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First Google+ related scam identified, reports Sophos

July 2011 by Sophos

First Google+ related scam identified as fake invitations point to online pharmacies - reports Sophos

The new social networking site Google+ went live last week and cybercriminals are already exploiting the new brand, according to Sophos. Spammers are sending out bogus Google+ invitations which in fact link to online pharmacies.

The messages look very similar to the real emails that people may receive from friends who are already members of Google+, asking them to check out the site to learn more. However, clicking on the links will not take users through to the new social networking site, but instead will take browsers to the Canadian Family Pharmacy.

"The spammers are no doubt hoping that the email will be hard to resist, as many people are eager to see what is being billed as Google’s answer to Facebook," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "It’s unclear just how many users will be tempted to buy drugs online, however research shows that last year alone, 36 million Americans bought drugs from online pharmacies, so this is a technique that is clearly continuing to work for spammers."

"Many people will be keen to try the latest social network, but you should always be wary of clicking on links in unsolicited emails," continued Cluley. "Once you are on Google+, you should continue to think about the volume of information that you’re willing to share online and take a close look at the Google+ Privacy Policy and Mobile Privacy Policy to understand how your information might be used by Google or third parties."

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