Scammers target email calendars to steal personal information

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​INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — A new scam could be slipping its way into your busy schedule.

Hackers are trying to trick you into handing over all of our information.​​​

Imagine opening your Google Calendar on your cell phone to check your daily schedule. You notice an event that you don't remember accepting. ​​

The event could be for a special offer providing a link to find a nearby location, for example. ​​

That link is a trap.​​

Scammers are taking advantage of default calendar settings and making you their next victim. ​​

Here's how the scam works

If someone uses Google Calendar to set up a meeting with you, you would receive a notification. A scammer gains access to your calendar and plants events with a phishing link on your schedule.​

They can also automatically add any event to your calendar, whether you've accepted it or not.​

Attackers can also set up fake surveys and offer a reward.​​

Researchers at the threat intelligence firm Kaspersky observed phishers using links to fake surveys with descriptions like, "You've received a cash reward," or "There's a money transfer in your name."​​

The idea, of course, is for you to click on that link to give up personal information or a credit card number.​​

How to protect yourself

  • Open Google Calendar on a desktop browser.
  • Click on the settings icon at the top right of the page.
  • Next, click on 'Event Settings' on the left of the page and look for 'Automatically add invitations'
  • Click option: 'No, only show invitations which I've responded.'
  • Lastly, go to the 'View Options' and uncheck 'Show declined events.'​​

For Outlook calendars, you also want to open the page on a desktop browser and click on settings. Click on 'View all outlook settings' on the bottom of the page. Click on 'Events from Email.' In the drop down window select 'Only show events in email.'​​

Experts recommend that you not open messages from strangers. Never accept invitations from people you don't know and don't click links in messages you weren't expecting. ​​

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a scam, contact the Better Business Bureau.​