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Gmail scam alert! Fraudsters are always at it, you could be next!

By: Monica Victor

Every minute 19 Americans get their identities stolen. Each year at least 10 million Americans fall victim to identify theft, according to TransUnion.

Crooks are always on the prowl, devising clever schemes to steal unsuspecting people’s identity.  The latest scam comes in the form of an email designed to look just like one you’d get from Google about your Google account. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) in a recent bulletin says these emails are intentionally designed to fool you into believing they are legit, but they carry malware – software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems.

“You receive an email that appears to be a message about your Google or Gmail account,” the BBB says. “One version of this scam informs you that, “You have exceeded your email limit quota.” Another tells you that, “you have a deferred email.” The text is hyperlinked in both, implying that you should click for more information. Don’t do it!”

Microsoft says malware is short for “malicious software” and describes it is as any kind of unwanted software that is installed without your adequate consent. Examples of malicious malware are viruses, worms, and Trojan horses.

According to the BBB, referencing the fake email scam from Google, “Clicking on the link will download malware to your computer. Once on your machine, it can hunt through your files for personal and banking information. This opens you up to the possibility of ID theft.”

Unsuspecting users fall prey to these scams primarily because they look like the real deal.

“These scam emails are particularly tricky because they look so real. They have details like Google’s address in the footer. One version actually has a link to “unsubscribe” and “change my notification settings.”  Be sure not to click these links because they also may contain malware,” the BBB warns.

 Here’s how the BBB says you can spot these scams to avoid falling victim:

    1. Scrutinize the “From” fieldScammers have the ability to mask email addresses, making the message appear to come from a legitimate source. But they don’t always use it. In this scam, the “Google” emails aren’t actually from a address.”
    2. Check for typos, strange phrasing and bad grammar. “Scammers can easily copy a brand’s logo and email format, but awkward wording and poor grammar are typically a giveaway that the message is a scam. In the example above, the phrases “limit quota” and “deferred email” are a sign that something’s not right.”

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Here you can get the buzz on tactics and tips to successfully manage your money and avoid credit problems.These booklets cover the basics of creating and using a budget, how women can manage their personal finances, how to cope with financial stress, teaching your children about money, preventing identity theft, how to avoid common money mistakes, the basics of credit cards and much more! Click on the booklet cover to launch these free PDF files.
Learn how to successfully manage money and avoid credit problems. This guide was created with two purposes in mind; first, to help people create and use a successful budget; second, to provide proven strategies for avoiding excess debt. This basic ‘Credit 101’ publication explores the pros and cons of using credit, provides a guide and calculation formula to help consumers find out how much credit they can afford, and offers advice on what elements should be considered before applying for a credit card, how to build a positive credit history, and existing credit rights. When it comes to women and money, the news can be gloomy. We live longer; we earn less, and are less secure in retirement. But the news isn’t all bad, because women can also be terrific budgeters, investors, savers and entrepreneurs. Everyone makes mistakes with their money. It happens, but it can lead to problems, and these problems may escalate if you don’t do the right things to correct them. This guide is to help you solve the money mistakes that could occur during your lifetime. The world of finances can be tricky and if you don’t act to correct these mistakes you could be putting your financial future at risk.
If you’re like most people, you probably learned about money from the “School of Hard Knocks.” If you were lucky, you may have had parents who talked openly about money with you, and perhaps even showed you how to earn and save money. This guide helps parents talk to their children about smart money management and the value of money. This publication discusses the fastest growing federal crime in the country and provides steps one can take to minimize the chances of personal information being stolen and used by a thief. The first part of this brochure is organized into checklists you can use to put these ideas into practice. The second part of this brochure will give you steps to take if you are a victim. This booklet will give you an overview of the basics of getting a mortgage, buying a home, and building equity. If you’re under financial stress, you may be arguing with your spouse or family members about money, experiencing headaches or panic attacks, hiding bills or receipts from family members, or finding it difficult to sleep at night. Your eating habits may have gone south, and you may find it hard to make it through the day. Use this guide to help you deal with your stress.