Regular Doses of Common Sense™

Beware the Google Docs Phishing Scam

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Beware the Google Docs Phishing Scam

There’s a Google Docs phishing scam to be on the lookout for because it could download malware onto your computer.

News broke Wednesday about a new phishing scam that appears to contain links to Google Docs sent from people they know.

But the emails aren’t from people you know and the link, which appears to be from Google Docs, requires the person who clicks it to allow permission for the documents to access their Google accounts.

When you give that permission, a hacker potentially has access to all of your personal information.

Some of the emails are addressed to an email address in the mailnator.com domain. Mailnator.com, in case you hadn’t heard of it — and I hadn’t — is a public email system that allows you to use any inbox you want.

The intended victim of the phishing scam is often listed in the BCC field of the email.

Mailnator sent out a reminder on Twitter that they were the recipient of the emails, not the sender:

Mailnator, apparently, isn’t capable of sending emails, which makes me wonder why anyone would want to use the service to receive an email if they couldn’t respond. But maybe that’s just me.

Google Docs, meanwhile, posted a tweet as well, announcing it had handled the fake pages:

But it advised anyone who felt they might have been a victim to visit http://g.co/SecurityCheckup.

This is another of the many areas in life in which you have to rely on common sense: would a friend of yours suddenly email you a Google Docs form? Would even a co-worker do so out of the blue?

If you suspect something may be off, send an independent email — don’t forward the suspicious one — to the person and ask if they actually sent it!

In this age of hackers, it’s always better to ask first and click a link later.

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