Your Mailbox is Listed. What is it and How to Behave

I think you’ve already noticed that in the last few years the spam that clogged up your email has become a fraction of the amount. The effective work of the mail service algorithms that determine the addresses that deal with mailings, analyze their contents and block even before they send anything at all has affected it. Nevertheless, from time to time, this kind of letter still slippes due to the fact that many users are completely unaccustomed to spam mailings, are kept on their contents and endanger themselves and their data. You don’t have to go far for examples.

A few days ago I received a message ostensibly from Google, which said something like this: “Your mailbox is on the list! 07/01/2020 he will retire! ” Despite the fact that usually nothing like this reaches me, I am good at recognizing fraudulent emails. Usually for this it is enough to carefully look at the address from which the message was sent. Almost certainly, the domain name will use additional words or characters with a common resemblance to the original Google mailing address.

How to understand spam

To my surprise, the address really belonged to Google, and it even made me think for a second: is it really true? But common sense prevailed, and I decided to carefully re-read the letter, reading every word and putting mental accents in my head. Understanding what was happening came almost immediately. I noticed that I didn’t notice in a hurry when I just received the letter, firstly, the Google Forms logo through which the message was sent, secondly, the link that was wrapped in bitly, and, thirdly, on the offer to receive some kind of gift.

That is, the sender did everything to confuse me and, generally speaking, he succeeded. Because the Google Forms logo and address worked as they should. I really decided that the sender of the message was Google and at first did not even pay attention to the contents of the message, except for the notification of deletion. It is logical that the company itself would not contact me in this way. Therefore, the rest of the verification steps, I took it by chance – for my own reassurance and in order to tell you everything about it. To begin with, I “deployed” the link and realized that it didn’t lead to the Google website at all, and then I took it and clicked on it to see what would happen.

Spam in gmail

Fortunately for me, it turned out that this was a usual, albeit very confused, advertisement for the Sportloto lottery, in which I was invited to participate. Not that I was very disappointed, but still I expected to see a phishing page where they would require me to enter the login and password from my Google account in order to “take” it away from me. Of course, I would not do any of this, as well as register in the lottery, but the fact remains that what I encountered was real spam, which I managed to hide behind the Google service logo.

How to protect your account from hacking

  • If you receive messages with text like the one you tried to scare me with, do not believe it: Google will never send such messages;
  • Never open links from suspicious letters, because even a trivial transition can provoke the download of a malicious file;
  • If you received an email with a link wrapped in bitly, google a service that allows you to expand the link, and see where it leads;
  • Do not enter your data (especially login and password) on third-party sites that supposedly offer you to cancel the deletion of the account.


These tips may seem too obvious to follow. However, neglecting them can turn into serious problems for you. After all, if someone manages to gain access to your Google account, there is a high probability that this someone will be able to gain control over other services that you use. I’m not talking about the fact that this will allow an attacker to read your correspondence, view planned events, and possibly even contact someone on your behalf.