Dealing With Google Calendar Spam

“Spam has somehow invaded the calendar and I am at a loss as to how to remove it.” was the gist of an email I was copied on earlier today. It was quickly followed by another saying: “Gary – HELPPPPPPPPPPPPPP Please:)”

A ‘spam’ event was showing in the calendar on their website, which is fed from a Google calendar. The odd thing was that the spam entry wasn’t showing up on Google calendar so it couldn’t be deleted.

The first thing I looked for was signs that either the calendar account or the website site hosting account been compromised. A couple of quick checks suggested that this was not the case. A quick bit of Googling showed up two likely problems. Both of which can be fixed by a simple change of the Google calendar settings. They are:

  1. Turn off ‘Show events you have declined’
  2. Disable automatically adding invitations to the calendar

Not showing declined events will hopefully stop the spam message being displayed, and blocking the feature that automatically adds invitations should stop spammers adding items onto the calendar in the first place.

Google calendar settings

To make the changes, open the calendar and click on the cog icon on the top right, and select ‘Settings’

Below is the Google Calendar settings screen with the two changes arrowed.

As everyone’s gone home for the weekend, I’ve not been able to check if this will fix their particular problem, but the Google Calendar spam trick is an old one, so there’s no harm in my documenting it afresh.

Hopefully this is the solution to their spam entry, if not I’ll be back next week updating this post.

What do you think?