Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

iOS picks up on Google Calendar spam

If a calendar entry pops up on your iPhone advertising something from a Nigerian prince, don’t be alarmed, as scams are getting through.

It happened all of a sudden in the morning. An event suddenly scraping through, magically appearing on an iPhone calendar as if it had been left out from the regular email check.

But there was no actual event, and no risk of being late. There is no event worth paying attention to.

There is only spam and a potential scam as iOS cottons on to a problem Google Calendar still struggles with. What’s going on?

Calendar spam seeps into iOS Calendar.

Scam calendar invites come in and Calendar does the math

It’s not unusual to get an invite to a meeting or appointment, and so Mail and Calendar software currently work together. If you get an invite sent your way, your calendar app can do the math and add it to your calendar for you. That’s convenience, and it can be quite handy, too.

However scammers have been able to take advantage of this, leveraging that automated approach to appointment additions, which is potentially bad news for your calendar.

It means events like this one could just randomly appear, with a scam waiting for you inside.

It’s something recent to iOS, and means owners of the iPhone get an issue that affects Android as well, something that has been ongoing over the past few years and despite being known clearly still happens.

Less a scam, the appointment invite looks like spam.
Less a scam, the appointment invite reads like spam.

How do you remove spam calendar entries?

Fortunately you can just remove these dodgy events invites easy enough, even if the process isn’t automated.

Clicking or tapping on the appointment isn’t likely to get you caught up in a scam the way falling for a phishing attempt can, and so you can safely check the event and hit unsubscribe, which is exactly what Apple suggests.

Unsubscribing or declining will just remove you from the one event, however, and that’s important because you may still get other invites and events popping up over time.

App makers and mail providers are constantly trying to find ways to cut back on the number of scam emails you’re getting, and this type of scam getting through to your calendar isn’t so much a success on the part of scammers, but more of a failure in the mail and calendar world at making appointment shortcuts more convenient.

It’s unfortunate that these sorts of things pop up, but much like how education is always going to be needed to combat the rise of scams, something that will probably never end, it’s also needed just in case this calendar spam goes through to the keeper, or even your daily schedule.

What's happening with iOS Calendar spam: you're receiving a mail with an invite, and even though it's clearly spam, iOS is joining the dots for you.
What’s happening with iOS Calendar spam: you’re receiving a mail with an invite, and even though it’s clearly spam, iOS is joining the dots for you by adding the calendar entry automatically.
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