moderated Member keeps being unsubscribed, and re-joins with settings he did not set #misc


Andy
 

I don't know if this is a sign of a problem.  All my instincts tell me it is user-error, but just in case it isn't, I'm reporting it here.

I have a group member with two apparent but related problems:

(1)  He keeps finding his subscription changed to one of the Daily Digest or Summary settings.  He wants individual messages only.

(2)  He keeps finding himself unsubscribed from the group.  This happened several times today alone, but before too.

He says he doesn't do these things.  But there is line after line of "(name) <address> left via web" followed by "(name) <address> resumed membership via web".

Every time he re-subscribes, his account is mysteriously set to one of the Digest or Summary settings even though it had previously been set to Individual Messages.  It seems to be random which one it goes to.  That new setting apparently happens AUTOMATICALLY when he re-joins, because there is nothing in the activity log showing a change TO those Digest/Summary settings.  (Well, there were a couple, but those were earlier.)  Then we change him back to Individual Messages.  And a few minutes later he has "left via web" again.  And then re-joins a minute later.  And we have to change him back to Individual Messages again.  And around we go.

I don't know what he is doing (if anything) that triggers leaving via web.  He claims he didn't do that.

Obviously, he is fed up with Groups.io.

He changed himself back to Individual Messages yesterday, then today received an email message saying that he had been unsubscribed and he can re-subscribe within 7 days.  Could there be something stuck in a cache, somewhere??  He uses Edge, IE, and Chrome.  Do any of these have problems with the Groups.io web interface?

All changes were "via the web"; so nobody sent email messages to unsubscribe him.

Someone else could know his password and has been doing this, so we told him to change his Groups.io password.

There is one other oddity.  He says his email gateway (where he works?) bounces the first message from every new address, which they do to cut down on spam.  He has a record of bounced messages from "bounce+number@groups.io", "bounce+number+number@groups.io", etc. which their server bounced because every one came from a previously unknown sender.  Yet, his Groups.io account shows no record of any bounces, and there is nothing in the Activity log about bounces from his address.  Ever.

Any clue what's going on?  Like I say, it sounds to me like he clicks the wrong buttons, but why does it keep happening without him knowing it?

Arrgh, he just got unsubscribed again!  This time when he re-subscribed, it came back with "Special Notices Only".

Thanks,
Andy


 

On Tue, Feb 23, 2021 at 9:25 AM Andy <AI.egrps+io@...> wrote:
I don't know if this is a sign of a problem.  All my instincts tell me it is user-error, but just in case it isn't, I'm reporting it here.

I have a group member with two apparent but related problems:

(1)  He keeps finding his subscription changed to one of the Daily Digest or Summary settings.  He wants individual messages only.

(2)  He keeps finding himself unsubscribed from the group.  This happened several times today alone, but before too.


Does he forward group messages to other people? If so, they could be clicking on the Unsubscribe link in the message footers.


There is one other oddity.  He says his email gateway (where he works?) bounces the first message from every new address, which they do to cut down on spam.  He has a record of bounced messages from "bounce+number@groups.io", "bounce+number+number@groups.io", etc. which their server bounced because every one came from a previously unknown sender.  Yet, his Groups.io account shows no record of any bounces, and there is nothing in the Activity log about bounces from his address.  Ever.

Sounds like a very user hostile way of doing spam prevention. 


Mark 


Peter Cook
 

On Tue, Feb 23, 2021 at 12:43 PM, Mark Fletcher wrote:
He says his email gateway (where he works?) bounces the first message from every new address
I'm wondering if he is using the word "bounce" correctly. One organization I volunteer for deals with anything they consider spam by simply deleting it. No bounce, no notifications, no fbl, period. So this would not show up in a GIO log.

Pete


Andy
 

Mark wrote this:

    "Does he forward group messages to other people? If so, they could be clicking on the Unsubscribe link in the message footers."

There is an Unsubscribe link in the message footers, online?  I don't see any.

AFAIK, these things aren't happening via email.  If someone clicked on the link in an email message, wouldn't it show that he unsubscribed via email?  All his unsubscriptions have been "via web".  (In fact, that's half the problem; he has had to use the web because Groups.io stopped sending him group messages by email.)

re: bouncing first messages:

    "Sounds like a very user hostile way of doing spam prevention."

