PC Buyer Beware!

Beware! – A new type of email scam

I have just got an email beginning with Dear E-Mail Client, which says that it is a scam, that appears to have been sent from Google concerning my email (gmail) having exceeded its bandwidth limit – 5GB – necessitating increasing it to 10GB, asking me to click on a link called Follow this link to complete the process: CLICK HERE. No webmail service provided by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, etc., sends emails of this kind – not even with your name, which they know.

I held the mouse pointer over the link to reveal its URL at the bottom of the email. This is what it was:

google.com/ url?q=http%3A%2F%2Ftinyurl.com%2Fk7o5f8b&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNH4002XIco0ofHx94QaaY8NtA8Lxg

I have removed the http://www and broken the link so that it doesn’t work. This looks like a valid google.com link, but it is not. Note that gmail.com is the URL to Google’s gmail, not google.com. When I clicked on the link that should have gone to google.com, it was redirected to this website: topsysms.com /oju.html. Broken so that it doesn’t work. Topsysms.com is a fake email website that seems to be located in Lagos, Nigeria. None of its pages have any content.

As you can see, the google.com link has tinyurl.com in it, which is a very well-known website that allows long URLs to be made small. Therefore, the code in the link makes google.com redirect to topsysms.com /oju.html via tinyurl.com.

On the topsysms.com /oju.html page a message appears in a small dialog box saying: Please re-login Your Email to continue the process. The link probably goes to a faked gmail website. If you log into it using your gmail email address and password, you are giving them to cyber criminals. Since many people very foolishly use the same password to log into many websites, the cyber criminals can try using it on ones that allow them to steal your money or make orders.

Here are the images of the email I received and the website that its google.com link redirected to. Click on them to see larger images:

Email scam that uses a redirect via google.com

Fake email website that leads to a fake gmail website