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Thread: Internet Security/Malware/Spam

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When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

Google Easy Money Scams


Chronogical Blog Entries:



Date: Wed, 08 Jul 2009 21:12:05 +1000

Recently I saw a Google Adwords link on "Google World Clocks" promoting a job that offered $87/hr. According to the advertisement it was "Not a scam", there was "No schedule" and there were "921 openings".

Clicking on the link took me to a "Newspaper" site, called the Missoula Daily News. This (non-existent) paper only carried articles about a marvellous way of making money with Google. Almost all the links on this "news article" lead to the same scammer site.

Generally speaking, any site which offers you $80+ per hour for "working at home", and does not require any qualifications is probably a scam. If they back up their extravagant claims with concocted newspaper articles, phony testimonials and solemn declarations that it "is not a scam", you can put away the glasses ... It's a scam! ... You can bank on it! Or more correctly, someone else will be banking on it!

The details of the bogus newspaper site were as follows:
NSLOOKUP DETAILS:
----------------
> set type=soa
> usa-daily-news.com
Server:         192.168.1.3
Address:        192.168.1.3#53

Non-authoritative answer:
usa-daily-news.com
        origin = dns1.registrar-servers.com
        mail addr = hostmaster.registrar-servers.com
        serial = 2008080808
        refresh = 10001
        retry = 1801
        expire = 604801
        minimum = 3601

Authoritative answers can be found from:
usa-daily-news.com      nameserver = dns3.registrar-servers.com.
usa-daily-news.com      nameserver = dns1.registrar-servers.com.
usa-daily-news.com      nameserver = dns2.registrar-servers.com.
dns1.registrar-servers.com      internet address = 74.81.64.51
dns2.registrar-servers.com      internet address = 209.249.221.130
dns3.registrar-servers.com      internet address = 72.34.41.47

WHOIS DETAILS:
-------------
Registration Service Provided By: NameCheap.com
Contact: support@NameCheap.com
Visit: http://www.namecheap.com/

Domain name: usa-daily-news.com

Registrant Contact:
   WhoisGuard
   WhoisGuard Protected ()

   Fax:
   8939 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #110 - 732
   Westchester, CA 90045
   US

Administrative Contact:
   WhoisGuard
   WhoisGuard Protected (c58b9e11e58a48c28b99e24eb8d9db9a.protect@whoisguard.com)
   +1.6613102107
   Fax: +1.6613102107
   8939 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #110 - 732
   Westchester, CA 90045
   US

Technical Contact:
   WhoisGuard
   WhoisGuard Protected (c58b9e11e58a48c28b99e24eb8d9db9a.protect@whoisguard.com)
   +1.6613102107
   Fax: +1.6613102107
   8939 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #110 - 732
   Westchester, CA 90045
   US

Status: Locked

Name Servers:
   dns1.registrar-servers.com
   dns2.registrar-servers.com
   dns3.registrar-servers.com

Details for the scammer site were as follows:
NSLOOKUP DETAILS:
----------------
> set type=soa
> yoursearchprofits.com
Server:         192.168.1.3
Address:        192.168.1.3#53

Non-authoritative answer:
yoursearchprofits.com
        origin = ns61.domaincontrol.com
        mail addr = dns.jomax.net
        serial = 2008122200
        refresh = 28800
        retry = 7200
        expire = 604800
        minimum = 86400

Authoritative answers can be found from:
yoursearchprofits.com   nameserver = ns62.domaincontrol.com.
yoursearchprofits.com   nameserver = ns61.domaincontrol.com.

WHOIS DETAILS:
-------------
Registrant:
   Domains by Proxy, Inc.
   DomainsByProxy.com
   15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
   Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
   United States

   Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
   Domain Name: YOURSEARCHPROFITS.COM
      Created on: 22-Dec-08
      Expires on: 22-Dec-10
      Last Updated on: 22-Dec-08

   Administrative Contact:
      Private, Registration  YOURSEARCHPROFITS.COM@domainsbyproxy.com
      Domains by Proxy, Inc.
      DomainsByProxy.com
      15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
      Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
      United States
      (480) 624-2599      Fax -- (480) 624-2598

   Technical Contact:
      Private, Registration  YOURSEARCHPROFITS.COM@domainsbyproxy.com
      Domains by Proxy, Inc.
      DomainsByProxy.com
      15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
      Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
      United States
      (480) 624-2599      Fax -- (480) 624-2598

   Domain servers in listed order:
      NS61.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
      NS62.DOMAINCONTROL.COM

A quick Google search for "Google Money Scam" reveal that there are lot of these going around. Certainly, someone is spending lots of money on advertising the scheme, which appears to be a credit card scam.

Probably Google will "twig" and remove the advertisements soon. However a new variant of this site may spring up to take its place. You may see one of them as an Adwords link at the top of this article.

There are already reports that Google has started suspending the accounts of offenders. But for the time being Google will be playing catch-up. They may eventually come up with a content filter to stop the scammer ads permanently.

There is some criticism of Google about these scams, i.e. some bloggers maintain that Google should do something to prevent these advertisements being distributed on the advertising channel. However most of this criticism is ill-informed. The Google Adwords processes are largely automated. And the counter-measures, if and when they are deployed by Google, will also be automated.

The scam will continue until someone can figure out who is behind this and nail them. It would be good for public morale if some law enforcement agencies somewhere in the world could successfully prosecute scammers like these. The sites, fake newspaper articles and fake testimonials have been designed with fraudulent intent and they must be breaking several laws.


Update: The Adwords links for these scams have started to dwindle. Probably Google has started to filter them. However filtering can only be a piecemeal Whack A Mole fix for the problem. As long as scammers feel that they are immune from prosecution the scams will keep on coming. Of course if one was to be philosophical about this, such schemes could be regarded as a Tax On Stupidity. How could we not be in favour or it?

Other Blog Posts In This Thread:

Copyright     2009, Gerry Patterson. All Rights Reserved.