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Client scammed by designer with Adwords

Can't access Adwords account



4:51 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I just took on a new client who came to me because his web designer wouldn't ever answer his calls. He said he had a bad feeling about the guy and asked me to look over some things. I found quite a bit of disgusting behaviour - such as charging twice for things the client didn;t understand and taking advantage of his general ignorance of all things website. Among these things was a Google Adwords campaign.

The client gave the designer $5000 to do an AdWords campaign. The money went to the designer, not to Google. My client received exactly 12 leads over a period of one month, designer is now saying the money is depleted. He continuously dodges requests to provide us with the user and password to access the AdWords account in order to see what actually transpired.

My question to this forum is this: Does anyone here know of someone I can contact at Google AdWords for information on an account I have no password for?

I want to see the Google traffic, payments, balance on the account. But I have no way to access it. Any ideas?



5:31 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Contacting them at adwords is the only thing you can do.


6:17 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Personally I would just setup a new account and let the one he has die a natural death.

If the account has no money in it, it will not be up for long.
If it is being charged to his CC, then you may have to have the CC block it. The easy way to do that is often just tell the CC compamy you want a new card because you think someone has the number that is not authorized or something on those lines.

I really feel sorry for guys like that... I think I would consider filing a small claims suit.


9:28 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Sheesh! I am surprised there are people like your client and the "designer". I hope your client has learn't a lesson.

The Google adwords contact email is adwords-support@google.com
But what are you going to approach them with? You have no username nor the password.

1) How did your client pay the crook? By check?
2) Is it your client's credit card that is being billed by Google? Please don't tell me your client sent across the credit card details by email!
3) Your client must be having some idea about the username (email ID). If it is something@realdomainname.com (and not Yahoo or Hotmail.com), you can send the domain name to Google and request them to find out the username.


12:58 pm on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am sure I am correct in saying that it's unlawful for Google to provide you with any details of an account that isn't yours.

Also, if the designer set up the account using his own business details then I suspect it is also unlawful for the client to access it directly, even though he requested it. I'm not 100% sure about this, though.

However, the designer does have an obligation to prove that he used the money in a proper manner (which seems doubtful given what you've said). With Google adwords this should be easy to do, as PPC makes it easy to see where the money has gone. Site logs would also be useful here.

A simple solicitor's letter (or US equivalent) should be enough to sort the whole thing out.


2:51 pm on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks everyone. The designer used his own credit card. My client paid the guy by check. My suspicion is that only part of the $5000 ever made it to Google (Doesn't only 12 leads in a month sound low to you?)

The designer says he will bring in the clicks report and keywords used, etc. Will any of this give me a clue as to how much money actually was received by Google?

I've never used AdWords so not familiar with the admin. The kicker in all this is that the client is an attorney who specializes in consumer fraud :)



3:44 pm on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If he spent even half of the $5000 on Adwords, he should have gotten hundreds, not just 12.

Tell him you want a Campaign Summary screen printout - that will show all money spent, all clicks, and all keywords and how much each one is bid at.


7:29 pm on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well, the jury's in on this one...I just received an email from Google Adwords saying they searched all my client's urls and they show no record of ever running AdWords for any of 'em. :(

Thanks to everyone for your comments.



8:07 pm on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Sounds to me like it is time for that attorney to file his own case ;p


10:08 pm on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well, what a b******.

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