How to get rid of spambots in Contact Form 7

Once your website is live on the Internet, sooner or later you will get bothered by spambots sending you systematically spam emails on a daily basis through your contact form page.

spam-botThis is normal when you start to leave “tracks” online, for example adding your website into a Business Directory or leaving a comment at the end of an article (if allowed to add your website URL).

If you have installed iThemes security plugin you can try adding their IP address into the ban list but then they will just modify the IP and the spam be back again like a virus.

On Internet it has been advised to install Askimet, which can be integrated with Contact Form 7 but if you have a business website, according to Askimet plans & Pricing page, it is not free. Price starts from 5 $ / month. It is fair I have to say.

Smart Spam Bots but not so smart though
So what I found interesting, a spambot nowadays recognises the fields of your contact form page, such as Name, email and website field. Even the subject is filled. They are becoming smart, but fortunately not so too smart.

How did I stop them from bothering me?
Before writing this article I wanted to wait at least one month to test if my “trick” was valid or not. Well, so far I haven’t got any spammy emails. However in the future it would be possible that this trick will be eluded by them, but so far has been a good solution at zero price.

Here what you need to do
In contact Form 7 plugin while you are creating your form with name, subject, email and the send button, just create a Checkboxes Tag with 2 Check boxes: I am human, I am a spambot. You can then place before the send button.

Check boxes in contact form 7

Ensure to select “Required Field?” as it is the core of this trick. What this field does is really simple. More than ask you if you are a human being, it creates a required choice you have to select, otherwise you won’t be able to send any message. This is so far a barrier to a spambot because they cannot fill with data but they have to tick a box. If no box is ticked it will trig a validation error.

Validation error on contact form 7

Validation error on contact form 7

As I wrote before, so far I have been successful to stop this sort of spam I was getting on a daily basis. Feel free to let me know what do you think in the comments below.