Usually I can sniff out a spam email from a mile away. Some Royal Price down on his luck or the ultimate-life cruises that I spontaneously won, yeah right. I’m on to you spammers. Well, there’s an email scam that’s been going around recently that is much harder to spot and has been tricking a lot of people. I’m going to fill you in on the details of how the scam worked and how users learned to spot the email before opening it.
This new scam email looks like it is sent from someone in your contact list. It disguises itself by looking like a normal message from Google saying that this contact wants to share a document on Google Docs with you. The email has all of the same formatting and even has the familiar blue button that says “Open in Docs,” the difference is that when clicked, users will be prompted to select which Google account that they want to allow access to the document. If they do select an account, the scammers will then have access to all their personal files and contact list. The virus then automatically sends new fake emails to all of their contacts! Horrible, I know!
If you have a Gmail account, these kind of emails are now being flagged as dangerous, so you should be safe. However, outside of Gmail, there is a way to check a message’s authenticity. When you see the email from a contact that’s wanting to share a document on Google Drive, check the address line and email details at the top of the message. If the address is made up of a bunch of numbers and uses an unknown email address delete the message and contact the person the email was posing as to tell them to change their password or check on their account.
And, if you are reading this thinking “TOO LATE!!” because you already clicked on this spam, here is what you do:
I hope none of you were affected by this scam, but it is a good reminder to stay safe and change your passwords every once and awhile!