Google Billing Problems: Phishing Scam

By Justin Seibert| 2 Min Read | April 3, 2008

Hi all. I normally don’t write about these because they happen all the time, but I’ve had a client and a colleague both email me in the last two days regarding the same issue. Consider this my public service announcement for the year.

If you receive an email from Google that says “Account Reactivation” or “Update Your Billing Information” or anything along those lines, DO NOT CLICK ON ANY OF THE LINKS. It is a scam.

If you hover over the links, you will see that it doesn’t actually go to Google AdWords, but rather a page on the site (no links – burn in hell jerks). They want you to enter in your information to presumably (I didn’t actually go to this site) try to get your financial and personal information. It’s also possible they have set up a trojan horse or other malware that can infect your computer or add a keylogger (that monitors information you type) just by clicking on the link.

If you want to check it out just to be sure – and this is good advice for emails you receive from your bank, eBay, or anywhere else – open up a new Web browser and log in to the appropriate site directly. Never, never, never click on those links from emails. Otherwise you’re writing a blank check to some entrepreneurial youths in Nigeria.

Quick story – I was talking with a woman from Washington County, PA about a year ago who runs a small windows shop. She had problems running a credit card and called the person to verify the address. When she asked for the city and state, he said, “Columbus O-H” (as opposed to “Columbus, Ohio”). Very funny (okay, maybe not laugh-aloud-funny, but kind-of interesting-funny. No?) , although it wouldn’t have been if she would’ve gotten scammed.

Read emails and process credit cards safely, friends.

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