Google helps you find answers to your questions; Google gives away apps for free; Google has an awesome hangout for you and your pals, but Google never pays you 800,000 British pounds! That’s right! One more online scam that has been making rounds on the Internet is the Google Award Email scam.
Have you received an email from Google, which threw you into a fits of oh-my-god-this-is-awesome feeling? Did the mail inform you that you have just won yourself an award of £ 800,000 from Google? Well, sorry for being a wet blanket, this is nothing but a scam.
If you have received any such email, then you might have read that a so-called “Google 15th Anniversary Award Center” has selected your email id as one of the few lucky winners for this grand prize.
You might also have noticed entries such as “Batch Number”, “Reference Number”, and “File Number” in it; projects a bit of authenticity, doesn’t it?
Now, till this point you may think that no harm is done. But the story starts getting fishy here. For you to claim the prize, you would have to mail some information to a certain email address. This info includes your name, country, contact address, sex, age, and telephone number.
So, let’s say you play along, and mail all these information to the said email address. What will happen is you will receive a follow-up email advising you that the final step to claim your prize would be to pay a certain fee. To sum up this entire drama, you give away a handful of cash in return for a bag full of it. Seems fair and nice, except that the bag is as good as your imaginary childhood friend!
So what can you do for such heartwarming but fraudulent emails?
- First, remember the saying “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”.
- Use reliable security software that blocks phishing and malicious emails.
- Upon receiving emails talking about such awards, cross check the information with the purported source. For example, in this case, run a Google search to verify if any such Google reward program does exist.
- Never divulge your confidential information like bank details except on trusted websites. [You can read this post where we have discussed safe online banking practices.]
- Have an eye for grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors in such types of emails. Fraudulent emails are usually full of them.