BBB: Avoid Gmail, Google Scammers
The Acadiana Better Business Bureau is warning Gmail and Google users that scammers may be targeting your inbox.
According to the BBB’s press release, the scammers send out bogus email messages appearing to come from Google concerning a Google or Gmail account. One version of this scam informs recipients that, “You have exceeded your email limit quota.” Another message dictates, “You have a deferred email.” Clicking on the highlighted hyperlinks in those messages will open the door to malware being installed on the computer, unbeknownst to the users.
When downloaded, the malware allows scammers to access the account and/or computer owner's personal information. This, in turn, can lead to identity theft.
BBB offers the following tips to help spot a scam email:
- Check out the “From” field: Scammers have the ability to mask email addresses, making the message appear to come from a legitimate source. But they don’t always use it. In this scam, the “Google” emails aren’t actually from a “@google.com” address.
- Watch for typos, strange phrasing and bad grammar. Scammers can easily copy a brand’s logo and email format, but awkward wording and poor grammar are typically a giveaway that the message is a scam. In the example above, the phrases “limit quota” and “deferred email” are signs that something is not right.
- Hover over URLs to reveal their true destination. Typically, the hyperlinked text will say one thing, but the link will point somewhere else. Scammers either set up fake websites or hack into third-party sites and use them to host malware.
- Watch for look-alike URLs. Be wary of sites that have the brand name as a subdomain of another URL (i.e. brandname.scamwebsite.com) or part of a longer URL (i.e. companynamecustomersupport.com).