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As you probably know by now, the scammers of the world love to target Facebook users simply because there are so many potential victims on there.
There’s a recurring scam that’s making the rounds yet again, and this one is very easy to fall for if you aren’t careful.
In a nutshell, the scammers are taking out fraudulent ads on Facebook offering to sell you an “Unlimited Lifetime Google Drive” account for a one-time fee.
There are two huge clues that ALL of these types of offers are fraudulent:
1 – Google stopped offering unlimited storage plans to regular Google Drive customers some time ago.
Unlimited plans are now only available to large companies who can afford to pay some pretty hefty monthly or yearly fees for the service.
2 – Google doesn’t offer any “Lifetime” plans for Google Drive storage space at all. All plans require the payment of either a monthly or yearly recurring fee.
There are several ways the scammers are able to offer what appears to be a lifetime unlimited Google Drive account, but this is the way it’s most often done:
1 – The scammer signs up for an unlimited monthly account as a business and pays the first month’s fee.
2 – The scammer then takes out ads on Facebook (and occasionally elsewhere) offering to sell unlimited lifetime Google Drive accounts for a one-time fee.
Note: I’ve seen a wide range of fees listed in these fraudulent ads, but the fee most often mentioned is $69.
3 – The scammer takes a ton of orders from unsuspecting victims and collects their money. He/she then sets up shared storage spaces for all of those people on the one lifetime account they just purchased.
4 – They then send the victims a message with instructions for accessing their Google Drive “unlimited” storage.
Everything seems to work fine for a few days or weeks. The customers are able to upload files to their hearts’ content and all seems to be well with the world.
But then things go south in a hurry…
After the scammer has collected the money from hundreds (and in some cases thousands) of victims they stop paying the monthly fee to Google and abandon the unlimited Google Drive account.
You’ve probably already figured out what happens next. Yep, all of those “customers” suddenly discover they can no longer access any of their stored files.
But truth be told, it’s even worse than that…
Since all of those “customers” uploaded their files to the same Google Drive account, any sensitive information they uploaded can be viewed by all the other customers – as well as by the scammer him/herself.
Bottom line: As you can see, this is a very dangerous scam that should be avoided at all costs. If you want to purchase cloud storage I strongly recommend that you go directly to the source.
Google, Apple, Dropbox and several other reputable companies offer online storage plans directly from their websites. You don’t need to go through Facebook, Ebay or any other third party to sign up for one.