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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Gmail Scam
December 17, 2012
Watch For Scams is dedicated to helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
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Gmail ScamAn email circulating claims to be from Google's webmail service, Gmail, account holders are required to update their account details by clicking a link and filling in a verification form. If you don't, the message claims you will find that your Gmail accounts are permanently deleted. The message comes complete with a Gmail logo and copyright notice.
However, the email is not from Gmail and users will not lose their accounts if they fail to follow the link and update their details. Users who fall for the scam and click the link will be taken to a fake Gmail login page, which has been constructed so that it looks very similar to a real Gmail page.
After providing their login details, victims will be then taken to another fake page that asks them to provide their phone numbers.
Next, victims will be taken to yet another fake page and asked to provide login details for any alternative email addresses they may have.
After providing all the requested details, users will be automatically redirected to the real Gmail website. However all of the information they have provided will end up in the hands of scammers who will use it to hijack the real webmail accounts belonging to their victims.
The compromised accounts can then be used to launch more spam and scam campaigns in the name of the victims. The scammers may also use the stolen phone numbers for further illegal activities.
Email account phishing attacks like this one are very common and take many forms. Be very wary of any unsolicited email that claims that you must follow a link or reply to provide login information and other personal information. Legitimate email service providers will not ask users to provide such information via a generic email message.
If you receive such a message, do not click on any links or open any attachments that it may contain. Do not reply to the message. Always login to your online email service by entering the account address into your browser's address bar rather than by clicking a link in an email.
If you believe you have been a victim of this type of scam you should promptly report it to the IC3's website at www.IC3.gov. The IC3's complaint database links complaints together to refer them to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration.
Remember - always watch for scams!
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