Public warned over Google+ invite scam

The popularity of Google's upcoming social networking site Google+ has drawn the attention of scammers, a computer security firm warned this week.

Victims are made to answer "surveys" in exchange for dubious Google+ invites that the scammers claim to offer, Trend Micro fraud analyst Karla Agregado said.

"The site claims to offer downloadable invites. Trying to download an invite leads to a list of surveys that the user must answer in order to get the invite," Agregado said in a blog post.

The list directs to a page on a file-sharing website, where the user is asked to choose whether to download the invite for free by answering one of the surveys, or to download the invite by paying a certain amount.

Going with the free option generates a warning message that the users must enter only valid information lest they be barred from downloading the invite.

The user will then be led to the survey and complete it. They will also be asked to enter their mobile number.

"At this point, it’s easy to realize that the answering of the IQ test is unrelated the process of downloading a Google+ invite, just as much as having to download a file is totally unnecessary to create a Google+ account," Agregado said.

Worse, Agregado said the scheme may add unnecessary charges to the victim's phone bill, as the text at the bottom of the site "implies that entering their mobile numbers will subscribe users to certain clubs, which will charge them specific amounts on a daily basis."

Agregado said cybercriminals had made similar attacks on Google+'s rival Facebook.

"Considering this recent development, it’s possible that Google+ will share the same fate with Facebook. Let’s just hope Google and the Google+ users are ready to take on the attacks," Agregado said. — TJD, GMA News

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