Tag Archives: spam

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MSNBC Article About Scams Promising Money From Google

I did another interview a couple weeks ago about all the scams and get-rich-quick schemes using Google’s name and logo to fool people. Here’s the article at MSNBC, take a look.

Here’s a pretty good quote that sums up the scammers pretty well:

“They prey on people who are desperate,” says Ohio truck driver Robert Anderson, who fell for a home-based job opportunity that appeared to be from Google. “They make money by lying to people, promising them the world and giving them a guarantee they have no intention of honoring.”

I don’t have much more to add except that this sort of thing is showing up everywhere – email spam, spam accounts on Twitter, various ad networks, etc. Much of it is automated but the profit margins are high enough that they can afford to have actual people creating accounts, solving captchas, etc. so any company getting spammed with these schemes has to take a proactive approach.

As Shipwreck so presciently explained in 1985, the other half of the battle is knowing. Please feel free to send this article, or the one from ABC, or the Google Blog post around to any friends and family wondering about making money online. The truth is, may people make money with their websites, but it takes hard work. There’s no secret kit that returns cash with no effort and no investment.

Talking about Google work from home scams on Good Morning America

I was on Good Morning America this morning, interviewed for a story about the many online work-at-home scams that are floating around the web these days. Here’s a link to the story on the web site, and here’s a direct link to the video. Edit: I guess GMA’s urls don’t really work, the actual video at the link keeps changing. I even used their “link to this” button! I’ll try to find a more permanent url. I would embed the video for you here but unfortunately ABCNews doesn’t seem to allow embedding.

This is a very important story – these scams employ a number of social engineering techniques to seem trustworthy and they are tricking people who are desperate for work out of their money. The folks at GMA did a good job explaining the issue without getting too technical and confusing – please forward this on to anyone you know who’s wondering about schemes like these.

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Is This A Scam? Find out with a Google Custom Search Engine

A search engine for scamsIn my Google Blog article about avoiding get-rich-quick scams, I recommended doing a web search to see what other people are saying about any site you’re unsure about. The internet is a big place – chances are if it’s a scam, someone else has already fallen for it and they’re already complaining on their blog or in a forum somewhere.

The only problem with doing a general web search is that not every site on the web is guaranteed to have good information. Some forums are more useful than others, and in the worst cases scammers and spammers spend lots of time trying to get their stuff in the index too.

So, I’ve created something to make it a little easier: a Google Custom Search Engine called Is This A Scam?

Wondering about a home business proposition? Drop a query here. Does your uncle keep falling for pyramid schemes? Send him this link and make him promise to search before he writes the next check.

Custom Search Engines are very useful and are incredibly easy to create. You can create one for your site, or one covering many sites under a certain topic, and you can even make money via AdSense For Search.

This particular search engine works well because I combed the web looking for high-quality sources of information about scams, fraud, snake oil, and consumer protection. The list well over 100 sites, including forums, blogs, news media, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. I’ll post the list here when I get chance.

If you’d like to volunteer to help out with this effort contact me. By the way, this isn’t an official Google product or service, just me in my free time using Google’s great CSE system, so the standard disclaimer applies.

Got bad results? No results? Have you seen a page in the results that has no business being there? Let me know in the comments below.