Gmail users are being warned about a new scam that tricks users into thinking their account has been hacked.
The scam sees a victim’s inbox flooded with spam emails but bizarrely the emails appear to have been sent from the user’s own email address.
Gmail users first started reporting receiving scores of strange spam emails over the weekend.
The spam emails were advertising things like growths supplements, weight loss pills and personal loans.
Users posting in Gmail’s support forum were concerned their account had been hacked, despite having two factor authentication enabled on their account.
Some users said they were still being bombarded with the spam emails despite changing their password, leading some to believe that their account had been hacked.
One user wrote:
“I changed my password immediately after the first one, but then it happened two more times.
“The subject of the emails is weight loss and growth supplements for men advertisements.
“I have reported them as spam. Please help, what else can I do to ensure my account isn’t compromised?”
However, accounts have not been compromised and the strange emails are the result of spammers figuring out a way to bypass Google’s spam filters.
Because the messages looked like they had been sent from the users’ own account, Google mistakenly thought they were legitimate.
A spokesperson for Google has since confirmed the issue and in a statement given to Mashable said:
“We are aware of a spam campaign impacting a small subset of Gmail users and have actively taken measures to protect against it.
“This attempt involved forged email headers that made it appear as if users were receiving emails from themselves, which also led to those messages erroneously appearing in the Sent folder.
“We have identified and are reclassifying all offending emails as spam, and have no reason to believe any accounts were compromised as part of this incident.
“If you happen to notice a suspicious email, we encourage you to report it as spam.
“More information on how to report spam can be found by visiting our Help Center.”