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Bizarre "spam profile" issue I'm having

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JanessaVR

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« on: <09-20-23/0135:23> »
This started a while back, and I think it's because these forums don't like my VPN (I have ProtonVPN).  If I had it up, I'd get this message:

AN ERROR HAS OCCURRED!
Sorry JanessaVR, you are banned from using this forum!
Spammers
This ban is not set to expire.

If turned off my VPN, I could access the forums normally.

Now it doesn't matter if I have the VPN up or not, I still get this message.  How am I posting here?  Well, if I open a Private Window I can see the site normally (with the VPN up).  I assumed this must have been some sort of cookies situation, so I ran CCleaner to clean things up and then tried again.  Nope, same problem.  So, I can get here, but I have to open a Private Window and login each time.  I have no idea what's going on at this point.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks,

Janessa
Madness takes its toll - please have exact change.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #1 on: <09-20-23/0455:16> »
Perhaps you have an overly aggressive adblocker or other plugin? Since some browser plugins are by default not on when Incognito/Private, one of those is likely to blame.
How am I not part of the forum?? O_O I am both active and angry!

FastJack

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« Reply #2 on: <09-20-23/0700:20> »
I'll take a look. The Spammers suggest it was because some other spambots were using the VPN you use. I'll see what I can do.

Reaver

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« Reply #3 on: <09-20-23/1001:04> »
Yea, it's most likely your VPN.

I have the exact same issue with surfshark VPN here. And it started after Fastjack tightened up the forums settings a year or 3 ago in an effort to stop the spambots.


It has to do with how your traffic is routed with a VPN. Even 'off' there are location tags that identify you as part of your Service (VPN service) group, which the forums detect and refuse you login.

You can see this if you hover over your connection in Windows on the bottom right....

Basically, you can use a 'private' browser mode to log in as long you're not connected to the VPN network.... But if the VPN is active, even a private browser page won't work...
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

JanessaVR

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« Reply #4 on: <09-20-23/1745:34> »
Basically, you can use a 'private' browser mode to log in as long you're not connected to the VPN network.... But if the VPN is active, even a private browser page won't work...
But that's not the issue.  My ProtonVPN connection is up right now.

Normal browser window - I get the spammer error message above.

Open a Private Window - instant access, no problem.

EDIT:

I have the Brave browser (I like it better than Chrome) and Shields are up for this site (default setting), even in the Private Window.  I think I'll try this with the Brave browser on my phone and see what happens.
« Last Edit: <09-20-23/1749:34> by JanessaVR »
Madness takes its toll - please have exact change.

FastJack

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« Reply #5 on: <09-20-23/1822:31> »
The main issue with VPNs are that they use the IPs to get in the forums. If spambots keep coming from one IP, I'll block that IP to block future spammers that try to use the same access. However, it's hard to track down which IP, since it's a spoof IP. For instance, I'm showing that you are coming in from 91.XXX.XXX.XX7 IP, but that IP is not on the Ban List. I also see a Ban Log for you from IP 138.XXX.XXX.XX8, but again, I don't see a ban list for that. Unfortunately, the SMF software doesn't tell me which ban trigger you're on from the ban log, only that you were blocked.

JanessaVR

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« Reply #6 on: <09-20-23/1926:21> »
So...is there a fix or do I just have to get used to my current approach?
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FastJack

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« Reply #7 on: <09-20-23/2220:24> »
So...is there a fix or do I just have to get used to my current approach?

I need to do a lot more digging this weekend to see if I can track down the trigger you fall into. If you can find out more on the IP addresses you might be using, that would help. But right now, use the current approach.

JanessaVR

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« Reply #8 on: <09-21-23/2256:07> »
Will do.  But as for my IP address, it's sorta random.  My automatic profile is "USA" and then to pick the fastest connection from my location.  So it varies by day and even by time of day.  If my connection gets slow during the day, I just hit Connect again and it'll pick the current fastest connection.  A handy feature, but not conducive to giving you a list of IPs.

EDIT:

Something's changed.  Now I had to drop my VPN connection entirely and use a Private Window to get past the spam screen.  Just FYI.

« Last Edit: <09-24-23/0259:25> by JanessaVR »
Madness takes its toll - please have exact change.

FastJack

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« Reply #9 on: <09-24-23/0920:45> »
Will do.  But as for my IP address, it's sorta random.  My automatic profile is "USA" and then to pick the fastest connection from my location.  So it varies by day and even by time of day.  If my connection gets slow during the day, I just hit Connect again and it'll pick the current fastest connection.  A handy feature, but not conducive to giving you a list of IPs.

EDIT:

Something's changed.  Now I had to drop my VPN connection entirely and use a Private Window to get past the spam screen.  Just FYI.


That's very strange since nothing has changed here. I'm still looking through ban triggers.

FastJack

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« Reply #10 on: <09-24-23/1049:10> »
It's very strange, I'm not seeing any ban triggers that should be preventing you from accessing the forums. Have you always used this VPN for surfing, or did you start using it recently? If so, did the problems start when you started using it? Or, if you've been using it, was there and update to the VPN?