[Plugin: Contact Form 7] Telephone number in optional field flagged as spam
I recently discovered that a form that I had created was not working properly. I had thoroughly tested it when I first created it, but sometime in the last few weeks, I guess, it has started flagging submitted forms as spam. It had two required fields followed by an optional telephone number field as below:
Your Name (required) [text* your-name akismet:author] Your Email (required) [email* your-email akismet:author_email] Telephone (optional; please include area code) [text telephone 15/] Best time to call? [radio besttime "Morning" "Afternoon" "Evening"] Reason for contacting Nature by the Yard? [select* contactreason include_blank "Register for a Program on the Calendar" "Schedule a new Nature By the Yard program" "Get more info about programs or fees" "Inquire about the Nature Inside Out book" "Other"] Additional questions or comments? [textarea your-message] [submit "Send"]
Somebody alerted me to a problem, and I discovered that whenever text (numbers) was placed in the telephone number field, the message would not be sent due to “# Akismet judged the sending activity as spamming”. This same behavior occurred regardless of the name and email address used in the preceeding two fields. If I left the telephone number field blank, the message would send just fine.
As a workaround I created a new form without the telephone number field and instructed visitors to add a telephone number with comments in the textarea field. Unfortunately, a string of digits like a telephone number in this field also causes it to be flagged as spam (orange border)!
Any ideas what went wrong, because I’m sure this worked when I first created it about 6 months ago? Neither of these fields should be subject to spam filtering, so why is it getting rejected?
Can somebody else with Contact 7 form let me test submitting a form with a telephone number in a comment field to see if it also rejects on their site?
Update: I tested again with a telephone number in the comment text section and the message was not sent. I disabled the Akismet plugin and the form was sent as expected. It appears that there is an issue with the implementation of Akismet within Contact Form 7 that is causing this false-positive spam detection when a telephone number is included in the text. I did not try all kinds of number combinations, but a standard US telephone # like 609-555-5555 will cause this behavior.
I guess I will have to leave Akismet off until this is fixed.
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