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Google+ 'Fraudulent Verification Survey' Phishing Scam


Outline

Email purporting to be from the 'All Domain Mail Team' at Google+ asks recipients to participate in a 'spam and fraudulent verification survey'.

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Brief Analysis

The email is not from Google+ or anybody else at Google. It is a phishing scam designed to trick users into giving their Google account login details to criminals.

Scroll down to read a detailed analysis with references.


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Example

Google+ All Domain Mail Team

Dear (email address),

Sorry you are seeing this.
We are doing a spam and fraudulent verification survey.

Please its very important you participate in this survey to help us serve you better.

Click here to help you perform this verification survey.

The achievement of this survey is to track and shut down fraudulent user and phising domain to help improve and make your mailing system better.

Please If a verification response is not gotten from you in the next 24 hours, we will assume you are a fraulent user and shut down your mail account, till after proper verification recovery before you can access you mail account again.

Thanks.

All Domain 2014 Team. Powered by Google+

Fraudulent Verification Phishing Scam


Detailed Analysis

This poorly crafted phishing email claims to be from the 'All Domain Mail Team' at Google's social network Google+. It claims that the team is running a 'spam and fraudulent verification survey' and asks users to click a link to participate. It warns that if the verification survey is 'not gotten' within 24 hours, the team will assume that the recipient is a 'fraulent user' and his or her email account will be shut down.

The poor spelling and strange grammar in the email is enough alone to identify it as fraudulent. (Or even 'fraulent', perhaps). And, of course, common sense would indicate that staff at Google+ would not be responsible for overseeing email security measures. Nor would they have the power to shut down email accounts. Perhaps the scammers meant to specify 'Gmail' instead of 'Google+'.

Alas, in spite of its obvious scamosity, a few naïve and inexperienced computer users are still apt to fall for it and follow the link as instructed. The link opens a website that simply requests users to login with their Google email address and password, ostensibly to complete the verification process.

These login details will be collected by criminals and used to hijack the Google accounts belonging to the victims. The one set of login credentials can be used to access many different Google services. Thus, the criminals may be able to steal private information stored in various Google applications as well as use Gmail and Google+ accounts to launch further spam and scam campaigns.

Ironically, the email is indeed a 'fraudulent verification survey' although the scammer clearly intended the phrase to mean a 'verification survey designed to prevent fraud'.

Phishing scammers often try to trick users into submitting login details and other personal information by claiming that account details must be verified to improve security. Be wary of any unsolicited email that claims that you must click a link to verify or update your account or risk account suspension. If you get one of these messages, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains.



Last updated: May 7, 2014
First published: May 7, 2014
Written by Brett M. Christensen
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References
Phishing Scams - Anti-Phishing Information
Gmail 'Update Account' Phishing Scam






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