Google warns Gmail users on fake Docs messages


Google has stated that it was investigating widespread reports about a spam campaign in which Gmail users received emails from known contacts that asked them to click on a link to review a Google Docs document.

Peradventure you receive such an e-mail in your inbox asking you to open a Google Docs from someone, and you don’t know, and you are not expecting anything from, don’t bother opening it.

It’s probably a phishing email disguised as a contact attempting to share a file from Google Docs, says Google.

It is all scam. The scam is one of the oldest around, akin to sending an e-mail asking you to click a hyperlink. Do so, and hackers can get access to your information.

The email usually seems to come from someone inviting the user to share a document. The sophisticated email looks very similar to one sent by Google, but appears to come from an individual Gmail account. Look closely and you’ll see the difference between bogus and fake.

On realising this, Google issued a statement saying it had taken action to protect users against the impersonating email, and have disabled offending accounts.

“We’ve removed the fake pages, pushed updates through Safe Browsing, and our abuse team is working to prevent this kind of spoofing from happening again. We encourage users to report phishing emails in Gmail.”

When users click on the file, the fake Google Docs will seek permission to access your account. Users who click on the link and follow through with the process should go to Google’s account permissions to deny access.

Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and, indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. However, the process provides the user’s credentials to the attacker, allowing them access to email accounts, social networks like Facebook or other platforms.

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