress support to see if they got wind of anything.

      Thanks for responding.

      Like

  4. chefcrsh says:

    I’ve not seen that but Instagram has a similar thing going on with a few new followers every day, similar odd names, and profile of a single photo of a “pretty” lady and some contact information in Chinese. Clearly a phishing scam of some sort.

    Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      Thanks, chef; I’m thinking the same thing although there are no photos associated with these emails.

      I guess the power of the internet is working . . . networking let us see the bigger (phishing) picture.

      Like

  5. Interesting. Weird. My blog here is on private so I don’t get these “people”. Let us know if you find anything out.

    Love the photos! And the end product is fabulous!
    HUGS!!! :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      I have such a high demand for my stuff (almost a half-dozen people) that going private is just not practical for me.

      I’m pretty sure (after reading the above comments) that it’s scam-related. I’ll just ignore them for now unless they become bothersome.

      And, thank you. I like that photo and figured it was a good match for this post as most people will ignore the words.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Eddy Winko says:

    Curious, but I’ll leave it there and wait for your conclusion, removal from the internet or rise to fame.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. No, nothing like this!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think that they are spammers slipping through the net, WordPress not doing it’s duty, I get heaps of stuff with names and addresses like that but they’re all in the SPAM box where they belong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      Nothing to do with WordPress. If someone subscribes to my blog with an email, it’s not their job to sort out what kind of people they are.

      Also, as long as all they are doing is subscribing, I could care less (but I don’t). It’s then up to me to not be an idiot and seek them out.

      The WordPress spam folder holds comments to your posts that they intercept.

      If you want to see who’s following you, go to Site Followers and there’s a section to followers who have blogs and another section dedicated to people who don’t have blogs and just use their email to follow you.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I, too, am the beneficiary (victim?) of a bunch of new subscribers from the same outlook.com… um, entity…
    I, too, am curious…

    Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      From one of the above comments, it does appear to be a phishing scam although I’m unsure how they would entice the recipient to use the given email and get in touch with them. I don’t email regular subscribers (unless there’s more than a casual rapport) and would be even less inclined to get in touch with these.

      Got a few more this morning . . . I’ll just ignore them unless they become a nuisance. It does, however, point to how vacuous some of the blog statistics are, especially the number of followers.

      Like

      • Yeah, so far my numbers aren’t affected by the extra “ follows”…

        Liked by 1 person

      • same here: a bunch of strange followers, all with outlook addresses, over the last several days… also ignoring them, but would like to understand the meaning of this anyway…

        Liked by 1 person

        • INTERESTING: the ‘old’ outlook bunch disappeared miraculously (I didn’t do anything), but a new one showed up today… some robot in training?

          Like

        • disperser says:

          I have a feeling those are temporary emails.

          My guess — and this is only a guess — is that once they subscribe, WordPress sends them notices of new posts. If the notification bounces, WordPress probably purges the email and the follower.

          Again, I stress this is just a guess.

          Like

        • In my case there was no new posts between the events of their appearance and disappearance… I post once a week, but all the ‘happening’ was in between…

          Like

        • disperser says:

          I just checked, and all of my “outlook” followers are also off the rolls. No new ones yet . . .

          . . . perhaps they realized what a crap operation I run and are now looking for more prestigious people to follow.

          Like

        • my guess: some ‘black hat’ marketers are trying to develop a system of beefing-up the number of followers to sell it later to those who are willing to pay… I’ve heard that one can buy followers on Facebook as a promotion tool… something like that here?

          Like

        • disperser says:

          I suppose it’s possible but it seems unlikely because of the different monetization model. Unless it’s ego-driven. Even then, it still doesn’t seem like a viable money-making scam.

          Regardless, they seem to be disappearing on their own, so until something changes, ignoring them seems like a decent approach to take.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. renxkyoko says:

    I have a surge of followers that I feel are not legit. I ignore them.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. disperser says:

    In case anyone is interested, this morning they started leaving comments on old posts. I’m talking about these email only addresses.

    This is a bit more annoying as it requires that I trash them as spam.

    To be sure, this occasionally happens with people who have sites that sell stuff. They often leave comments like this one:

    “I’m not positive the place you are getting your info, but good topic. I must spend a while learning much more or figuring out more. Thanks for wonderful information I used to be on the lookout for this information for my mission.”

    If you are subscribed to any comments, and if you don’t recognize the gravatar or name of the person leaving the comment, be careful about clicking on the info or site for the person. They usually want to sell something.

    Like

  12. WandaFaye says:

    Well I can safely say it isn’t me (MonkeyMindCreativitybyWandaFaye), cause I deleted that blog and haven’t used that email since! I started having problem after one of its newest followers (not you!!) would leave long, weird emoji messages instead of commenting! I tried to translate them, but haven’t a clue what some of the emojis meant. Hope you get it figured out.

    I apologize for not sending you a notice that I had deleted it. I do things like that when I panic and this follower was starting to scare me!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I had something similar happen. I got emails from WordPress confirming some followers that didn’t seem to exist, or at least that couldn’t be linked to in any way. I would tell you more, but I deleted the emails.

    Like

  14. Letitgocoach says:

    This has been happening to me for quite a while. I would get an email saying so and so @outlook.com is now following your Blog, but they don’t show up in the email followers.

    Then yesterday something interesting happened. A friend of mine on Facebook tagged me, and 13 other writers in a post, claiming she is being harassed by these writers. I don’t know the specifics yet, but the names listed are all well-known writers! (I was a little bit happy just to be included on the list! Just kidding)

    Are they hacking into our accounts and using our name for evil?

    I don’t know what is going on, but I removed the email opt-in from my page.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      If you read the other comments, I have a few links that do a decent job of explaining what they are.

      Personally, I would leave the e-mail subscription option as a courtesy to fellow readers and I would let WordPress handle the bogus subscribers. If, however, you want to take matters into your own hands, You can go to your e-mail subscriptions panel and manually delete the intruders.

      Liked by 1 person

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