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Google Support ‘Message Blocked’ Pharmacy Spam Email



Outline
Email purporting to be from Google Support claims that a message sent by the recipient has been blocked. The recipient is urged to click a link to read the blocked message or get more information.
medication — Stock Photo

© Depositphotos.com/ Dzmitry Halavach

Brief Analysis
The message is not from Google Support. The claim that a message has been blocked is untrue.  All links in the bogus email lead to a spammy drug store website that attempts to sell all manner of pharmaceutical products without need of a prescription.

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Example

Subject: Returned email message

Google Support Spam


Detailed Analysis
According to this email, which claims to be from Google Support, a message sent by the recipient has been blocked by Google's "bulk email filter".  Links in the email supposedly allow the recipient to read more information about the block or read the blocked message.

However, the message is not from Google and the claim that a message sent by the recipient has been blocked is untrue.   

In fact, the message is spam designed to trick users into visiting a suspect "Canadian Pharmacy" website that attempts to sell various pharmaceutical products to the unwary.

The message is just one variant in an ongoing spam campaign that has used the names of several high-profile online entities, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Apparently, the spammers bank on the fact that at least a few people tricked into visiting the spam site will actually stay and buy one or more of its dodgy products.  Given the ongoing effort that the spammers have put into this campaign, it obviously pays off for them.

Uses who buy on the site may or may not actually get the products they ordered. But, if they do get their drugs, they could be significantly risking their health by taking them. Users have no way of knowing if the products they purchase are what they purport to be. And, since users don't need a prescription to buy them, they might be inadvertently putting their health at risk by taking medicine that is unsuitable for them. It could interfere with other medication users are taking with serious repercussions.

Moreover, it is very risky to trust these outfits with your credit card details. If they are unscrupulous enough to market their products via deliberately deceptive spam messages then they may have no qualms about stealing customer credit card data and misusing it elsewhere. And, these sites often do not even use secure forms for payments.

If you receive one of these spam emails, do not click on any links that it contains. If you do click a link by mistake, close the spam website immediately.

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Last updated: September 5, 2013
First published: September 5, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen

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