How to Fix: Delete, Stop Google Calendar Spam

John Lister's picture

Google Calendar users have been hit by a spate of spam "events" that are nothing more than dubious web links. Users have several ways to stop the problem, but with some drawbacks.

The problem involves mysterious entries appearing in Google Calendar, sometimes seeming to have been added by friends. Speaking from experience, I had several entries appear for an "event" which was supposedly a time-limited offer to pick up a free iPhone, along with a link to confirm I wanted to take advantage.

Although I did not click on the link, it's a safe bet it would not have taken me to the Apple store. Those who have been brave (or foolish) enough to follow the link report seeing a screen asking for details such as address and payment card details. As usual, the scammers likely know that only a low percentage of people would fall for this scam, but are playing the numbers game in hopes of converting just a few victims.

Useful Tool Weaponized

This type of spam is taking advantage of a useful feature in Google Calendar.

Because Google Calendar is linked to the user's Google account, Gmail can scan messages, spot events and automatically add them to Google Calendar. For example, if somebody gets a restaurant confirmation, the relevant details can be automatically added as a Calendar entry and then easily shared with others that will attending the event. (Source:

The scammers are taking advantage of this feature by crafting messages that will trigger the automatic addition to Calendar. In some cases this appears to be happening even if the email itself has been marked as spam.

Until Google does a better job of preventing this from happening, users can change several settings in order to tackle the problem from multiple angles.

Three Steps To Stop Google Calendar Spam

The first step is to go into Google Calendar itself on the web, rather than through a phone app. Once logged in, click on the gear icon, then "Settings," then "Event settings," then "Automatically add invitations," and finally "No, only show invitations to which I have responded." (Source:

The second step requires logging into Gmail, but has a few major drawbacks. Once logged in, select "Events from Gmail" and then remove the checkmark by "Automatically add events from Gmail to my calendar." The issue is that while this stops the spam (and also legitimate events) from begin added, it will also remove all those which were previously added to the calendar.

Optionally, users may also report individual rogue entries as spam. To do so they can open the web version of Calendar and double click on the entry (taking care not to click on any link). This will open up a new page for the event which will include a menu called "More actions." Selecting "Report as Spam" will not only report it, but will remove the entry from the Calendar.

What's Your Opinion?

If you use Google Calendar, have you experienced this problem? Do you find it useful to have events mentioned in your email added to Calendar? Will you switch off this feature if it means stopping the spam additions?

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