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Scam alert: Email attack hits Google accounts

A screen capture shows a scam email being used to attempt to gain access to Google accounts May 3, 2017.

An email scam attack that was sent Wednesday afternoon, May 3, is affecting Google accounts.

The email invites users to click on a Google Doc link, which then spreads the phishing scam to the user's email contacts.

"We are investigating a phishing email that appears as Google Docs. We encourage you to not click through & report as phishing within Gmail," according to a tweet sent Wednesday afternoon by Google. 

Spring Valley, Wis., School District Network Administrator Bruce Turner said the issue is affecting users worldwide. He said the school district has been affected, adding that the attack won’t infect the user's computer, but rather their Google account.

He received an email from Scott Pooler, the IT Specialist from the Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau School District, who recommended these steps in an email:

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“I assume most of you have been hit by the email scam that went around today. If you opened the email and allowed it access to your Gmail account, follow these instructions:

Go to Gmail in a web browser and click on your photo or initials on the top-right.

Click "My Account"

Click "Sign in and Security"

Click "Connected apps and sites" on the left side

Click "Manage Apps" on the right side

Find one that says just "Google Docs" and click on it.

Click Remove.

There is no virus, so don't worry about that. However, if you did allow this rogue app permissions to your Gmail account, it could possibly read or delete your email.

If they didn't open the email and didn't click the Google Docs link then they just need to delete the emails.”

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Kim Beebe with the Ellsworth Chamber said they received the scam emails, but no one in their office actually opened them. The Chamber has sent out a Facebook notification on their page warning people.

The Ellsworth School District has contacted parents and faculty about the issue and placed a large banner warning of the attack.

Matthew Lambert

Matthew Lambert joined the Pierce County Herald and River Falls Journal in December 2016 covering government, school board, and writing features about the community. He is a graduate of Winona State University with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism. 

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