Detecting automation on website pages

This has come up in my life right now and I’m just wondering if anyone here has a solution to this. I’m not talking about robots here, but rather spammers who are using any and every piece of software to automate the crawling of a website’s pages and search for ways to send their company info to the website owner, regardless of whether they capture a phone number in a DIV, an email address in a textbox, or actually complete a contact form and submit it.

I did this many years ago by automating the document object model through use of visual basic for applications in excel. I used the “internetexplorer.exe” object. I know for a fact that google has had the capability to detect the kind of stuff I was doing for many years and deny search results due to the detection. same thing goes for their searches denying someone results who’s using the TOR browser.

Are there any open source resources to detect this sort of thing? The business owner got a very long contact form submission message that was thrown into the element of an HTML form today. any and all comments welcome. thanks guys!

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