Beware New Gmail Scam That Could Make You Poorer

Gmail users are being warned to beware of a new hacking attempt from fraudsters.

A man looks at his phone while sitting at a desk.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

 We’re used to a multitude of ways hackers try to steal our personal information to empty our bank accounts or impersonate us to open accounts in our name, and a major new Gmail scam has just emerged that targets millions of users.

Kiplinger regularly warns you of the most common scams out there - such as text scams, romance scams and fake Disney Plus emails - and sadly we’ve another to add to that list. 

Our friends at Tom’s Guide this week reported on a new attempt that is meant to look like a note of congratulations from Google’s search team. 

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

New Gmail scam: What to watch out for

Tom’s Guide says the email has a subject line that says, “You’ve made the 18.25-billionth search!” It continues by suggesting you are a “lucky” user as you have supposedly won a “thank-you gift” sent after every 10 millionth search worldwide. This is accompanied by an image of a trophy with a button to supposedly claim the reward. 

Tom’s Guide notes: “This message might take some Gmail users by surprise as it appears to come from Google’s employees. Just like other scams, there’s no prize and it instead provides a simple way for hackers to steal your data.”

“Unfortunately, companies often use email for giveaways, which is why some may fall victim to this.”

So please do not click on any email that looks like this. 

Kiplinger’s tips to guard yourself against scams

 Use these tips to stay safe online and on your phone:

  • Never open any email that looks suspicious, and if you do, never click on any link in it. 
  • Poor grammar and spelling are often a sign it’s a scam.
  • Scammers usually don’t know your name as they’re sending lots of emails or texts at once, so they often address it “dear customer,” “dear madam” or quote your email address rather than use your name.  This is often a tell-tale sign. 
  • Never trust caller ID on your phone, especially when the caller asks for private information.
  • Never give out personal info on an email, text or call. Banks never ask you for that info over the phone or by message. Call them back using a number you find independently, if unsure. 
  • If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. 
  • Never send money to someone you don’t know, whatever story they give. Many scammers try this on dating platforms or social media
  • Beware scam job listings that guarantee employment or ask for cash for training.
  • Designate a trusted contact on your financial accounts who can be contacted if your bank suspects anything suspicious.
  • Put your number on the National Do Not Call Registry to avoid cold calls. That way, as well as less nuisance, you will be more likely to spot a scammer. Go to or call (888) 382-1222.
  • Register fraud, or attempted fraud, at
Guy Anker
MD, Wealth

Guy has extensive experience in personal finance journalism having joined Future (Kiplinger's parent company) after 13 years at, most recently as deputy editor, and working closely alongside Martin Lewis. He has also worked at the Daily Mail as a personal finance reporter and his work has appeared in The Sun, Guardian, Observer, Mirror and other national newspapers. As a money and consumer expert, Guy is a regular guest on TV and radio – appearing on BBC News, BBC Radio 4, Sky News, ITV News and more.