Gmail is Getting Smarter About Identifying Scam Emails





Google has developed a new “battle-tested” tool to help protect your inbox from scammers. This comes as scam emails have increasingly been targeting cord cutters.

The search giant last week broke down how Gmail, YouTube, and Google Play use machine learning to interpret text in messages, including different connotations and suggestions, that can help identify phishing attacks, inappropriate comments, and scams. 

Google’s announcement is another example of tech companies fighting back against the onslaught of various tactics used by cybercriminals to defraud people. Because scammers don’t discriminate when it comes to potential victims and adapt their attacks to rapidly changing technologies, the pervasive problem is almost impossible to completely stop. 

Fraudsters often work around the typical text filters by using tricks it calls “adversarial text manipulation.” This is done by swapping letters or characters in text to sneak spam past Google’s defenses. 

The tech giant’s new tool, RETVec, strengthens the text classification models already in place against the tactics used by scammers. The whole process is pretty technical, but you can read more in Google’s blog post

“RETVec allowed us to improve the spam detection rate over the baseline by 38% and reduce the false positive rate by 19.4%,” Google said in the blog post. 

When it comes to cybercriminals and scams, knowing what to look for as a user can help you stay safe. Here are a few tips:

  • Watch out for phishing scams. Bad actors will use email or text messages with cleverly worded requests designed to get you to respond with your personal information. These messages often try to convince you that your payment method failed, or your account is compromised — and ask you to click a link to fix it. Do not click the link — even if it sounds urgent.
  • Scammers can pose as customer service representatives to steal your credit card information. If you want to cancel or make changes to a subscription, make sure you’re getting the information directly from the company’s website.
  • If you get an email offering a promotion or deal for a streaming service, double check its validity on the service’s official website. 
  • Check for inconsistencies in emails and texts. Spelling errors, unknown numbers, or requests of personal information could mean a scammer is trying to trick you.

If you think you’ve been targeted by a scam, you can report it to the FCC or file an informal complaint.

Disclaimer: To address the growing use of ad blockers we now use affiliate links to sites like, streaming services, and others. Affiliate links help sites like Cord Cutters News, stay open. Affiliate links cost you nothing but help me support my family. We do not allow paid reviews on this site. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from :

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.