I agree.  But I'm no expert.

I don't know if they bounce back to the sender, or only to the sender's server which retries the message.

Regardless, I THINK it's unrelated to why he keeps being unsubscribed.  Even if Groups.io dumps him because of bounced messages, that should show up in the Activity log, and anyway he is getting dumped even when there were no messages being sent.

I just tried to see what happens if I click the red "leave group" button on the Subscription page.  I get a pop-up window with the choice to stay but change my message delivery to Daily Summary or Special Notices only, or to actually leave.  Could it be that somehow his web browser is automatically clicking those choices, and activating all of them, first changing his delivery mode, then leaving the group?  Sounds far-fetched, but it seems to fit the outcome.

Also I wonder if he reads "Leave group" as meaning, "Now I'm done here so I can move on to my next group," and doesn't realize that it means to unsubscribe.  This could be a language issue, although his use of English seems very good.

Andy


Andy
 

    "I'm wondering if he is using the word "bounce" correctly. ..."

I don't know -- but he did say they bounce the first message, and after the resend, they pass it through.

Andy


Andy Wedge
 

On Tue, Feb 23, 2021 at 06:25 PM, Andy wrote:
AFAIK, these things aren't happening via email.  If someone clicked on the link in an email message, wouldn't it show that he unsubscribed via email? 
There was a discussion on that late last year (See beta message #27077)

Andy


 

On Tue, Feb 23, 2021 at 12:40 PM, Andy wrote:
I don't know -- but he did say they bounce the first message, and after the
resend, they pass it through.
They may be using "greylisting" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greylisting_(email) - which is where an email server sends a temporary error response for any unrecognized sender. Proper mailers will retry after waiting a few minutes, but the theory is that spammers don't bother and just continue on with the next address on their list. That's not really a bounce, and Groups.io wouldn't record it as such, but he might not know the difference.

JohnF


Andy
 

So if I understand correctly, we should ignore the fact that the Activity log says "left via web" and "resumed via web".  It could actually have been done by email, but the log calls it via the web.  OK......

But why does he find himself unsubscribed so many times?  12 times in the last 24 hours.  Is someone else doing that to him, by clicking a link in a forwarded email footer, which apparently works without any member confirmation?  (Isn't that f---ed up?  Or did I misunderstand?)

And why is he re-subscribed again within 60 seconds, ever time?  Is that also someone else doing that to him?

And why does he become re-subscribed with altered delivery settings every time?

And why did all this start when he tried to fix his delivery setting?  That was what started this mess.

Why?  Do I tell him it's his own fault?  Is a malevolent third party responsible?

I can see why this member is fed up with Groups.io.  If it happened to me, I would be too.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Andy


Jim Wilson
 

My two cents: this does not sound like a GIO problem. Their work e-mail server is far more likely the problem due to the weird "bouncing" or "greylisting" events so I would tell them to use another email address due to "an apparent incompatibility with list services."

It also sounds like they could have been hacked since leaving and re-joining is happening via the web so I would most strongly urge them to change their work email password and their GIO account password after they have changed to a new email address.

If their computer isn't fully compromised, I would bet it would would resolve their issues. If it continues, their computer is likely infected.
--
Jim


Andy Wedge
 

On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 05:01 AM, Andy wrote:
So if I understand correctly, we should ignore the fact that the Activity log says "left via web" and "resumed via web".  It could actually have been done by email, but the log calls it via the web.  OK......
Not quite. If you click on the unsubscribe link in an email footer, it takes you to the web site to confirm so the final action is via the web.  If you send an email to the groupname+unsubscribe@ address, it should show via email.

Andy


Andy
 

Andy Wedge,

So if person A forwards a group email to person B, and person B clicks on the "unsub" link in the footer of that email, person B should not be able to unsubscribe person A, unless person B also knows person A's login password -- right?  That was one of the concerns I had too.  Also if person B fakes person A's "from" email address and sends an email to the +unsubscribe address, there is a confirmation email that only goes to person A, so person B should not be able to confirm.

