Malicious emails with the subject line and message “Your photo takes first place” are currently hitting inboxes.
The emails, which feature the Google Photos logo, include a “View Details” button that supposedly takes you to the Google Photos website. A second link has the text “3 ways to get more space on Google Photos”.
However, Google Photos is not sending these emails.
Clicking any of the links opens a fraudulent website that asks you to enter your Google account login details, ostensibly so that you can see the “winning” photograph.
If you proceed, online criminals will collect the information you provide and use it to take control of your Google account. Once they have gained access, they can steal your personal information, make fraudulent transactions, and distribute spam, scam, and malware emails.
There have been a number of variants of this scam email in recent years. Some versions may attempt to trick you into installing malware.
An earlier version claimed to be from the now discontinued image organizer Picasa.
If you receive one of these emails, do not click any links that it contains. Always login to your Google account by entering the address into your browser’s address bar or via a trusted app.
An example of the scam email:
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!