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We use vBulletin 3 for our forums, with a ReCaptcha, a simple "To verify you're a real person, what is the FIRST letter of the English alphabet?" question on signup, and a verified email address required to post. We're also using "TypePad Antispam Beta" to automatically monitor posts for spam content.

Previously this has been enough to keep us down to 1-2 spammers every month or so, but in the last week we've had a sudden explosion of 3-4 every day. :(

Are there any other common plugins or solutions we could try to keep spam under control? I'd rather not turn on moderation for new user's posts, as that'll create a lot of work for us to approve them.

I've checked the spamming users, and unfortunately there's no common factor (IP address, email domain etc) to identify them as spammers like I've seen in the past. They're all from different addresses, they use competent email services like gmail etc, so there's nothing trivial I can do to block them that way.

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The only automated solution remaining which comes to mind would be the plugin Cyb (or similar) which enforces a post count quota before allowing the user to post links - combine this with restricted profile permissions (i.e. no URL's allowed in profile) for users with less than 5 posts and most of your spammers will probably be dissuaded.

Spammers typically have very little patience for multiple post requirements - it must feel like actual work for them to try to come up with things to say.

If you still see issues with spam, you might consider enforcing a maximum number of posts per day which falls just under the number needed to start posting links.

Using only e-mail verification and post count requirements (three day waiting period and minimum of five prior posts to post links) I've seen spam on a moderately-busy forum slow down to less than one or two posts (none with links, of course) per month.

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I really like the idea of combining the post limit with the post count requirements. –  John Conde Nov 7 '11 at 1:03

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