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Better Ask Barry

Better Ask Barry: What’s the Google Calendar scam?

Just when you think you’re wise to every phone and online scam there is, the bad guys figure out a new way to launch an attack. The latest platform for scams and phishing is your Google Calendar.

News of this scam has been spreading recently on online tech sites.

Scammers are now taking advantage of a default setting that automatically posts invitation messages on Google Calendar, whether you’ve accepted them or not.

Open the attachment, and you could be in trouble.

Kevin Brookhouser is Director of Technology and Innovation at York School in Monterey. He’s seen this first hand.

“I look at my calendar and there’s like a free I-phone giveaway on my calendar, and I was like what is that, right?” he said.

Brookhouser didn’t take the bait.

“I can imagine it going something like this: We’ll send you a free I-phone. All we need is a $30 gift card from Walmart.”

Instead, he flagged the invitation as spam.

“One of the ways we solve this problem is we report the scammers, said Brookhouser. “There is a little menu item in every event. You click on that and click the report spam item and that sends a message to Google, and Google will record that sender and block those invitations in the future.”

Google says it is working to fix the problem.

In the meantime, you can protect yourself by changing the settings on your calendar and uncheck the box that automatically adds events.

Here are step by step instructions:

In Google Calendar, go to Settings, click Event Settings, and scroll down to Automatically Add Invitations.

Un-click the default box, and select the option to only show invitations to which you’ve responded.

KION 2019

News / Top Stories

KION546 News Team


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