“Update Request” email claims that Google has decided to close your account unless you open an attached file and follow the account review and update instructions.
The email is not from Google and the claim that your account will be closed if you do not update your details is a lie. This is just one more in a long line of similar “update account” phishing scams.
Opening the attachment that comes with the email loads a PDF ( see screenshot below). The PDF falsely claims that you have been using an older version of Gmail and, therefore, you must click a link to complete the update task.
If you do click this link, you will be taken to a fraudulent website designed to look like a genuine Google page and asked to sign in with your Gmail address and password. After you have supplied your login details, you will be told that the update has been completed and you will be automatically redirected to the genuine Google Account home page.
But alas, the scammers can now use the login details you supplied to take control of your genuine Google account. They will be able to access, not only your Gmail account but other Google services including Google Drive, Google+, and YouTube. The criminals can use these services to pretend to be you and launch ongoing spam and scam attacks. They will also be able to access and misuse private information stored in these services.
Google will never send you an email that demands that you click a link to update account details. If you receive such an email, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains.
The Google help pages include information on how to avoid and report such scams.
Last updated: March 2, 2017
First published: March 2, 2017
By Brett M. Christensen