If you have a Gmail account, then it’s important to check this ominous alert that comes straight from Google. The search giant has just issued a warning to every single user with a Gmail account. The alert comes in light of a new scam that is emerging and poses a threat to users. The cyber attack is using Google’s branding and begins with a subject line that reads “Online Reward Program”.
Beware! There is a new scam using the Gmail brand
Users who open the fake Gmail email are told they are subject to a reward. They’re presented with a message like they’ve made their 18.25 billionth search on Google. There is a message that reads: “Congratulations! You are a lucky Google user! “Every 10 millionth search is reached worldwide, we will proclaim a lucky user to send out a thank-you gift. You are the lucky user!”
The message will require Gmail users to click on a specific link. Only by clicking on that link, they will be able to get their prize. Do you know when something smells bad? Yeah, that’s the case here. As per the search giant, this is just a new form of scam. This is a way for hackers to access personal data. With that, they can steal money and identities. Google now is urging users to stay vigilant on this scam. So take a good look at your inbox and report anything suspicious. Also, try to check the veracity of certain campaigns before assuming they’re true.
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On the advice page, Google alerts Gmail users: “It’s possible that the pop-up may also ask you to enter your mail or other personal info. Google does not offer spontaneous prizes in this format. So, you will not win a prize by completing the survey or entering personal info. Close out of the pop-up window and do not enter your personal info.”
Google has some tips to avoid these scams
In a bid to alert Gmail users and help them with tips, Google has provided some Golden Rules users can follow to avoid attacks of this kind. As per the search giant: “Unfortunately, unscrupulous people sometimes try to use the Google brand to scam and defraud others. Here are a few common scams, and ways that you can avoid and report them.”
- Slow it down – Scams are often designed to create a sense of urgency. Take time to ask questions and think it through.
- Spot check – Do your research to double-check the details you are getting. Does what they’re telling you make sense?
- Stop! Don’t send – No reputable person or agency will ever demand payment or your personal information on the spot.
Worth noting that Google provides an entire webpage with more tips to avoid scams on Gmail. In fact, there are some other “popular” scams, and the company offers more details about them.