So many ways have been invented to deceive the population that you can create a separate site and write there only about this. Probably, there are even such – I have not checked – but we write only about the most unusual and new ways “relatively honest taking money from the population.” This time, the hackers distinguished themselves by trying to steal money from users using Google Photos. Something similar happened, but this method is now gaining popularity again. It is interesting that a similar scheme can work with other popular services, but it is Google photos that are relevant for almost any user Android, which means they are potentially all in danger if they cannot be vigilant.
Google Photos is used by most of those who have Android. And not only them.
New Google Photos trick
Several times I have come across messages that users have received messages from the Google Photos service, in which there was nothing suspicious – they just said that the photos were successfully uploaded.
As they say, uploaded and loaded, but many of those who do this not often may be surprised and think that there was some mistake or someone stole their account. This is also not uncommon.
This feeling, of course, is frustrating and many begin to look for ways to solve the problem. I dare to hope that the vast majority will simply check their account and realize that they have not downloaded anything or anywhere, but some will definitely start taking other measures.
How scammers deceive service users
The scammers are counting on the fact that the victim who receives a letter with an alleged warning will immediately begin to take action. It came from an address that contains the word “Google”, there are no suspicious words in it that the account has been hacked and “there is no time to explain – run this link.” They are simply warned, and an impressionable person will figure out what is happening there.
As a result, he finds a non-intrusive link that invites him to go to the security settings. After that, a site is opened that is very similar to Google – there is no problem to do this – and already there the victim can download an application or browser extension that will help increase the level of protection. It will naturally be downloaded not from Google Play, but in the form of an APK. This should already lead to thoughts.
This service has a lot of features that are pleasant and useful to use.
Then there is nothing but the problem with hackers. At best, they will harass you with ads or something like that, and at worst, they will hook you with a virus that will steal your data right down to your account. There are even cases of direct extortion of money by blocking the device. In this case, hackers will only unblock it if you pay. The other day I already talked about such criminals who profit from the topic of coronavirus.
How to protect your phone from scammers
It so happened that in this article I focus on smartphones, since it is from them that users most often upload photos, but desktop users can also be victims. In order not to become such a victim, you need to know literally a couple of things that you should pay attention to in order to reduce the chances of being caught by scammers from almost maximum to negligible.
If you receive an email like this, do yourself a favor and either delete it or approach it with the utmost care.
The email you receive from Google Photos may look very formal. It may even have genuine Google logo images pulled directly from Google.com addresses. This is a trick that scammers use to make their messages look legitimate and thus make you more likely to take them seriously.
If you receive an email from Google Photos or another service and you are prompted to follow a link, take your time to do so. The more actively you are told that you need to do this right now, the more you should be on your guard.
Fraudsters have already launched their hands in many places. We must be able to resist them.
There is a chance that the letter is real, but before believing it, just go to your profile (not through the letter), open it in a browser or in an application and check what is happening there. If everything is fine there and there are no photos that were supposedly uploaded for you, then feel free to send the letter to spam or delete it. You don't need to press anything at all.
By sending a letter to spam, you mark the sender, and if there are many of you, there is a chance that other users will also have a similar letter go to spam.
If, nevertheless, you downloaded the program, do not open it under any circumstances. Just delete the file and everything should be fine again. Also, in general, you need to be very careful when installing applications from APKs. All normal apps, especially those made by Google, are on Google Play. If the application is distributed bypassing, then you need to think about why this is happening. If it's something big, like a Fortnite game that just recently appeared in a branded app store, you can still relax, but otherwise it is better to be on the alert.