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Winter Phishing: Gmail Scams

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By: Rachel Laura M

January 30, 2017

mac-459196_640Scams! Some hackers are good at them. Hackers who create phishing schemes often create documents that are realistic and convincing enough to look legitimate; causing even some of the most technologically savvy users to fall for them. That is a "good" scam.Netflix was recently the target of such a scam. Unsuspecting users were sent a link via e-mail which appeared to be from Netflix but when they clicked on the link, they were sent to a fake site and asked for personal information such as Netflix ID, addresses, dates of birth, financial information and Social Security numbers. In turn, the hackers were able to obtain credit card information. It’s still unknown as to how many were targeted and the damage done. The disturbing thing is the impact will most likely stretch beyond users Netflix accounts because people tend to use the same username and password for their accounts on popular sites such as Amazon and Facebook. Using the same credentials for many sites leaves victims vulnerable to identity theft and other damage as it makes it that much easier to obtain sensitive personal information.Netflix is not the only major company to be part of a phishing scam. Users of Google Docs were also recently targeted. This scam worked by sending an e-mail to a user that appeared to be from one of their contacts who had already been hacked. The e-mail contained what appeared to be a legitimate looking attachment, but was, in fact an image that looked like an attachment. If users clicked on the attachment, they were taken to another page, asked to log in and those who fell for the scam exposed all their personal information to hackers. As Google docs has so many users; the following is recommended to keep your account safe:
  1. Set up the two-step verification process for your account
  2. Set up strong passwords
  3. Use common sense. Don’t be so quick to click on something.
Phishing scams are becoming increasingly common and more sophisticated; so a little vigilance and common sense, goes a long way toward keeping your online accounts and personal information safe.
Information adapted from:
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