Did you receive a strange invitation via Google Calendar? This is not an isolated case: it is the calendar spam, which affects the platform since May. It takes advantage of the automatic creation of events through messages received by Gmail, even if they are marked as spam. The company says it is “working diligently to resolve this problem”, without revealing what measures will be taken.
“We are aware of spam occurring on Google Calendar and are working diligently to resolve this issue,” says employee Lesley Pace in the official help forum. “We will post updates to this thread as soon as they are available … Thank you for your patience.”
By default, Google Calendar automatically creates events in your calendar when you receive certain messages in Gmail. This integration was thought as a convenience for the user: you see the invitation even if the email goes unnoticed in the inbox, and you can easily answer whether or not you are going to attend.
Unfortunately, this became a way to spread spam: Google Calendar imports “events” that include a malicious link, even if the email is considered junk mail. Then, the user receives a notification on the cell phone and is encouraged to open that link.
New lows in spam. This appeared as a Google Calendar invite. Ugh. pic.twitter.com/krNeoqSPuj
– Alisa Gordaneer (@gordaneer) August 28, 2019
Google Calendar has had calendar spam since May
Kaspersky discovered several cases of calendar spam in May, and the problem has not been resolved since. According to her, the scam usually occurs in this way: “the user is redirected to a website where there is a simple questionnaire and a cash prize. To receive it, the victim needs to make a ‘correction’ payment, providing personal and credit card information ”.
After obtaining the victim’s name, phone number and address, scammers can use personal data to steal money or her identity. Obviously, the person does not receive any cash prizes.
Sneaky spam seems to have invaded my Google Calendar, that’s a first for me pic.twitter.com/CZ1IhzTCZ0
– Todd Olmstead (@toddjolmstead) September 3, 2019
At the moment, the only way to prevent calendar spam is to disable the automatic creation of invitation-based events; Google Calendar will only display invitations that you’ve marked as “Yes” or “Maybe”.
It’s possible report an event as spam, but only using Google Calendar on the computer; this cannot be done via mobile apps. You double click on the event, then go to More Actions at the top and choose the option Report as spam.
I hope that Google improves this to avoid calendar spam. The company did not give a deadline to resolve the problem.
With information: Android Police.