3 Google AdWords Phishing Scams

Google AdWords phishing scams and new report on Internet scams: Internet Scambusters #279

Today we have two Snippets for you:

  • Three different Google AdWords phishing scams that are flooding mailboxes.
  • An interesting new report on Internet scams that shows, among other things, that men are getting scammed more than women.

First, you can find this week’s issue of ScamLines — What’s New in Scams? on our site.

And before we begin, we first encourage you to take a look at this week’s most popular articles from our other sites:

A Review of 5 Critical Identity Theft Prevention Techniques: Find out the fundamental identity theft prevention steps you should be taking.

Why Are Credit Card Rates Taking a Hike? Get an insight as to why credit card rates are rising and what you should do to protect yourself.

What You Need to Know About Dog Boarding Before Your Next Vacation: Make sure you know these fundamental dog boarding tips before dropping off that special member of the family.

Let’s get started…

Three different Google AdWords phishing scams

Over the past few weeks, many people are seeing a flood of phishing emails that look like they are coming from the Google AdWords program.

Although they include typos, many small business owners who advertise on Google AdWords are wondering if this phishing emails are real.

We decided to show you three examples, so you can see for yourself three different ways scammers target their victims. As you look at these, imagine that you are a Google AdWords advertiser.

~~~ Start Phishing Scam Email #1 ~~~

From: adwords-noreply@google.com
Subject: Your AdWords Google Account is stoped
Date: March 25, 2008 8:06:15 AM EDT

This message was sent from a notification-only email address that does not accept incoming email. Please do not reply to this message.

Dear Google AdWords Customer,

Please sign in to your account at http://adwords.google.com/select/login , and update your billing information. [This link actually goes to a scam site in China.]

Your account will be reactivated as soon as you update your payment information.

Your ads will show immediately if you decide to pay for clicks via credit or debit card. If you decide to pay by direct debit, we may need to receive your signed debit authorization before your ads start running, depending on your location.

If you choose bank transfer, your ads will show as soon as we receive your first payment.

We look forward to providing you with the most effective advertising available.


The Google AdWords Team

~~~ End Phishing Scam Email #1 ~~~

~~~ Start Phishing Scam Email #2 ~~~

From: reactivation@google.com
Subject: The Google AdWords Team request you to update your
billing information
Date: March 28, 2008 5:03:21 PM EDT

Dear Google AdWords Customer,

Your ads have stopped running because we were unable to process your billing information. We will reactivate you account after you update your billing information. In order to reactivate your account, please sign it to your account at http://adwordsgoogle.com/select/login, and update your billing information. Once your account is reactivated and your billing information has been processed, any your ads and campaigns can begin running immediately on Google. [This link also goes to a scam site in China.]

You will not be asked to submit your billing information every time you create a new ad or campaign. If your payment has been declined and you’d like to resubmit the same credit card information, you may also do so by clicking the Retry card button on your Billing Preferences page. After updating your credit card information (regardless of whether or not you use a different card), it can take up to 24 hours before your ads start running again. You also have the option of providing a backup credit card to help ensure that your ads run continuously in the case that your primary payment method fails.


The Google AdWords Team

~~~ End Phishing Scam Email #2 ~~~

~~~ Start Phishing Scam Email #3 ~~~

From: reactivation@google.com
Subject: Our programme terms have changed.
Date: April 4, 2008 2:57:16 PM EDT

Dear AdWords Customer,

As part of our ongoing efforts to improve the Google AdWords programme for advertisers and users, we have updated our Terms and Conditions.

Please review the new Terms and Conditions below, then indicate your acceptance.

Yes, I accept the Terms and Conditions. [This includes a link to another phishing website.]

This message was sent from a notification-only email address that does not accept incoming email. Please do not reply to this message.

~~~ End Phishing Scam Email #3 ~~~

As we mentioned, these are all phishing scams. Although they many look real, Google rarely makes typos, and will not take you to a bogus website in China. 😉

If you have a question about any email like this that you receive, don’t click on the link in the email. Instead, simply log into your account the way you normally do. If there is really a problem with your billing or other information, you’ll see it when you log into your account.

An interesting new annual report on Internet scams

The amount of money lost due to Internet fraud rose to an all time high in 2007, according to the 2007 Internet Crime Report.

The IC3 (the Internet Crime Complaint Center) received 206,884 complaints, which represented nearly $240 million in reported losses, which is a 20% increase from 2006. This is in spite of the fact that a number of complaints fell. Auction fraud was the most widely reported complaint.

Men lost $1.67 for every $1.00 lost by women to online fraud. Over 30% of the losses range from $1,000 to $5,000. Pets, romance, and secret shoppers were among the top schemes used by scammers.

One statistic that surprised many people is that only 5.7% of the scammers were Nigerian.

You can find the entire Internet fraud report on the IC3 site.

Time to conclude for today — have a great week!