As Gmail is now considered the world’s top email service, Gmail’s Calendar has become the target of a new slew of scams taking advantage of unsuspecting users through unsolicited Google Calendar notifications. The main purpose of these scams is to trick you into sharing your personal information.
How are they doing this?
Ever notice how an event can end up on your Gmail calendar even though you didn’t accept the invitation? Well scammers are abusing this specific feature to create unsolicited pop-up calendar notifications and it all starts by accidentally clicking on a link inside a phishing email. These phishing emails contain a link that exploits a common default feature of Google Calendar to include automatic addition and notification of unwanted events & invitations.
What does the email look like?
The phishing email appears as an unsolicited calendar invitation that carries a link to a phishing website. The link will redirect you to a site that features a simple questionnaires and offers prize money upon completion. The questions are framed in such a way that people who might be unfamiliar with the scam could inadvertently hand over their personal and financial information. But not you, because now you know about it!
The Take Away
Phishing emails are going to be a part of our daily lives for some time, namely because we rely heavily on email and they work (otherwise criminals would stop sending them). Here’s what you can do to protect yourself against these calendar scams:
- Turn off automatically adding invitations on Google Calendar. Not sure how? See below!
- Never share personal information on websites that seem suspicious.
- Use a reliable security solution to block your computer or mobile device from accessing malicious sites in the first place. Our Total Security product line can do this for your business, but other products are available. Either way, I encourage you to use some form of technology to help protect you and your business from cyber criminals.
Stay safe out there.
How to stop adding Gmail Calendar events automatically
From your desktop computer:
From your Android device:
From your iPhone / iPad: