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Updated: 16th September 2019 21:15 Calgary

New phishing scam puts phoney invites on victims' calendars

A news release from Better Business Bureau says scammers are taking advantage of default calendar settings that automatically add any event to a user's calendar. From there, they plant phoney events laced with phishing links.

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Google, Outlook and other calendar programs have been targeted

Scammers are taking advantage of default calendar settings that automatically add event invites. (The Associated Press)

Scammers are going one step further and taking their phishing scams to your desktop computer or phone.

A news release from the Southern Alberta Better Business Bureau (BBB) says fraudsters are taking advantage of default calendar settings that automatically add any event to a user's calendar. From there, they plant phoney events laced with phishing links.

The BBB says the event invite will usually include a link and short description in order to entice targets to click and reveal personal information in a survey or something similar.

Shawna-Kay Thomas, a communication specialist with the BBB, says they noticed the calendar phishing scheme with default calendar settings a few months ago, but it recently grew in popularity.

"We're so busy and we have a lot of invites coming in so it's easier to leave it as automatic," she said. "But scammers know this, which is why they're now using this tactic."

The BBB says a way to avoid calendar phishing scams is to not click on links or download attachments from unknown events, as well as change your default calendar settings.

"If you choose to continue to have it set to automatic, we ask that you vet those links and invites carefully," said Thomas. "Especially if it's an activity that you can't fully recall accepting."

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