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Click carefully: Google Docs emails could be a scam

In this Tuesday, March 23, 2010, file photo, the Google logo is seen at the Google headquarters in Brussels.
In this Tuesday, March 23, 2010, file photo, the Google logo is seen at the Google headquarters in Brussels. AP

A massive Google Docs phishing scam hit San Luis Obispo County on Wednesday, affecting several school districts and businesses.

Phishing attacks usually consist of emails that appear to be from a legitimate source and trick people into clicking a link that unleashes software that can compromise their personal information.

On Wednesday, the Lucia Mar Unified School District sent out an email message urging recipients not to open Google Docs emails from the district. And Nipomo High School posted on Facebook to warn parents and community members not to click on emails from the district that contain the wording “has shared a document on Google Docs with you.”

Martha Clayton, spokeswoman for the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District, said she received suspicious Google Docs share emails from two teachers. She said she notified the district’s IT department, which put out a notification to all staff, she said.

McClatchy, the company that owns The Tribune, also sent out a notification to all staff that the company was affected. One Tribune staffer received a phishing email from an address appearing to be from the Coast Unified School District in Cambria.

In the scam, Gmail users receive an email that a Google Doc has been shared with them. The email looks legitimate; however, when users click on the link to open the Google Doc, the scam collects personal information about the user. If you receive a suspicious email, don’t click on or respond to the message.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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