Contact form being filled out someone pretending to be someone else... SPAM?

This is a really odd one to me, and I’m not understanding the purpose.

Via a form on my site I am getting emails coming from real people, in so far as the name, email address and often the business name is real, but it isn’t the person whose details in the in email completing the form. They are all coming from the same IP address.

That might not be a good description, so I’ll expand.

Just now I had an email in via a form on my site that was claiming to be from John Smith, of John Smith Industries, with the email address and the phone number 01234 56677890. The enquiry was about email marketing and it requested I call them.

(The contact info wasn’t really John Smith, I’m just using that as an example).

So I call the number and speak to John. But John didn’t fill out the form and doesn’t want to speak to me about direct marketing or anything. And John is now concerned with how someone got his info and used it to complete my form.

You might think John has just changed his mind, but this is a regular occurrence and everyone I call says the same. I was getting loads of these a day but then changed my form settings to only accept one email a day from any given IP address. So now it’s only one a day.

John said this was the 5th call that day from someone like me saying he’d filled out their online contact form.

What I’m not understanding is what is the point of this? I’ve sat and tried to figure out the end game here, but there doesn’t seem to be one. Anyone any ideas? Does anyone else get this happen to them?

Looks like someone wants John to have a bad day. Perhaps a jealous spouse? Or an angry ex?

When I started to get these that was my thoughts. Then I got more, and more and more. All for different people. And the ones I called were real people, but didn’t complete the form. So I thought it was perhaps someone trying to annoy me and have me waste my time calling people. But then I discovered that the people I called were getting calls from others, not just me, for the same reason.

So it’s confusing.

The IP address that the forms are coming from is

Do you use any anti-spam in your forms like a honeypot?

At least you can block that ip:

I didn’t have a honeypot on it as it’s never got any spam before, but have added it now. the form is powered by Machforms. Although I don’t think it’s a robot, I think it’s a human. The IP address is BT in Harrogate.

But this isn’t your normal spam, it’s a fake “genuine” enquiry, with the details of real live existing people. And that is the odd thing.

I’ve told the form to only accept one completion from that IP per day, so instead of 20 a day it’s now just 1. But I’m not that bother about stopping it, more about why it’s being done.