Watch out for this Google Maps scam

There are a lot of scams out there – and a lot of different avenues that scammers use. A surprising one, perhaps, is Google Maps. According to ZDNet, scammers have been using Google Maps URL-sharing feature to trick users into opening links to “shady websites.”

The security firm Sophos says this is a successful tactic because Google Maps “lacks a mechanism to report scammy links.” The main website that Sophos observed the links redirecting to was a Russian diet-pill scheme targeting English speakers.

“Between the legitimate Google URL shortener you’d probably trust, and the Russian URL you probably wouldn’t, the redirection chain bounces you through another Google URL belonging to Google Maps,” Sophos researcher Mark Stockley wrote for ZD Net.

Google can fix this problem, claims ZDNet, by ensuring that “if a URL in the link parameter isn’t a link to Google Maps, then it shouldn’t be allowed.”

In the meantime, if you use link sharing over Google Maps, be proactive and only open links from users you know and trust.

Source: zdnet.com – Google Maps user? Beware attackers using URL-sharing to send you to shady sites
Published: May 2, 2018