Even the Google Calendar app is being used by scammers to drain your bank account

Even the Google Calendar app is being used by scammers to drain your bank account
Scammers apparently live by the motto "where there's a will there's a way." Take the Google Calendar app. As Wired notes, criminals with malicious intent are taking advantage of one of the default settings on the app. This setting automatically adds invitations to your schedule even if you haven't responded to them. A few moments before such an event is about to start, a reminder is sent to the device owner.

Scammers are using this feature in an attempt to get your personal banking information, social security number or other important personal data that can be used to siphon money out of a bank or brokerage account. They add invitations to your Google Calendar account that send you a reminder noting that you have a wire transfer to your bank account that requires more information to complete, like your bank account PIN number. Or a reminder might pop up that says you've won a contest but the rules require you to report your social security number in order to collect the prize. There might be a link to press that reveals a form to send in your personal information. Obviously, doing so would be a mistake.

The scammers can have these notifications appear a number of times until the link button is pressed, or the invitation is deleted. And because these notifications are coming from the trusted Google Calendar app, the scammers are hoping that users don't think too much about them.

There is a way to put a quick end to this ruse. From your desktop browser, go to Google.com/calendar. On the upper right side of the screen, you'll see the gear icon. Click on it and then select Settings. From there, choose Even settings. Under the option "Automatically add invitations," change the setting to  "No, only show invitations to which I have responded." Then scroll down a bit to the View options section and uncheck "Show declined events." Doing the latter will prevent the fake invites from popping up even after you've declined them.


It is getting harder and harder to keep the bad guys out of your wallet. Earlier today we told you that Apple is now warning its consumers that iTunes gift cards can only be used in the App Store and on iTunes and cannot be used to pay taxes. The company is trying to get ahead of a recent scam that has random victims receiving calls from fake IRS agents warning them they have to pay their unpaid taxes immediately. The caller then adds that the IRS will accept the amount due in iTunes gift cards, which of course is not true.

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13 Comments

1. blingblingthing

Posts: 974; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

A reminder from a Nigerian prince maybe? I really hope no one is still falling for this bologna, why would your bank need you to verify your pin? They'd need to have it to know you could confirm it and if they don't, what will you telling them do?

10. Cyberchum

Posts: 1086; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Hey, cretin, to hell with you and that Nigeria reference. If you and your folks fall for that, you and your low IQ selves probably deserve to, considering that what Nigerian lowlifes are engaging in is petty scam compared to what yours are into.

11. Blazers

Posts: 750; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

@cyperchum: Chill out son. No one falls for those scams anymore, but back in the day, a lot of older people did.

13. Cyberchum

Posts: 1086; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Not surprised you couldn't tell your son; you'd have to see first, now. Wouldn't you? . From the way it comes outta your holes, I bet it's anything but only "back in the day."

2. iloveapps

Posts: 855; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

This is really sad for google.

4. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1433; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

About as sad as Apple having to inform people buying an iTunes gift card that they can't use it to pay taxes. You know from that scam you commented on.

3. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1176; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Never a dull moment with the ol’ Google. Hopefully they can get ahead of this. Luckily I do not have Google Calendar installed.

5. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1433; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Most calendar apps actually work that way, even if you don't accept or deny an event from an email, they will list it in the calendar until you do.

6. cmdacos

Posts: 4248; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Exactly. This is in no way exclusive to Google at all.

7. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1433; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Apple's iCalendar used to work the same way, might still nowadays.

8. Habib111

Posts: 45; Member since: Feb 12, 2019

And the US says that Huawei uses back door malware. Never thought of US government to go down to this level

9. lyndon420

Posts: 6815; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

You're possibly commenting on the wrong article lol.

12. HumbleJ06

Posts: 98; Member since: Aug 10, 2015

Just like with the maps scam, people need to be smart and use their heads. This scam is pretty lame, I really hope nobody is falling for this.

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