Do Not Open the Google Docs Email You Receive Today: It May Be a Scam

There is a malicious email that is spreading like wildfire right now — and it can cause you serious harm if you fall prey to it as so many others have.

Here is what you need to know not to become a victim:

What is the email?

The email appears to be from someone you likely know and contains a link to a document that that person is sharing with you. Except, that the email was not sent by your colleague, and the link does not open a legitimate document; it takes over your Google account (and, in some variants, may spread malware) and may inflict all sorts of harm. It uses an app called Google Docs — but it is not the real Google Docs.

What does the dangerous email look like?

Here is an image of an example of the attack that I received – it came with the return address of a known journalist with whom I have collaborated in the past. Emails like this from other folks have also hit others in the Inc. office.

In this case, the strange recipient address is a good clue that something is amiss. But, yours may arrive just to your address. Before opening any unexpected attachment, confirm with the sender.

Won’t my security software stop it?

In many cases, no. For whatever reason, this email was not stopped by the spam filter on my mail server, nor by the spam filter on my computer, nor by the Internet security software on my computer, nor by any other technical solution along the mail path. The only thing that stopped me from becoming a victim was my own human vigilance.

And that is what you need as well.

What should you do?

Do not click the link if you receive an email like the one above. If you are expecting some Google Docs attachment text or call the sender to confirm legitimacy before opening anything.

Also, make sure you have up-to-date security software on every device – computer and mobile. While this particular attack may not be caught (yet) by some systems, millions of others are stopped automatically.

What do I do if I clicked the link?

Disconnect your device from the Internet. Immediately.

Notify all of your contacts that a malicious email may have been sent from your account (it is best to do this on social media, not just via email). Tell them not to open it or click links in it. You can send a link to this article as a reference of what is going on and what to do.

If you have access to someone knowledgeable about information security, ask her or him to help you.

Block access for “Google Docs” via the real Google’s permissions page at:

Backup all of your data to a new backup device and do not attach it to anything else.

Run a full scan of your computer with Internet security software – ideally with more than one package. If your computer is on a network, ideally run a scan on all devices on that network.

Change your password to any systems that you accessed from the potentially infected machines (but change the passwords using a different device!).

If you disclosed any personal information using the potentially infected machine that could lead to identity theft, or that information is situation on that device or in your Google account, contact credit bureaus to place an alert on your account.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

What do you think?

1000 points
Upvote Downvote


Leave a Reply
  1. Thanks so much for providing individuals with an exceptionally spectacular chance to read in detail from this blog. It is always so amazing and also packed with a lot of fun for me personally and my office co-workers to search your site at least 3 times per week to study the fresh secrets you will have. And lastly, I am also certainly fulfilled considering the special knowledge served by you. Selected two tips on this page are definitely the most effective I have had.

  2. Thanks so much for giving everyone such a breathtaking possiblity to read articles and blog posts from this web site. It’s always very terrific plus stuffed with a great time for me and my office co-workers to visit your blog really 3 times in 7 days to read through the new things you have got. Of course, I am just usually fulfilled considering the perfect tricks you give. Certain 4 facts in this article are clearly the best we have ever had.

  3. I not to mention my pals appeared to be taking note of the excellent secrets and techniques from your site and then at once I got a terrible suspicion I never thanked you for those tips. The ladies appeared to be certainly warmed to see all of them and have without a doubt been using these things. We appreciate you being so thoughtful and for considering varieties of remarkable useful guides millions of individuals are really desirous to know about. My sincere apologies for not saying thanks to sooner.

  4. A lot of thanks for all of your hard work on this web page. My mom take interest in participating in internet research and it’s easy to understand why. We hear all regarding the compelling manner you create precious tricks on the website and therefore foster contribution from some other people on that concept and our daughter is becoming educated so much. Take advantage of the rest of the new year. You’re the one performing a terrific job.

  5. I’m also writing to let you understand what a useful encounter my daughter undergone browsing your webblog. She learned numerous issues, not to mention what it is like to have an ideal giving style to let certain people really easily learn about some very confusing subject matter. You really did more than my expected results. Thanks for offering these good, dependable, educational as well as cool guidance on the topic to Kate.

  6. When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get 4 emails with the identical comment. Is there any manner you may remove me from that service? Thanks!

  7. I precisely had to thank you very much once again. I’m not certain what I could possibly have gone through without the actual secrets discussed by you about my area of interest. It became a very distressing issue in my opinion, however , looking at your specialised way you dealt with the issue made me to weep over contentment. I will be thankful for the work and thus believe you are aware of a great job you happen to be providing teaching some other people by way of your blog post. I am sure you have never met all of us.

