According to this email, recipients have been sent a private message from Google and can follow a link to read their message. The email is designed to emulate an authentic Google notification and includes subscription information as might appear in a genuine message. Supposedly, ‘Google Support’ sent the email.
However, the email is not from Google and the claim that a Google private message is waiting for the recipient is false. In fact, the message is just one more in a long line of similar spam messages that attempt to trick users into visiting a decidedly dodgy pharmaceutical website.
Those who fall for the ruse and click the link will be taken to a site that promotes all manner of medications that can be bought online without a doctor’s prescription. The spammers apparently know that at least a few of the people who are tricked into clicking the link will linger and actually buy some of the site’s dubious products. This common spammer ruse obviously continues to work. If such tactics did not trick people into buying products, then the spammers would not bother to keep using them.
Users who buy on the site may or may not actually get the products they ordered. But, if they do get their drugs, they could be significantly risking their health by taking them. Users have no way of knowing if the products they purchase are what they purport to be. And, since users don’t need a prescription to buy them, they might be inadvertently putting their health at risk by taking medicine that is unsuitable for them. It could interfere with other medication users are taking with serious repercussions.
Dubious online drug sites such as these may also steal credit card and other information from users via bogus order forms. The ‘checkout’ on many of these pharmacy websites is not even a secure (https) page even though it asks for credit card details and other personal information. No legitimate online store would ask for credit card details via an unsecure form. These people should not be trusted with your credit card details or any other personal information.
Moreover, such sites have also been known to harbour various types of malware.
These spam messages use HTML to hide the actual destination of the links they contain. Holding the mouse cursor over a link in the email should display the underlying web address in your email client’s status bar and allow you to easily detect if the link is disguised.
If you do inadvertently click a link in one of the messages and arrive at a spam drugstore website, close the site immediately.
Subject: Private message from Google
The Google Support.
This message was sent to [Address removed]; Don’t want occasional updates about Google activity and friend suggestions? Change what message Google sends you. Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View, CA 94043 USA
Importance NoticeAfter 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 YouI 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 DateHoax-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!