Did Your Friend Send You A Google Document? Here’s How The Scam Works
There are more and more scams out there involving the Google brand. Let’s get this straight: the company itself is not engaged in these schemes. Instead, cybercriminals who impersonate Google take advantage of the popularity of the biggest search engine in the world. Whether it is about the Google Foundation, a calendar invite, or a simple Google notification, scammers continue to come up with tricky ways to fool most of us with just a click of a button. The latest trap is one crazy phishing scam that makes more damage than expected.
Most of them come via emails and are extremely dangerous, as they could compromise your computer if you don’t have the proper anti-virus software. The newest scam refers to a document that was sent to you by one of your friends. How does it work?
Watch the video below to see in action the Google Docs Phishing Scam exposed:
You may receive an email from a real friend – well, more like from his/her email address. The subject title is “Fwd: Benefits” as in the last scam email we received, but it could certainly be anything, so beware.
As you recognize the person, you start reading the content, which turns out not to be much but rather an invitation to open an attachment: “Ramona [insert your friend’s name] sent you a Google document.”
As you may open the attachment, you will see this:
You are still not in danger at this point, but if you hover over and push the “Click Here” button, you will install malware on your computer. The malicious file could also install a keylogger, meaning software that could read and record your keystrokes. That means your logins (emails, passwords) or financial transactions done on your laptop are sent to the scammer.
The friend who sent you this email was unfortunate enough to have his/her email address hacked into. How does one have his email address hacked? Plenty of ways.
Watch the video below to see how scammers hack an email address without needing the password:
Google Docs Phishing Scam: How To Avoid The Scam
This scam has been going around a lot in the last little while, so make sure you don’t open the document. Call your friend whose email address has been used and ask him/her about the message. Verify if he or she originated the conversation.
Once you confirm with them, delete the email and go ahead with your day.
Google Docs: How To Report Suspicious Activity
Warn your family and friends about the Google Docs phishing email by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
How To Prevent Identity Theft and More
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodic emails – we promise not to spam. Meanwhile, educate yourself with some other fraud-related articles on our website, so that you can protect yourself in many other aspects and niches. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
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