Just before the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 we noticed a huge uptick in spam submissions in our customers' and our own web page email forms.

Spam is really annoying and wastes time and energy (yes that means harmful extra carbon in the environment too) but if there's a very small trickle it can be managble and does prove your email forms are online and available to real customers.

There are several methods to automatically remove the junk; purchase a spam filter service, manage your own filters, use geo ip-blocking and others - and all should be used together in a layered effect (like all good and true information technology).

One option is to bypass those languages you cannot read yourself or whose international sources are meaningless to your local business, aka block Cyrillic script (used by Belarusian, Bulgarian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Russian, Serbian, Tajik, Turkmen, Ukrainian and the Uzbek languages).

It must be stated before continuing that if you can avoid using any type of Google service you should, including Gmail. Google and its affiliates (3rd party interests and various governments) read all your mail, attachments and track you viciously. If you are not encrypting your email while using Gmail consider it compromised. You are, afterall, the product.

But you can set up a Gmail filter as an in-between service by simply creating an email rule with the following parameters:

(Б) OR (б) OR (Г) OR (г) OR (Д) OR (д) OR (Ё) OR (ё) OR (Ж) OR (ж) OR (П) OR (п) OR (Ф) OR (ф) OR (И) OR (и) OR (Й) OR (й) OR (Л) OR (л) OR (Ц) OR (ц) OR (Ш) OR (ш) OR (Щ) OR (щ) OR (Э) OR (э) OR (Ю) OR (ю) OR (Я) OR (я)

In a sentence, this rule should block any email that contains any of the characters listed above and move them immediately into a deleted state. The label indicates the originating rule in your Trash box. Note that Gmail will complain that this rule contains too many characters but we haven't seen any limitation going beyond for this specific rule.

Finished email filter rule with label applied.

That's pretty much it! You'll now notice these types of messages bypass your inbox and are put into the Trash folder having been deleted immediately. You can view your deleted items and notice that the label "Russian" has been applied to those applicable messages.

Email woes got you down? We have open source solutions that can make your life easier. If you'd like us to consult your workflow and optimize your processes and websites please contact us! We are your technology experts!

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