Warning: Google Wallet For Business Beta is a Phishing Expedition

phishing-credit-cardIf you've received an email offering you access to the Google Wallet for Business beta recently, beware: it's a phishing attempt to get your credit card information.

Like most of these scams, the email looks like official; in this case, an email from Google offering access to a beta program. I've gotten many and this one nearly got me, but the small type near the bottom said a transfer was pending and luckily there was none I could think of and got curious. Here's the email:

You're Invited!

Welcome to Wallet For Business (Beta), a new service from Google. An easy, fast and secure payment service that lets you send and receive money to and from others directly from your bank account.

With Google Wallet For Business, you can send/receive money to and from just about anyone* ó anytime, anywhere in the world.! All you need is their name, and either an e-mail address or mobile phone number to get started.

*Pay in-store by tapping on your mobile device.
*Pay online by signing into your account.
*Accept payment from anyone to your bank account.

Get Started

©2011 Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043 You received this email because A Google Wallet user [soch0653] has requested to pay you using Google wallet. . Wallet For Business Beta is available free for a limited time. If you choose not to complete registration you will not receive further email communication from Google regarding your invitation.

The header shows Google Wallet wallet-noreply@googie.com via server.visualwebhost.com.br - the .br extension was suspicious and the whois for the domain didn't show Google ties. So I asked Google's Distinguished Engineer and spam expert Matt Cutts who confirmed the program doesn't exist and said to use the link in the reply dropdown box to report phishing.

I'm wondering if this was aimed at Google beta testers or online marketers and how they got my email. So avoid this one and pass along to Google's security.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.