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Fraud, Fraud & More Fraud!

& Google's home for the weekend

     
11:47 pm on Dec 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Another weekend and once again another weekend of cheaters showing their ads. Every weekend and many nights after Google closes their service department, the scum of the Internet come out of the shadows.

We have trouble competing and frequently even need to shut down when these thieves and cheating advertisers come out. It costs us large amounts of money in inflated click prices and even more in lost sales. Its impossible to beat someone who pays $0.00 per click.

They continuously are creating obvious fraudulent ads. These ads clearly violate Googles policies and bid outrageous amounts. They stay around until they blow out their stolen credit cards or get caught. Unfortunately Google only offers support hours for a fraction of the hours they offer a service. Therefore these thieves can cheat for the greater part of the week. Yes they will get thrown off but they simply open a new account and start all over. It gets better during the week but starts all over on Friday around 8PM PST.

I am not sure what is more absurd
A: that Google cant or doesn't stop them
B: That Google not only does not offer 24/7 support they do not even offer weekend support

Any one else troubled by cheaters or the limited Google support hours?

12:09 am on Dec 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think you are learning the hard way, like we did, why the earnings of Google are in the billions.
12:29 am on Dec 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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MortgageMax,

What's the fraud? can you please explain...

12:48 am on Dec 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Here is the fraud::::

Join an affiliate program, open a Google account, use stolen credit cards, bid on keywords, make sales, affiliate program pays you for sales made.

When Google account eventually gets shut down then create new account with new stolen credit card (repeat).

Revenue: unlimited
Expense: zero

12:56 am on Dec 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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And how do you even know this is happening?
1:16 am on Dec 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It becomes very obvious when you watch this month after month and now year after year.

This also has been acknowledged by Google many times to me. They remove the ads and then they reappear within minutes with new accounts.

I had talked with people in management and they are fully aware of the problem. This has been going on for at least 2 years! This also happens in a very broad range of keywords.

2:11 am on Dec 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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That's amazing. You mean they use stolen credit cards and within minutes of Google discovering the cards are stolen then go in and set up new accounts like instantly.

Unfortunately Google only offers support hours for a fraction of the hours they offer a service.

If you know the hours of operation for Google (I couldn't find them published anywhere) then why not just stop showing ads when support is asleep?

2:27 am on Dec 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Wow - I wonder how hard this is hitting the businesses running affiliate programs. Is this a large percent of the ads on the PPC network?
6:56 am on Dec 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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having used adwords for more than 4 years now, i must say i've never seen any evidence of something like this.

it may obviously depend on the industry (from your nick i assume you work in the mortgage business?)

I'm sure that Google would take something like this very seriously, as they surely don't receive payment from 'stolen' credit cards.

do you have any hard evidence to back up your theory?

3:09 pm on Dec 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I am surprised at the surprise being expressed here at martgagemax's claims. What he has been seeing is a fairly unsophisticated form of fraud and with the mass of internet fraudsters out there it is highly likely that many fraudsters are involved in it. Unfortunately illegally obtained valid credit card details are readily available on the internet for minimal cost and in large numbers - a recent newspaper investigation in the UK made shocking findings. The using these to fund a google adwords account in order to generate traffic to an affiliate site advertsing high commission merchants (eg mortgages) is also pretty straightforward.

However, if it is a real problem then google could easily reduce it considerably by using some simple set-up checks on the cards used for adwords accounts - such as charging a few cents to the account and insisting on the account holder verifying the amount and date before the card is accpeted by google. Similar to the control used by PayPal.

4:17 pm on Dec 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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tomasvdb -
Hard evidence = Google has admitted it to me (besides its easy to tell when you are extremely familiar with particular search terms). Last year I posted a similar thread and found many other people having the same problems. The travel related keywords area was one of the hardest hit areas.

realgames -
Deposit verification would seem to be an easy solution. The problem is this would change the sign up and start running immediately which is probably much more profitable to them than the fraudulent advertisers cost them.

5:01 pm on Dec 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Revenue: unlimited
Expense: zero

Is it your claim that Google is ignoring a situation that, by the sounds of it, impacts their bottom line in a major way? I don't see any logical reason why this would be the case.

Now, have there been cases where Google is slow to respond when fraudulent actions (i.e. Spam ads, double-serving, etc.) cost us advertisers money, but may benefit their revenues in a certain way? A case can be made for that... but, I don't see a case for them ignoring a serious risk to their profits?

5:14 pm on Dec 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I don't believe they are not trying to stop them. I think they have troubles stopping them. My big problem is that they go home at night and on the weekends and leave the cheaters free reign on their platform. If I could talk to someone and have the ads removed immediately this would help. Watching these thieves steal my potential revenue and cost me higher priced clicks from Friday night to Monday morning bothers me. Also how about the programmers resolving this issue after 2 plus years. Something needs to be done already.
5:18 pm on Dec 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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google's response would depend on a number of factors:

1. how much it costs them? Probably not a lot - even if they do not receive any of the money from the credit card companies involved - the bogus advertisers have probably forced up the CPC of genuine advertisers and the 'lost' revenue was bogus in the first place.

2. what would it cost them to fix it - probably a fair bit initially - they would need to implement a deposit check on all new cards which would means a longish time delay between the setting up of an account and it being activated. They probably think this would cost them money as new advertisers would be put off.

4:11 pm on Dec 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You want an example!

Enter the keyword "ringtones"

Look down right side .. 8 near identical hacker ads stacked up on top of each other - WHAT A JOKE!

4:45 pm on Dec 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I don't see what you describe at all, on a Sunday evening in the UK when surely all Googlers in at least the UK/IE and US are at home...

Rgds

Damon

5:25 pm on Dec 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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