Be Careful Of Spammy Google Plus Invitations Spreading Virally All Over The Internet
By on July 5th, 2011

No doubt Google plus is the new superman of the internet.

For the record, only a small number of users have been able to register for a Google Plus account, yet a large percentage of Internet population is still craving for it. People are going crazy for a Google plus invite and most of them are willing to try out every possible hack, in order to get their Google Plus profile up and running.

Getting into an invitation only system on a new service or social site is sometimes considered as a status symbol. And folks want to proudly declare I have a Google Plus account, I am so special. It’s human nature.

Sadly, Google had to halt the Invitation onlysystem of Google Plus because of insane demand from users across the Globe. Right now, signing up for Google plus is not possible either way, regardless of whether you have an email invite or not. Some users are slipping in while some can’t, it’s highly suspicious and uncertain at the moment.

This viral buzz is helping spammers and survey professionals make some business out of it.

google-plus-spam-cartoon

Here is the deal. Some users are creating a fake email template which exactly resembles the invitation email of Google Plus and they are sending the fake invitation email to random users from an email list they bought. Here is how the fake email invitation of Google Plus looks like [courtesy: Naked security]

google-plus-spam

Clicking the Learn more about Google +link will not take you to the Google Plus sign up page. Instead, you will land upon a spam website which either sells cheap Viagra, pharmacy products or other random stuff that the spammer wants to sell. Here is one such example site:

spam-site

Almost anyone will surely close this browser window but it’s also true that some users are really novice and new to the internet. They don’t know that most of the services provided by Google are available for Free. There is a chance that some people will think that they need to pay something for signing up into Google Plus and they might end up buying those bizarre products, only to find that they have been fooled and looted.

If you encounter such nonsense stuff, tell the truth to your friends. No one needs to pay a dime for a Google Plus account!

There are more ways to lure users into spam sites and take advantage of the buzz about Google Plus. Here is another one.

google-plus-spam-invites-youtube

There is a YouTube video which claims that the person who uploaded the video has some sort of Free key, downloading which will give you a free Google plus invitation right away.

YouTube is filled with such videos about free key generators and software serials and the sad thing is that most of them works as promised. YouTube is a gold mine for finding pirated stuff, since moderation of embedded content within a video is really difficult and takes human eyes. GFI labs has some more insights about the video.

After watching the video, click that shortened link and you will land on a typical survey site, as shown below:

survey-spam

The above page claims that if you complete a two minute survey, you will be able to download a Google Plus key, which is a fallacy in itself. There is no such download and if at all you complete the survey and get something out of it, you won’t be able to sign up for Google Plus using whatever key that site provides.

It’s a MOUSE TRAP.

Keep yourself away and tell as many friends as possible that these are spam sites which should be avoided at all costs. I am very sure that someone will soon create a fake Google Plus signup page and try to hijack Google account of novice users, who do the biggest mistake on Internet believing their own eyes.

Always check the URL of the site which asks you to login with your Google, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo or other online accounts. remember that if the site is legitimate, they will use the API and never ask for your username or password in the first place.

If you see that the web address of a site is different and not a part of the host service, there is a high chance that you are being targeted by a hijacker or spammer. Never ever use such suspicious third party sites and don’t forget to tell your friends, colleagues and family members about spam and malicious sites that evolve on Internet every single day.

When you are educating users about spammy links and malicious sites, you are contributing towards building a safe internet which one day might get rid of the spam completely.

 

 

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Author: Amit Banerjee Google Profile for Amit Banerjee
Amit has been writing for Techie Buzz since early 2009 and keeps a close eye on web apps, Google and all things Tech. He also writes at his own tech blog, Ampercent. Follow him on Twitter @ amit_banerjee

Amit Banerjee has written and can be contacted at amit@techie-buzz.com.

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