I still am almost 100% clueless what has been going on with the person in my group who gets unsubscribed and resubscribed so many times.  So the original question remains unanswered.  I THOUGHT he was doing this himself because every entry in the Activity log said "via web", but apparently that is not true at all.  My best guess at this point is that there is some sort of interaction going on in emails between Groups.io's servers and the member's email gateway, causing him to be repeatedly unsubscribed and immediately resubscribed with altered delivery settings, without the member lifting a finger.  Then Groups.io labels all that activity as "via web" even though it was entirely by email.

I note with some amusement that the link in the message footer to unsubscribe, includes "xyzzy" in the URL!

Andy I.


 

On Tue, Feb 23, 2021 at 08:25 PM, Andy wrote:

Could it be that somehow his web browser is automatically clicking those choices
The web-browser or its extension may be used for "acceleration" - really pre-fetch linked webpages.

Or the recipient web-server may fetch all links found in emails, to check for viruses.


Andy Wedge
 

Andy I,

On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 12:28 AM, Andy wrote:
So if person A forwards a group email to person B, and person B clicks on the "unsub" link in the footer of that email, person B should not be able to unsubscribe person A, unless person B also knows person A's login password -- right?
No. The Unsubscribe link in the email footer is personalised, in common with so many other mailing lists.  So if person A forwards an email with an unsubscribe link at the bottom, they are effectively giving away their credentials for that group and there is no need for person B to login to unsubscribe person A.  When the unsubscribe is completed in this way, Groups.io sends one further email to the unsubscribed account address with a resubscribe link.

As I said, personalised unsubscribe links are used in many mailing lists and very commonly in advertising emails so it is not a specific feature of Groups.io. People either don't think or don't realise what they are sending when they forward these types of emails to others.  I make a habit of editing out any unsubscribe links if I forward an email to someone else.

  That was one of the concerns I had too.  Also if person B fakes person A's "from" email address and sends an email to the +unsubscribe address, there is a confirmation email that only goes to person A, so person B should not be able to confirm.
If Groups.io receives an unsubscribe request via email (that apparently comes from person A), Groups.io sends a confirmation email to the account address.  The 'From' address of the confirmation email contains the group name and two strings of numbers (which is personalised information for 'A'), and when a message is sent to that address, Groups.io unsubscribes the account from the group. The message sent to that address would typically come from person A sending a reply but if person B has access to person A's email account then they could reply instead.  However, if person A forwards the confirmation email to person B (effectively giving away their credentials), then person B could send an email to that 'From' address and unsubscribe person A.  When someone unsubscribes via email, no email from Groups.io with a resubscribe link is sent.

From my limited testing over a short period of time, the 'From' address on a unsubscribe confirmation email is unique to a person and group and may not be time limited so any message sent to that address at any time would unsubscribe that person/group combination.  Why they would come back into a group with different subscription options is a mystery to me. I believe (and someone correct me if I'm wrong) that using a re-subscribe link should keep the same settings but just going through a 'standard' join process, they should end up with the group defaults (those in Default Sub Settings).


Regards
Andy W


monamouroui
 

Has your member ever received an email from the group or GIO? 

I ask because I am wondering if maybe they are entering their email address incorrectly. Accidently using one that belongs to someone else. So when that other person receives a confirmation email, they are immediately rejecting it and simultaneously unsubscribing.

On Wed, Feb 24, 2021, 7:28 PM Andy <AI.egrps+io@...> wrote:
Andy Wedge,

So if person A forwards a group email to person B, and person B clicks on the "unsub" link in the footer of that email, person B should not be able to unsubscribe person A, unless person B also knows person A's login password -- right?  That was one of the concerns I had too.  Also if person B fakes person A's "from" email address and sends an email to the +unsubscribe address, there is a confirmation email that only goes to person A, so person B should not be able to confirm.

I still am almost 100% clueless what has been going on with the person in my group who gets unsubscribed and resubscribed so many times.  So the original question remains unanswered.  I THOUGHT he was doing this himself because every entry in the Activity log said "via web", but apparently that is not true at all.  My best guess at this point is that there is some sort of interaction going on in emails between Groups.io's servers and the member's email gateway, causing him to be repeatedly unsubscribed and immediately resubscribed with altered delivery settings, without the member lifting a finger.  Then Groups.io labels all that activity as "via web" even though it was entirely by email.

I note with some amusement that the link in the message footer to unsubscribe, includes "xyzzy" in the URL!

Andy I.