Phishing scam targets GMail users

Update (10 p.m.) - For many the warning about the phishing scam targeting GMail users came too late. The email messages appeared harmless and many clicked the link, not suspecting they were under attack.

Brandon Joiner of Ribbit Computers explains phishing scams involve sending out blast emails to tens of thousands of people.

'They are trying to see if they can hook anybody, or take the bait so to speak and click on the link. They are hoping to get personal information or credit card information at that time."

This phishing scam is particularly convincing because the emails appear to come from accounts you know.

In a warning online, Zach Latta, who works for a non-profit to teach high school students how to code, shows us what happens when you click the link. If you do so, your'e asked to select your Google account and prompted to grant access to your information. That's the scam.


Joiner says to change your Google passwords as soon as possible if you were affected. He says there are steps you should take if you gave any information through the email.

"Any information that you entered. So, if you entered any credit card information, contact that bank and let them know to be on the watch for suspicious activity," Joiner says. "If you entered a debit card, hopefully not, you may want to cancel that card. Whatever access you gave them, I would be on the lookout for any fraudulent activity on those accounts."

Update (4:20 p.m.) - Google confirms it is investigating what it calls a phishing email and is telling customers not to open their emails.

The company issued the following statement:

"We have taken action to protect users against an email impersonating Google Docs & have disabled offending accounts. We’ve removed the fake pages, pushed updates through Safe Browsing, and our abuse team is working to prevent this kind of spoofing from happening again. We encourage users to report phishing emails in Gmail."
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Update (2:35 p.m.) - Google is now responding on Twitter to an issue involving GMail.

"Our team is aware of this issue and working on it. You can report it as phishing here: http://goo.gl/yQXr0J," is the auto-response the company has been issuing.

The link takes you to a page that explains what phishing is, how to avoid it and how to report it.
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If you're getting a bunch of emails from people wanting to share a Google document with you, you probably shouldn't open them.

Similar emails began streaming into the KWCH newsroom around 1:45 p.m.

The email may look like it's coming from someone you know, but if you check the "To:" field, you'll see the email is coming from the address "hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh@mailinator.com".

A quick check of Twitter showed that we weren't alone.





Google has yet to address the issue or say how many people have been affected.

Stay tuned to Eyewitness News on-air and online for the latest on this developing story.