HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The Coastal Carolina Better Business Bureau offers tips to help users avoid fraudulent messages that come to Gmail accounts.
According to the BBB, an email may appear in your inbox about Google or your Gmail account. The message may say, "You have exceeded your email limit quota," or "you have a deferred email," and the text is hyperlinked, urging users to click for information.
Clicking on the link will download malware that can search files for personal and banking information.
The fraudulent messages look authentic but there are ways to identify them. Here are tips to help Gmail account holders spot fake emails:
1. Check out the "From" field: Scammers have the ability to mask email addresses, making the message appear to come from a legitimate source. But they don't always use it. In this scam, the "Google" emails aren't actually from a @google.com address.
2. Watch for typos, strange phrasing and bad grammar. Scammers can easily copy a brand's logo and email format, but awkward wording and poor grammar are typically a give away that the message is a scam. In the example above, the phrases "limit quota" and "deferred email" are a sign that something's not right.
3. Hover over URLs to reveal their true destination. Typically, the hyperlinked text will say one thing, but the link will point somewhere else. Scammers either set up fake websites or hack into third-party sites and use them to host malware.