Google getting tough with scammy advertising

By | December 10, 2009

Finally, Google has decided that all the complaints about scammers using Google’s name to scam people with get-rich-quick programs has reached its peak of tolerance and now it’s time to get tough; Google is now taking them to court.

Of late, scammers using Google’s name to misrepresent Google have been running riot, especially throughout this year alone. Using a combination of fake newspaper sites (clones of bigger news sites), online advertising, and spammy emails, many people are sold on the dream of easy money….

I think one of the more famous ones I’ve seen is Google Biz Kit, whose websites purportedly show a bunch of people all claiming to receive nice checks from Google by only doing some easy work (and they have a kit for sale). These kits sell for $1.95 initially, but you need to enter your credit card details, after which they will bill your credit card $79 a month, until you cancel your card.

scamI’m not sure how effective such steps will be in the long run, because there are many other shady operations that don’t use Google’s name and are still having a ball – These require common sense from the consumer to beware. And these advertisers are quite safe from legal action, because they DO list their monthly charges in their fine print. So long as they don’t misuse Google’s brand name, what’s stopping them from registering a new business name?

Banned advertisers can always create new websites and new names, or switch to other advertisers; which is why this just seems a major weeding exercise, I guess.

But something is always better than nothing. It’s about time as well; recently Google started banning the Adwords accounts of other scammy advertisers who do the same thing with tooth whitening ads – Small initial charge or free at first, and then monthly billing afterwards.

End of the day, practical common sense is a useful trait to have. There is nothing like always reminding yourself of the old adage, “If it is too good to be true, it usually is!”

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