This one almost got me, almost.
Yesterday, I received an email from a Digital marketing agency in Nigeria with the title “Invoice Payment.” I receive emails like this from Clients, so, this one didn’t ring any alarm bells……. At first! Here is the email:
Of course, any email that has to do with money always make me smile, but at a second glance, it seemed a little strange to me, because hovering on the download link revealed a bit.ly link.
Anyway, at that point, money over internet security was ringing in my head, so I clicked on the link, yeah.
…And that was when my security alertness finally kicked in. First, I noticed that the URL was really weird, it had a data:text/html;base64 link. However, because it had the Google logo and all, I decided to go along with it using a fake email address and password to download the supposed document.
After downloading, I noticed that the document had a “File Truncate error,” this time, with the official/secure Google link, weird.
I immediately switched to my detective mode, went back to the login page and took note of the URL. I also tried to inspect the element, but this came up after I tried right clicking:
It was at this moment I realized how smart and dumb these scammers were:
The URL link is rebeccadixonapparel.com, a little bit of digging around and things quickly open out with various “Yahoo Login” and “Google Docs” pathway. YUP! It had a fake Google page template, among others.
In all honesty, the fact that the email came from a well known digital marketing company in Nigeria made me less wary, but if I didn’t allow INVOICE PAYMENT cloud my reasoning, I would have noticed that the HTTPs /green padlock indicator had gone missing. P.S. You should refrain from handing over your password if this is lacking.
I immediately sent a mail to the person who sent the email, asking if he had meant to send it. It is quite possible that his email had been compromised by a similar Google Docs Phishing Scam.
Moral of my experience. Be careful, these phishing scams are getting scarily sophisticated