Thursday, August 27, 2009

"Google Money Tree" Scam

Money scams are becoming more sneaky nowadays. It continues to feed through unsolicited emails and various attention-grabbing headlines. Some pops up are cleverly done to force one to click on it, bringing the user to a whole new domain of unknown and strange websites. Even searches on Google are not as safe as it used to be. Search results have their fair bit of unsafe links, which led to modern browsers to implement a safety mechanism that protects or warns users of suspicious websites.

One of the latest tricks is the "Work for Google from Home" scam. It comes across as a seemingly reasonable proposal, masquerading as a reputable and rich Google, offering to give their 'work-from-home-kit' free in exchange for a small delivery fee. This "Google Money Tree" scam works on the premise that if one user clicks and pay $2.95, 100 users will make the scammer $295 richer for nothing! When people make a fortune without putting in their fair share of work, or when they set about with an intent to cheat other people, these are examples of bad business ethics.

FTC investigations are ongoing (link). More warnings are available from and NeedMoneyScam. MSNBC offers a Top-10 tips against becoming a victim to such schemes. Snopes reported this as a blatant fraud. Google placed warnings on their blog and their help page. The media has also picked up on this. There is also a Twitter equivalent. Unfortunately, even the safest websites or browsers can easily be spoofed. Just like the age-old saying given to little children, "Don't talk to strangers," in the Internet age, it is translated as: "Don't click on unknown sites."

You have been warned.


1 comment:

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