While checking my Gmail inbox some weeks back, I saw a message titled “ YOUR ACCOUNT HAS BEEN SUSPENDED “. To be sincere, the subject of the message scared me, big time and started wondering what the hell I might have done for Google to close down my Gmail. Below is the content of the email….
According to provision 13.3 of Terms, Google may at any time, terminate its Services for account.
Complaint ID: 613869797.
After reading through the content of the message, I clicked on the link in the message and I was redirected to a web page which to me, looked like a cloned GMail login page asking for my login details. The url I was redirected to was different from the link above and it was not even encrypted. i.e it started with http:// instead of https:// (secured web pages like login pages, start with https:// ). Look at the address bar in the snapshot below and you will see what am talking about:
With these observation, I started to suspect foul play and decided to do more research via “Google search”. After querying Google, I came across http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/gmail/thread?tid=4a7ad2fb9018d43f&hl=en which opened my eyes to the fact that it is a pure scam.
Right on the page, it is stated clearly that If you receive a mail that threatens account termination/suspension do not answer – it is a scam!. Below, is an eye opener from the Google team.
“Gmail will never send you a mail threatening account termination or lockdown. If the Gmail team needs to communicate with you, we will send you to a special web page when you next log in, or show a short “message bar” at the top of the Gmail web page”.
The statement above is enough for me to conclude that it’s a scam and reported it immediately. You can report such message to Google by clicking the little arrow button in the top right of the mail, then “Report Phishing“.
After reporting it, I felt relieved and till now ( 3 weeks after getting the message), my Gmail is running fine.
The scammers do have different ways of fooling people, you just have to be smart or else, your account will be hacked. Make sure your passwords are strong and I will like you to read: 10 Ways You Can prevent hackers from hacking your passwords at http://www.ogbongeblog.com/2010/05/10-ways-you-can-prevent-hackers-from.html
I hope this helps…
In my future posts, I will share more tips on how to recognize Gmail and Yahoo scams. So, subscribe here and make sure you confirm your subscription, if you do not want to miss the updates even when you are not online. Once you confirm your subscription by clicking on the verification link which you will receive via your inbox or spam folder, future updates will always be delivered to your email and YOU WILL NEVER MISS them again.