Over recent weeks, iCloud users have started to notice an increased amount of spam coming to various aspects of their accounts. Email accounts, of course, are always vulnerable to spam messages and the root cause can be a variety of different reasons. This new type of spam, however, relates to iCloud’s Calendar and Photo Sharing functionalities…
Essentially what happens in these instances is an iCloud user will receive a request for either a Calendar event or to view/share an iCloud Photo Sharing album or image. The issue with this type of spam is that, even if the user hits “Decline,” it informs the spammer that the account is active and thus encourages them to continue sending the spam.
So, if you receive a Calendar invite that’s spam and simply choose the “Decline” option, the problem won’t go away. In fact, it’s likely to increase because the spammer knows that the account is active. The same goes for iCloud Photo Sharing. Hit decline and you’re opening yourself up to more spam, not getting rid of that sender for good. This, of course, is different from Mail spam, which is either cleaned out by a spam filter or is a one-off thing because there’s no way for the spammer to know if the account is active or not.
Now, there’s good and bad news. For the case of iCloud Calendar spam, you can stop it. But for iCloud Photo Sharing spam, there’s not much you can do.
Dutch website AppleTips discovered a workaround that allows you to move a spam Calendar invitation without actually accepting or declining it.
Performing the steps below will move the spam invitation to a separate calendar, and from there, that calendar can be deleted. Thus, removing the spam invitation without having to hit “Decline” on the actual notification.
- Open the Calendar application
- Navigate down to Calendars, then tap Edit
- Add a Calender to the list using the same button
- Give it a name (like Spam) and tap Done
- Double-tap ‘Done’ to return to the calendar
- Open the spam invitation
- Tap the bottom (above invitation) on ‘Calendar’
- Select the newly created spamcalendar
- Repeat this for all invitations
- Now navigate back to the ‘Calendars’
- Tap the i-button next to the spam calendar
- Scroll down and tap ‘Delete calendar’
For iCloud Photo Sharing spam, the only solution is to entirely turn off the feature. This can be done by going into Settings, then to Pictures, then “Disable iCloud Photo Sharing.”
It’s unclear how widespread this type of spam is, but we’ve received multiple tips from readers about the issue, while users on Twitter have also expressed frustration with the newfound spam method. What’s important to note here is that most users would likely just hit “Decline” on the notification thinking that doing so would stop the spam, when in fact it could even increase it.
Have you experienced this type of spam? Let us know down in the comments if you have and if the above fix helps resolve it.