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Home ScamsPhishing Scams ‘Confidential Document’ Google Docs Phishing Scam

‘Confidential Document’ Google Docs Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Email asks the recipient to click a link to view an important confidential document in Google Docs. 

Brief Analysis

The message is a scam designed to steal Google Account Login details. The link leads to a fake Google Account login page. Login details submitted on the fake page will be collected by criminals and used to hijack real Google accounts.

Example

Subject: Confidential Document

Please view the document i uploaded for you using Google docs. Click here just sign in with your email to view the document its very important.

Thank you.

Detailed Analysis

According to this email, an important and confidential document has been uploaded to Google Docs for the recipient to view. The recipient is invited to click a link and sign in with his or her Google account login details in order to read the message.

However, the link does not lead to a Google document, confidential or otherwise. In fact, the message is a rather crude phishing scam designed to trick recipients into revealing their Google account details to Internet criminals. Those who click the link will be taken to a fake Google login page as shown in the following screen shot:
Google Docs Phishing Scam
The login details submitted on the fake form will be collected by criminals and used to hijack Google accounts belonging to victims. Once armed with this information, the criminals will be able to access multiple Google services owned by the victim, including Gmail, Google Drive, Google+, Youtube and others. The criminals can then use these hijacked accounts to pose as their victims and launch ongoing spam and scam attacks. They will also be able to access and misuse private information stored in these services.
Although it is quite an unsophisticated attempt, this scam may nevertheless trick some less experienced or unwary users into complying with instructions and logging in on the fake site. Some may be so curious to see the ‘confidential document’ that they follow the link without due forethought.

It is always safest to login to any and all of your online accounts by entering the address into your browser’s address bar rather than by clicking a link in an email.



Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer