3OYS: Beware of Google lottery scam

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. -- Dashing between two jobs, Linda Juarez is always on the go.

"I check my email every second practically," she said.

Then one day, she got an unusual email saying that her Gmail account had won her $500,000.

A cash prize and an Apple laptop were her winnings through an electronic balloting system. All Juarez had to do was submit some personal information, which seemed innocent enough.

"It asked me for several things like my address, my age, my occupation, my number, so I thought I needed to have it checked into," she said.

It's a good thing she did.

"I thought to call 3 On Your Side to see what information they could come up with," she said.

Well, it turns out that email, although it looks authentic, is just another phishing scam created by crooks.

Although Juarez would love to win a lottery put on by Google, the truth is that the company doesn't even run lotteries. The email is nothing more than a crook's attempt to steal her info.

"Oh my gosh, I probably would've lost my identity. I have a lot to lose: my house, my car," she said.

3 On Your Side forwarded the email to Google which confirmed that it is an "example of a phishing attempt."

The company went on to say, "Google or Gmail will never ask you to provide this kind of information in an email."

Juarez said, unfortunately, she'll have to keep working two jobs because she didn’t win that lottery, but at least she didn't get taken.

"My advice to people would be whenever someone asks for your address on there or anything like that to not give it out at all," she said. "Just call 3 On Your Side and see what advice they give you and what they look into to help you out."

For more information on Gmail security, visit the following web pages: