Over the past few weeks, iOS and macOS owners have started to notice random calendar events appearing within their Calendar apps, informing them of upcoming “genuine RayBan sales” despite not adding the events themselves. This is actually the latest trick from spammers to get you to part from your hard earned cash, as it seems they’re moving from the standard junk-mail approach. It’s made possible by a loophole in Apple’s iCloud calendar service and allows senders to automatically push calendar alerts to iOS and macOS users without the need for an email address. Read next: How to use iCloud
The worst part is that by responding to the invite (whether you’re declining it or otherwise) it alerts spammers to the fact that your address is active, and they’ll then send many more your way. While this isn’t convenient, there is a way to secretly decline/delete spam iCloud calendar alerts, and also a way to clock any incoming alerts in the future.
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Last updated to include information on how to formally report the calendar spam to Apple
How to secretly decline spam iCloud Calendar alerts
So, you’ve received a spam iCloud Calendar invite but don’t want to let the spammers know your address is active by responding or deleting the calendar invite. What can you do instead? While there is another way to remove the events from your calendar, it is a little long winded – although in the long run, it’s well worth doing. Whatever you do, don’t respond to the spammer!
- Go to the Calendar app, tap Calendars > Edit > Add Calendar… in your iCloud calendar list.
- Name the Calendar something that’ll stand out from your other calendars. “Delete me” is always a good one to use.
- Next, you need to change the category of spam calendar invites to the new calendar you just created. Open the event in question in the Calendar app, tap the “>” on the Calendar bar and select the new calendar.
- Repeat this process for all spam calendar events.
- Go back to the Calendar list (step 1) and tap “>” next to the new calendar you created. Scroll to the bottom of the Edit Calendar page and tap Delete Calendar
This should remove all the event invites without alerting the spammer to the fact that your email address is active. Now you’ve done that, follow the below how-to to block future alerts from coming through to your calendar.
How to block future iCloud Calendar spam alerts
While blocking future alerts is a simpler process than above, it does require you to access iCloud.com on a PC or Mac web browser.
- Head over to icloud.com and log in with your Apple ID and Password.
- Navigate to the Calendar web app, click the Settings icon (gear) in the bottom left-hand corner and click Preferences.
- Click the Advanced tab and change your invitation setting for Receive event invitations as: from In-app notifications to Email to [insert your email address here.
This should turn off the automatic integration of iCloud Calendar and your Calendar app on your iPhone or iPad, and allow your spam filter to block future spam invitations.
Following the spate of spam calendar invites, Apple has finally implemented a way to fight back. While it’s only accessible via iCloud.com and not via iOS or macOS at the time of writing, users are now able to report spam calendar invites as junk. Reported invites are removed from your calendar, while the sender is forwarded on to Apple for further investigation.
- Visit iCloud.com and log in with your Apple ID.
- Locate the spam Calendar invite in the web calendar app.
- Click “Report Junk”.
Following the above steps should alert Apple to the sender’s email address, and remove the invite from your calendar. While it’s exclusive to iCloud.com for now, the changes made should sync across your macOS and iOS devices, meaning you don’t need to delete the invite on a per-device basis.