While many see the holiday season as a time to get together and spread cheer, hackers see it as the perfect time to take advantage of others. That’s why it’s necessary to be prepared and look out for scams during this time of year. To help with that preparation, Google revealed some of the most common scams targeting Gmail users.
In a blog post, Google explains that its cybersecurity team works hard to protect its Gmail users from various threats including phishing, malware, and spam. The company claims that it blocks more than 99.9% of “nearly 15 billion unwanted messages a day.” It also stated that in the last two weeks alone, the company blocked over 231 billion spam and phishing messages.
However, that doesn’t mean that threats never find a way to break through Google’s defenses. The tech giant points out, it’s necessary to be vigilant toward the end of the year because this is when con artists ramp up their attacks. As for what type of attacks Gmail users need to watch out for, Google revealed that these are the most common scams to be aware of:
- Gift cards and giveaways: A message may invite the user to purchase a gift card or offer a prize in exchange for credit card information.
- Charities: It’s not uncommon for malicious actors to pretend to be charitable organizations.
- Demographic targeting: Some scams will try to use information specific to your life or identity to get you to follow a call to action.
- Subscription renewals: This could include renewal requests for a variety of things, but the ones that spoof antivirus services are the most troublesome.
- Crypto scams: These scams will try to collect money from you, usually in the form of a threat, asking for funds to be sent to a crypto wallet.
Scams like these come in many forms, but Google believes these are some of the most prevalent that target Gmail users during the holidays. Of course, if you want to stay safe throughout the year, you should always stay on your toes when it comes to suspicious emails. Whether it’s spelling errors, strange domain addresses, or suspicious attachments, there are usually signs that will warn you that something is not right.