Fake Google Docs email phishing scam is widespread

MADISON, Wis. - An email scam luring people to click on a nefarious link has resurfaced Wednesday. 

Area businesses and school districts have posted notices on their social media sites warning parents and staff not to click on phishing emails that ask users to click on a Google Doc. News 3 has received multiple of the same type of message. Our IT team said that once someone clicks on the link, which in some cases appears in a blue box with the words "Open in Docs," it will attempt to hijack the user's account and can send the link to the user's email contacts, too, perpetuating the problem. 

Google Docs said in a tweet Wednesday afternoon that it's investigating the phishing messages, and it encouraged users to not click it and report it to Gmail. In a statement, Google said it's taken action to protect users against the attacks and disabled offending accounts. 

"We’ve removed the fake pages, pushed updates through Safe Browsing," Google tweeted. Google said it has a team working to prevent similar account "spoofing" from happening again. Google said users who clicked the email can check their accounts for a breach though




Callum Grey, senior web developer for News 3's parent company, Morgan Murphy Media, said anyone who may have accidentally clicked the link can reclaim their account. 

Grey said users who clicked the bad link should: 

  • Immediately go to your Google Apps page ( and remove any apps you don't recognize.
  • After you find and remove the offending app, change your password and click the option to log out of all sessions. 
  • Check your Gmail history ( and follow up on anything suspicious. Log out of any existing sessions you see there as well.
  • Notify the people who've sent you the phishing link to let them know they've been compromised and that they should do the same. (But take caution in replying to an email address if not recognized.)

Help stop the scam by making friends and family aware of it. You can share our post on Facebook:


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