A lot of folks have been receiving an e-mail supposedly from Google Support that their account will expire e.g. from ([email protected] ) lately –however, don’t be fooled– the e-mail is not from Google, but is actually a phishing attempt of anonymous scammers who want to collect personal info from you such as credit card details, banking account, ID, social security number, etc for their own personal gains e.g. to steal money from you online and to gain access to your account.
These types of phishing attacks and scams have a few things in common: many will begin with a subject or opening line that “your password or account has expired” (with no prior official notice) and that you need to enter some personal financial info to recover back your account, which is of course a lie to evoke fear and make you take action.
This e-mail in specific lures in potential victims into believing it comes from Google officially and that they need your username, password, birth date, address, credit card to recover your account, when in reality your official Google account is fine and they are trying to find a non-legitimate way to steal info from unsuspecting users.
Some other very common subject lines phishing scammers use include notifications like “you have won the national lottery or an X amount of money” (without you doing anything to justify winning like playing the actual lottery), that they need someone to transfer an XXXXXXXXX amount from Nigeria or other similar country to U.S or European borders with your help (of course they will need your credit card info or bank account for this) and similar subject and opening lines that ultimately ask you to enter personal info in an new page.
As much as we tend to think we know that scammers are never going to get us with such phishing attempts, you’ll be surprised of how many people still get scammed by phishing scams nowadays—this is because firstly, not all people are aware of phishing scams and secondly, scammers are continually finding new ways to imitative the original sites e.g. Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Paypal, etc. and make the whole process of responding and entering data even up to 99% identical to original one.
For example, in this case of this e-mail from Google links and addresses were written like this: http://googleconsumersupport.org/googlelogin/[email protected] and http://googleaccountmanagement.net/kyc/[email protected]
Obviously, it’s no hard here for someone who knows nothing about phishing scams to click on these type of links. If you are clueless and do click on these links, you will be then re-directed in a page that looks very similar to Google’s original login detail page.
In case you fill in your login details, a new page will appear that requires your credit card info just to confirm your account. The thing is, even if Google officially gave you a warning that your account is expiring, you would be required to come up with a new password and under no circumstance you would be asked by Google to enter your credit card info, just to recover back your account.
Therefore next time you see e-mails with lines like “open this attachment to see crazy stuff your friend does”, “your account is about to expire—take immediate action to recover it” or “you have won an XXXXXXX amount of money” don’t fall into the trap, they are just looking to steal your personal data in a non legal manner that appears to be coming from a legitimate source upon first glance.
To gain more info on how to protect yourself from phishing scams, please contact us or leave a comment and of course, don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family so they are more careful next time they are asked to enter sensitive personal info.