I’ve been receiving spam for a while that somehow my email provider’s spam filters wouldn’t or couldn’t filter. I had noticed they were somehow send through Google Groups, but couldn’t quite figure out how. Well it turns out that anyone is apparently free to start a group for their own use and then “invite” anyone without their consent. Seriously Google, WTF? Anyway, after figuring this out the solution was clear: unsubscribe and change my settings to obviously not allow just anyone to invite me in their spammy groups.

One slight hurdle I had to overcome was that the email addresses I was getting the spam on were rarely used email aliases of some sites I own and for which all email is directed into my primary email account. This meant that those email aliases were not associated with my Google account and I wasn’t planning on signing up a separate Google account for each alias. Fortunately you can simply add multiple email addresses to your Google account by going to https://www.google.com/settings/account and adding them there. The Google Groups “memberships” are then also associated with your account.

To unsubscribe from the Google Groups “memberships” you never signed up for, simply go to Google Groups, select “My Groups” , click on each group and select “manage membership” for the “leave group” link. My condolances if you seem to have been added to a lot of groups, because I’m not sure if there is a faster way to simply unsubscribe from all groups. Also don’t forget to click the gear button and change your settings to not allow anyone to invite you (using any of the email addresses associated with your Google account) anymore.

Further reading: Act Now to Stop Being Spammed Via Google Groups