I don't know what I did to deserve it, but I've recently been hit with an overwhelming flood of foreign-language (primarily Russian) spam. I can't even read these emails, so I have no idea what the point is, other than to make my Gmail inbox a miserable place to be. What can I do?
We've all been there—you get a rush of spam to your inbox full of characters you can't begin to decipher. Luckily, you're using Gmail, and filtering these emails out of your inbox is a piece of cake.
Since you're having a problem with Russian-language spam, I'll focus on that, but this could work for basically any language that uses a different set of characters or symbols than the Roman alphabet. The quickest and easiest method for avoiding these messages would be to set up a filter in Gmail that looks for Cyrillic characters (which is the alphabet Russian uses). If you head to the Cyrillic alphabet page on Wikipedia, you can grab a few letters by copying and pasting from the bottom of the Letter-forms and typography section. For example, you could grab И (sort of like the 'i' in the Roman alphabet).
To test that out, copy and paste it into your Gmail search box and see what you end up with. Most if not all of your Russian-language spam should show up there. If it looks good to you, now's the time to build your simple Gmail filter using that letter in the Has the words textbox. I'd recommend creating a PSpam label (possible spam) rather than outright deleting it so you can review it just in case, since there is always the chance that you'll also see an email or two that isn't spam. If that one letter by itself isn't catching all your spam, you may also want to beef up your filter with a few other letters.
The same method should work for other non-Roman alphabet languages, and you could probably just grab characters directly from your foreign-language emails. Just remember, you don't want to rid yourself of every email with a little language obscurity in it by default! You may actually want an email with an odd character or two in it. But if you're getting tonnes of foreign-language spam and you just want to filter it out of your inbox for reviewing at a later time, this method should do the trick.
With peace, love, and understanding,