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Google+ spam invites link to online pharmacies

Taking advantage of the urge to sign up

Google+ has already been exploited by spammers. According to Sophos the new social networking site from Google has been hit by a wave of spook Google+ invitation emails. The 'invites' in fact link to an online drugs shop - the Canadian Family Pharmacy.

Google+ is the web giant's latest attempt to crack social networking. It offers similar functionality to Facebook, as well as the ability to group contacts together into 'circles' and then interact at the appropriate level with each group. It launched as a closed beta last week, and invites have gained a certain caché with those on the outside.

"The spammers are no doubt hoping that the email will be hard to resist, as many people are eager to see what is being billed as Google's answer to Facebook," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.  

"It's unclear just how many users will be tempted to buy drugs online, however research shows that last year alone, 36 million Americans bought drugs from online pharmacies, so this is a technique that is clearly continuing to work for spammers."

"Many people will be keen to try the latest social network, but you should always be wary of clicking on links in unsolicited emails," continued Cluley.  

"Once you are on Google+, you should continue to think about the volume of information that you're willing to share online and take a close look at the Google+ Privacy Policy and Mobile Privacy Policy to understand how your information might be used by Google or third parties."

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