Andy Green's Blog

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How to Avoid the Google AdWords Email Scam

With the vast increase in scams going around on the Internet these days, we have to be careful. Even the best of us have been scammed at some point. Hackers are becoming more and more advanced in their scamming processes. You might think you’re at the actual site of a big name company only to be at a fake site. You could enter your credit card information into a form and the hacker now has what they need. One of the biggest and most dangerous scams going around is related to search engine giant, Google. What is involved in the scam and how can you prevent it from hurting you? Let’s look at the basics of the scam.

You get an email from what appears to be Google AdWords. AdWords is Google’s contextual ad branch that allows you to put ads up on their network of sites. If you are a webmaster you pay Google each time someone clicks on an ad. You happen to be a webmaster that has a Google AdWords account and you’ve been advertising with them.

The email that you receive tells you that there is a problem with your account. You read on to see what is going on. The email tells you that they are having a problem processing your payment with your credit card. It tells you to go to a link with “Google” in the address to enter an alternative credit or debit card. They warn you that your AdWords account will be shut off soon if your payment is not received. This worries you, as AdWords is a huge part of your online business. Without AdWords, your sales would basically be non-existent. You click on the link without thinking about it and follow the prompts. You enter your login information and then follow that up with your credit card. It tells you that your payment was accepted and you go on about your day.

Then a few weeks later, you get your credit card statement and there are many unauthorized charges. The hacker took your credit card number and went on an online shopping spree. Since it has been so long, you might be liable for some of the charges, depending on your credit card company’s policy.

This is obviously every Internet user’s worst nightmare. They thought that they were receiving a simple email from Google. As it turns out, they were being scammed by some of the best in the business. If you don’t watch out, this could happen to you.

The Google scam email is just one of many that go around the Internet from time to time. Many large companies have been targeted as a potential means to scam customers. A really dangerous scam went around with PayPal as well. These hackers can make their “dummy sites” look exactly like the real thing. If you get a suspicious email, don’t be afraid to confirm it with the actual company. Never click on a link in an email if you are unsure. Open a web browser and type in the URL yourself. Make a phone call to the company’s help desk and get some answers. When it comes to your money and your identity, you can’t be too careful.


December 5, 2008 - Posted by | Online Security | , , ,

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