  8. I wish to show appreciation to you just for rescuing me from this type of difficulty. As a result of browsing throughout the world wide web and finding suggestions which were not powerful, I figured my life was done. Existing without the presence of approaches to the difficulties you’ve resolved as a result of your review is a crucial case, as well as the ones that would have adversely affected my career if I hadn’t come across your web blog. The expertise and kindness in dealing with all the things was helpful. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t encountered such a thing like this. I can at this point look ahead to my future. Thank you very much for the expert and effective guide. I will not hesitate to suggest the sites to any person who should receive support about this problem.

  9. I simply desired to say thanks again. I am not sure the things I would have taken care of without the entire strategies shared by you about my situation. It was before the hard crisis for me, but taking note of the skilled approach you handled it took me to leap with fulfillment. I am just grateful for the work and in addition sincerely hope you find out what a great job you happen to be putting in educating other individuals through your web blog. I’m certain you haven’t got to know any of us.

  10. I in addition to my guys were found to be analyzing the excellent tips and hints from the website and then quickly came up with a terrible suspicion I never expressed respect to the blog owner for them. Most of the young boys had been certainly warmed to read through all of them and have now definitely been tapping into these things. Thanks for actually being considerably accommodating as well as for picking varieties of high-quality subjects millions of individuals are really needing to understand about. My very own sincere regret for not expressing gratitude to you earlier.

  11. Needed to put you this very small remark to help give thanks over again considering the pleasant ideas you’ve shown in this case. This is so surprisingly open-handed of you to offer unhampered just what many individuals could have supplied for an electronic book in making some bucks for themselves, and in particular considering the fact that you might have tried it if you ever decided. These points additionally worked to provide a fantastic way to recognize that some people have the identical keenness much like my own to grasp more in respect of this issue. I know there are a lot more pleasant opportunities ahead for individuals that scan your site.

  12. I precisely desired to say thanks all over again. I am not sure the things that I would have made to happen without the entire opinions documented by you relating to my concern. This was the depressing circumstance in my view, but understanding a professional way you resolved it forced me to jump over fulfillment. I’m just grateful for the assistance and thus hope that you know what a great job you are always undertaking instructing people with the aid of your webblog. I’m certain you have never encountered all of us.

  13. Thanks a lot for providing individuals with an extremely marvellous chance to discover important secrets from this blog. It is always so pleasing plus packed with a great time for me personally and my office fellow workers to search your website more than thrice per week to find out the latest guidance you have got. And of course, I am actually impressed with the exceptional creative ideas served by you. Selected two facts on this page are surely the finest we’ve ever had.

  14. I wanted to send a simple message so as to thank you for these wonderful hints you are giving out at this website. My time intensive internet research has at the end been compensated with extremely good know-how to write about with my classmates and friends. I would admit that most of us website visitors are unquestionably endowed to exist in a really good network with many lovely individuals with very beneficial hints. I feel rather happy to have seen the web site and look forward to some more fun minutes reading here. Thanks once again for everything.

  15. you have got an ideal blog right here! would you prefer to make some invite posts on my weblog?

  16. It’s exhausting to seek out knowledgeable individuals on this topic, but you sound like you understand what you’re talking about! Thanks

  17. I would like to voice my admiration for your generosity supporting those people who require help with this field. Your personal dedication to passing the solution around appeared to be unbelievably practical and has truly allowed girls like me to arrive at their endeavors. The warm and helpful instruction can mean a lot a person like me and much more to my fellow workers. Thanks a ton; from each one of us.

  18. Hi there! I just wish to give a huge thumbs up for the good info you have right here on this post. I will likely be coming back to your weblog for more soon.

  19. I simply needed to say thanks again. I do not know the things that I could possibly have taken care of without the entire basics contributed by you regarding my industry. Certainly was an absolute challenging condition in my position, nevertheless taking note of this specialised way you managed the issue made me to leap over happiness. Extremely happy for this service and in addition sincerely hope you realize what a great job you were doing teaching people today through your webpage. Most likely you’ve never met all of us.

  20. There are certainly a number of particulars like that to take into consideration. That could be a nice level to carry up. I provide the ideas above as normal inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up the place an important thing might be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if finest practices have emerged round issues like that, however I’m certain that your job is clearly recognized as a fair game. Each girls and boys feel the impression of just a second抯 pleasure, for the remainder of their lives.

  21. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

  22. hello!,I really like your writing very so much! percentage we keep up a correspondence extra about your article on AOL? I need a specialist in this house to solve my problem. May be that is you! Looking forward to look you.

One Ping

  1. Pingback:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.





4 Reasons Small Cities Are Better for Business

Using a 5-Step Model for Any Public Speech