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First Google+ spam emerges, leading victims to Viagra vendor

New social network Google+ is already the subject of a spam campaign that leads unwitting recipients to an online vendor of Viagra.

The Google+ social network is only a few days old, but already the first opportunistic spammers have leapt into the fray, eager to part early adopters from their hard-earned pennies.

Security company Sophos highlighted the scam, which takes the form of an email that looks like an invite to join Google+. If you click the links contained therein, you'll find yourself whisked off to the Canadian Family Pharmacy, an online store that sells Viagra, Cialia, Levitra and a slew of other pills for people who aren't performing as well as they'd like in the bedroom.

The scammers are hoping to capitalise on the hype surrounding Google+ as it prepares to go head to head with Facebook. Invites are hard to come by, with Google trying to keep testing of the new service to a relatively small group while it irons out flaws and gets everything ready for a public launch.

If you receive an email that looks dodgy, activate your cautious mode, and, if the links don't look like they point to Google, don't bother clicking 'em. Admittedly, the risk from the spam is very low -- you'd have to be extremely open to suggestion to end up ordering Viagra pills when all you'd initially wanted to do was get your social network on.

Scamming aside, Google+ looks impressive. One feature of note is Circles, which lets you organise your buddies into separate groups, making it easier to control who sees what, and keep those dodgy leaving-do photos away from your new employer's prying eyes. But, with Facebook boasting 500 million users, Google has a mountain to climb if it wants to tempt people to try out its service.

Our American CNETeer cousins have spotted something that may help Google's cause, though -- a Chrome Web browser extension that will let you import all your Facebook friends into Google+. We're not sure Zuckerberg and co will be too keen on this extension -- it seems to go against Facebook's terms of service, so it may not be around for long.

To learn more about Google+, check out our complete guide. Are you keen on Google's new social network? Let us know in the comments section below, or on our Facebook page.