Apple Takes Steps to Address iCloud Calendar Invite Spam with Spam Reporting Feature

Posted in Apple, Apple News on 12/12/2016 by Chris Hauk

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Apple has taken steps to battle the recent increase in iCloud Calendar invite spam in the last month or so. Now, if an iCloud user receives an unwanted Calendar invite from a sender who is not a contact, users can double-click the event and click a new “Report Junk” link.

Apple Takes Steps to Address iCloud Calendar Invite Spam with Spam Reporting Feature

Screenshot courtesy AppleInsider

Clicking on the link opens a window offering a confirmation to the user that the invite has been reported as junk. Junk invites are automatically removed from the user’s calendar, and the sender’s details are reportedly sent to Apple. Users can also click a “Not Junk” option, if they clicked the “Report Junk” link by accident.

Currently, the new option is only available on iCloud.com, but one Reddit user reports he’s been told by Apple Support the new feature will be soon rolling out to the Calendar app on iOS devices (and hopefully the Mac too).

Just got off the phone from Apple Support regarding the spam invites I was getting on my iCloud Calendar.

My rep said that if I receive any more of these, the calendar on iCloud.com has a new “Report Junk” button that we can use to report and block the sender. It’s supposed to be rolling out to iOS devices soon.

While iCloud Calendar invite spam is not a new phenomenon, there was a major increase in the amount being received by users in the days leading up to the big Black Friday shopping day. Most of the invites originated from email addresses in China, and promoted discounts on Ray Ban and Oakley sunglasses.

An Apple spokesperson apologized last month, and assured users the company was working on a way to block the spam invites.

We are sorry that some of our users are receiving spam calendar invitations. We are actively working to address this issue by identifying and blocking suspicious senders and spam in the invites being sent.

While many users simply clicked Decline to close out the spam invite from their iCloud Calendar, this proved to not be an acceptable option, as this merely notified the spammer that the iCloud account was an active one, and resulted in more spam invitations.

For the short term, users have reported good results in either visiting iCloud.com and opting to receive all event invitations as an email. Or by creating a new Calendar, calling it Spam, moving the spam invite to that new calendar, and then deleting the calendar. More information about the second option can be found here.


Author

Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described "magnificent bastard," Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone's favorite "bad movie" website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 9 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, a number of iPads, iPhones, and multiple Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine and the Internet.