A phishing attack is quickly spreading through instant-messaging sessions, including Google Chat, and directing victims to a Web site called "ViddyHo."
A link, shortened through TinyURL, directs message recipients to a ViddyHo login page. That page instructs them to enter their Google account information, which is then used to break into the victim's account and send the link to other users in the victim's address book or buddy list.
It was discovered on Tuesday, a particularly bad day for Google, which had to contend with a Gmail outage earlier.
"This is a phishing attempt," the company said in a statement Tuesday evening, "and we encourage users to be very careful when asked to share their personal information."
The Internet is buzzing with people who were scammed or are warning others not to fall for it.
Jun Loayza, a 23-year-old tech entrepreneur in Westminster, Calif., got the link from a Google Chat buddy who he barely remembers. But the instant message — "'LOL' and the link," he said — piqued his curiosity.
"When it says 'LOL,' I think 'must click," he joked.
The site loaded slowly, so he closed the browser before logging in, then started seeing warning messages on Twitter.
"I guess there's a lot of people that still fall for it," he said.