Unsubscribed links being clicked

One of our clients keeps unknowingly unsubscribing from all mailouts. They're running trend micro and I believe it must be using some crappy malware detection that's checking all the links and causing the unsubscribe.

Checking their activity it looks like they've clicked all the links on recent campaigns.

Any ideas on how to get around this? I'm worried it's happening for a lot of other people, a confirmation of unsubscribe would be ideal. Or just some advice we could pass on to their IT guy to configure the anti malware properly!


travisbell travisbell, 8 years ago


Unfortunately, there isn't much we can do. We've seen this become more and more of an issue but our hands are sort of tied. We could look at making our unsubscribe system have an option to be verified via a second click online or something, but at this stage, our one-click unsubscribe is something we still believe in.

It makes sense that all of the links are clicked as most of these systems we've seen virtually click every link to check for things like spoofing etc... you could look at adding our IPs to their whitelist, which may or may not circumvent the clicking. That is something you'd best check with their IT guys.

Thanks mate!

Travis Bell
tshannon tshannon, 8 years ago

There's a clear pattern when this happens, every link in the email being triggered in quick succession in the same order as they are in the emails source. How about detecting something that looks like this pattern then enabling the confirmation button on the unsubscribe page, the confirm button could lapse after a minute or two as the server will only do this checking once when it first receives the email. Then if the recipient evenutally opens the email sometime later and decides to unsubscribe they won't even see any difference.

travisbell travisbell, 8 years ago


Just had a chat with some of the guys here and yes, that is a potential idea. I've gone ahead and added a request for this, no guarantees if we'll do it but it's on our list now ;-)

Travis Bell
SniperSystems SniperSystems, 8 years ago


We've got clients using trend micro as well and they are complaining on the same issue.
This could be potentially removing a all people from a mailing lists if they are running the trend micro software.

It would be great if you could put something in to pick up the rapid succession of the links being clicked. The only problem i see is that if Trend "clicks" from the top down in an email and the unsubscribe link is at the top of the email its going to be clicked on first.

Would you be able to check to see what the useragent is that is requesting the link? is the user agent info even passed through at that point?

Can we get a list of ip's to whitelist?

travisbell travisbell, 8 years ago

Hey Paul,

Yup, you can see the list of our IPs here:


Travis Bell
tshannon0 tshannon0, 8 years ago

User Agents generally won't help you, malware scanning doesn't want to be easily identifiable as it makes it much easier for malicious sites to cloak themselves from it.

Spotting the click pattern of scanners like trend micro won't be 100% fool proof and if the same technique is used by hackers then the scanners will change to be harder to identify. The only truely robust option would be a confirmation on the unsubscribe.

DaRKoN_, 8 years ago

Got the same problem here. Client was non too impressed when they themselves were removed from their own campaign. Is there any further progress on this?

eventIQ, 7 years ago


We are seeing  a similar problem with a client who is also running TrendMicro.

It looks like the emails get sent out and then are opened and immediately the person is unsubscribed.

As far as we can tell this is specific to one client.

We had the client add the IPs that are specified at http://help.campaignmonitor.com/topic.aspx?t=77 to their allowed hosts but no luck.

We would like to know that status of a resolution for this issue.

eventIQ, 7 years ago

I wanted to provide an update here about how we were able to solve this problem.

The issue results from a part of the TrendMicro package called Scan Mail.

Apparently Scan Mail will actively go through each email a server receives and click on links.

To prevent Scan Mail from clicking on your links you can disable it or you can provide specifications (such as domain) for links that should not be clicked.

roshodgekiss roshodgekiss, 7 years ago

Hi folks, I'm glad to say that we've updated the app with a fix to prevent accidental unsubscribes as a result of security or anti-virus software clicking the unsubscribe link in your email campaigns. You can read the full details here.

Many thanks with your patience while we've worked on this issue - its been a pesky one for all involved!

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