We are using CiviCRM with wordpress and we're trying to do a data cleanse to remove any out of date and spam contacts. None of the records we're trying to delete have financial data attached. We deleted over 500 records in batches using the permanently delete function and with each deletion the message appeared saying these records have been permanently deleted. At the time of deletion the total number of records reflected that these records had been deleted but the next day these records all reappear. Can anyone tell me how to resolve this please?
Are those real contacts? Can you check the created date against the contact? It shows up at the bottom when you view the contact or you can grab from civicrm_contact.created_date using mysql.
If the dates are changing than it means those contact are created via Bots. Could check all the forms which are accessible to anonymous user have recaptcha installed these includes user registration, membership signup or event registration etc? Include recaptcha on all your Civi profile forms. Visit the permission page to check if anonymous user is allowed to create contact.