Google Sues Fraudulent Work at Home Promoters, Pacific Web Works
By Holly Reisem Hanna
Back in June I wrote about this work at home scam floating around, Easy Google Profit. The advertisements that were circulated for this scam, looked exactly like legitimate newspaper publications and blogs, telling the story of some fictitious person who recently lost their job and was now working from home with a system called Easy Google Profits. The articles explained how these people were now able to make a handsome income every month just by posting links on Google.
After months of this work at home scam being circulated around and thousands of people being taken advantage of, Google finally took legal action against Pacific Web Works for using the company’s name and logo to promote fraudulent work at home opportunities.
On Google’s Official Blog they said, “Even as we’re taking legal action to try to cut these sites off at the source, we’re still working constantly to remove scammy URLs from our index, and we’ll permanently disable AdWords accounts that provide a poor or harmful user experience, whether or not they use Google’s trademarks illegally. 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”.
While I do agree that people need to take their time and do their due diligence when searching for a work at home opportunity, I believe that the companies displaying ads on their sites need to play a bigger role in protecting the consumer. I have seen these scam ads on some major websites, blogs and social networking sites like Twitter. I have actually turned down many advertising requests from people who were trying to promote this scam. In fact, Google fueled the fire by selling the scam culprits advertising through Google AdWords in the first place. It wasn’t until the poop hit the fan a thousands times over that they actually took action.
How can you protect yourself from work at home scams?
1. Support sites that only promote advertising from companies that they feel they can legitimately recommend to their readers. The Work at Home Woman has had this strict advertising policy from day one. Another site that screens all of their advertisers is Flex Jobs, they are also a member of the BBB.
2. Take your time and research the company or opportunity extensively. An easy way to do this is to simply type in the company or program into any search engine and see what results pop up. People who have had poor experiences with a company tend to write negative reviews.
3. Use the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website to research the company, see if they have any negative reviews. Some companies claim to be members of the BBB, and they’ll post a BBB membership symbol. Don’t just assume they are a member, try to click on the symbol; the BBB requires members displaying the symbol to directly link to their page on the BBB site.
4. Look for a physical address and contact information. Companies that don’t want to be found will often use a post office box or have disconnected telephone numbers or answering machines.
5. Go with your gut. If an opportunity seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you have any doubt what-so-ever move on. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.