Google Is Attacking Online Scammers Who Use Its Name To Defraud Consumers

Google is starting to take those to court who use the Google name to scam money from unsuspecting consumers. Google is fighting back in the hopes of closing down the websites that use its name or logo to trick people. Consumers need to be aware that sites that offer the following information are scams and should be avoided. Google describes the sites as:

“Use Google to Make 1000s of Dollars!” or “Easy Cash with Google: You Could be Making up to $978 a Day Working from Home!” You may have seen offers like these using Google’s name or logo that sounded too good to be true. Unfortunately, nearly all of them are, and, despite hundreds of consumer complaints and our own efforts to keep these sites from tricking people, some scams continue. To fight back, we’re working to stop various fraudulent “Google Money” schemes, and this week filed suit against Pacific WebWorks and several other unnamed defendants.

We can solve only part of the problem — the rest is up to you. Just as you should be careful about giving out financial information in the real world, you should be skeptical and review any offers online before sending any information, and always be on guard when presented with an offer that seems too good to be true. Below is a significantly abridged list of some names that we know are suspect. For more tips on how to spot a scam online or what to do if you think you or someone you know has been tricked.

Be careful out there in Internet land. Don’t fall for any of these scams. If it is too good to be true, it most likely is.

Comments welcome.


Google Explains PageRanking And The Part It Plays In Searches

We have all seen the web sites that promise, for a fee, that they will increase your ranking for Google searches. The sites promise some type of a ‘secret sauce’ formula that is 100% guaranteed to improve your stats and improve how your site shows up when a Google search is done. But over at the Google blog, they explain how the system works. On the Google blog site it states:

The most famous part of our ranking algorithm is PageRank, an algorithm developed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who founded Google. PageRank is still in use today, but it is now a part of a much larger system. Other parts include language models (the ability to handle phrases, synonyms, diacritics, spelling mistakes, and so on), query models (it’s not just the language, it’s how people use it today), time models (some queries are best answered with a 30-minutes old page, and some are better answered with a page that stood the test of time), and personalized models (not all people want the same thing).

There is an unfortunate side to Page Ranking and the ability of anyone to increase their position in the Google scheme of things. One only needs to do a Google to find those souls who have been banned from using Google Adsense because of some deceptive practices.

Bottom line. Be very, very careful in what you sign up for. You may end up losing more than you gain. :-)

Comments welcome.


Phishing – The OS Neutral Threat

Just when I thought I had enough to deal with on the scam front with my email account(s), we now have phishing schemes flowing in like never before. Unlike the scams that rolled into my inbox merely a few months ago, the latest batch are going to a whole new level.

Today’s scheme was “Visa” offering to protect the user’s identity. What’s so comical about this is that the sender was kind enough to explain the dangers of trusting illegal phishing schemes that appear to be legit. I was practically rolling on the ground at the level of tenacity these creeps put out there in an effort to con us into their schemes.

Now here is where it really starts to get scary. The URL I was being asked to click onto was in fact one with the word security in the domain along with corporate. This was a dot com addy and it looked really official.

To add to the “level of protection” being offered here, “Visa” was telling me to simply cut and past the website address so that I know that I was going to the correct site. You know, in case their seemingly legitimate email was hijacked, rewritten and then forwarded on to its destination.

Because of today’s discovery, I am glad that I manage my parent’s email account myself – server-side. If I didn’t, who’s to say if the next email might be just enough to look like an order confirmation from a company which they recently did business with.

We live in dangerous times. Our only recourse is to continue to chant the same old song: never trust your email. If it looks like someone is trying to get you to login to something, close the email program, open your web browser and enter the website manually assuming you know the web address in question. Remember, email lies…