Beware of Calendar Scams

presented by 9-10-2019

Alert Your Users About Calendar Scams and What to Do About Them

We’ve noted this particular scam before, but it’s continued to make a pest of itself, and so we bring it to your attention again. Scammers are abusing Google Calendar invites to send out unsolicited, spammy events, according to Rob Verger at Popular Science.

Attackers only need your Gmail address to send you an invite, and the event will be placed in your calendar by default. Verger notes that the spam itself is nothing new; the scammers are simply using a previously obscure technique to place it in front of you.

“While the location of the spam feels new, the behavior isn’t,” he writes. “Bad actors have a long history of exploiting any avenue they can, from sending suspicious messages to your email address, to spammy notes sent via iMessage, to robocalls.”

You can block this behavior by going to your Google Calendar settings, then making your way to Event settings and switching “Automatically add invitations” to “No, only show invitations to which I have responded.” Next, locate the “Events from Gmail” option, and uncheck “Automatically add events from Gmail to my calendar.” Verger says to keep in mind that these changes will turn off legitimate automatic invites as well.