Google Adwords Phone Scam 2020

I’ve been getting some calls recently that I had missed. Caller ID shows the calls as Google, Inc. coming from Michigan. While I know Google has a call center in Michigan, the caller could not give me any verification that he was in fact with or calling from Google.

The caller had the last four digits of my clients account and had some information of what was in the account. But here’s the rub, he said he was here to help me with some account changes, but kept insisting that I do a screen share with him… essentially giving him remote access to my computer. I kept telling him no, I was not comfortable with giving him remote access to my computer.

He went along as I walked through account and made a few changes. I told him I needed his help with another account so he insisted again for the sake of saving time that I give him remote access / screen share so he can make the changes at which point I terminated the phone call.

Here are some key points regarding calls from Google Adwords Support:

  • As of September 10, 2020 if you call Google Adwords support you’ll get a message saying phone support for Google Adwords support is not currently available and you’ll be advised to use online support options.
  • When I told the person on the phone that Google corporate is stating on their own phone messaging that Google Adwords phone support is no longer available due to the pandemic, he told me Google has not made them aware of this.
  • I’ve been working with Google Adwords for nearly 15 years and I’ve never had a Google rep insist that I give them access to my computer
  • Never give anyone remote access to your computer unless it’s through and official link or chat tool.
  • Make sure any communication or call backs have been set up through some official online mechanism from Google

A Google Adwords rep calling should be comfortable with guiding you over the phone without needing or requesting remote access to your computer.

NOTE: The initial calls came from 734-973-5142 and ID said Google Inc. The 2nd set of calls came from 650-253-0000 spoofing caller ID to appear as Google Inc. as well. If you call the last number and go through menus you’ll get this message: “Google Phone Support Currently Unavailable”.

 

Click Fraud and Click Laundering Pervasive in 2014

click fraud adwordsAfter getting hit with some click fraud hard in December 2013 I had to turn off all of my Bing / Yahoo advertising. I knew there was some click fraud, but I was hopeful that working with my Bing rep would help get to the bottom of the issue. Sadly, myself and several other business associates I know of using Bing / Yahoo advertising also had to turn off advertising.

Here’s a confession…We’ve been managing various types of paid traffic (pay per click) for six plus years and have never implemented any type of click fraud prevention for Adwords or Bing advertising. It was easy not to because our conversion data looked good, but that’s what click fraud scammers do…they make their criminal activity look real by completing forms with realistic looking data. That’s about to change. Furthermore, it’s one more reason anyone looking to jump into pay per click advertising with a budget of $1,000 or more per month should strongly consider having a click fraud solution in place from day one. After doing some homework and reaching out to some trusted online partners we’ve identified several solutions to avoid and will be sharing more information near the end of March on a solution that is saving some fortunate marketers thousands of dollars each month.

click fraud bing adsFast forward to February 26th. We uncovered a click laundering network alive and active on Bing Ads / Yahoo. Unfortunately, most account reps have no idea what click laundering is. What is even more interesting is that click laundering first started making headlines back in 2006 and then Microsoft went on click laundering manhunt and filed lawsuits against several companies in 2010.

So here we are in 2014 and click fraud & click laundering are still rampant. Google, Bing, and Yahoo can barely make a dent in preventing it. I think they actually count on the average marketer not having the ability to monitor or track it on their own accord. If every online marketer used a 3rd party click fraud solution all the major search engines would be sending some major credits back to their pay per click customers.

Once I have a chance to compile all of the data, I’ll be posting it here as a downloadable PDF with regard to the click laundering network we uncovered. Next, we’ll be looking for a good click fraud attorney.

What has your experience been with click fraud with Adwords, Bing / Yahoo pay per click? Share your click fraud examples below and be sure to bookmark or return near the end of March for our follow up on this issue.

 

Free Robots.txt Generators

I used to have a couple of desktop tools for generating my robots.txt files and had several templates that I would use, but with these handy sites offering FREE robots.txt generators why pay for software or templates as these will work for most website owners looking for a good robots.txt file.

Why use FREE Robots.txt generators? Google says so:

google generate robots.txt files

Set mobile bid adjustments for ad groups or campaigns Adwords

Having trouble figuring out how to set mobile bid adjustments with Adwords new Enhanced campaigns? Check out this Google Hangout with Google Adwords specialists.

 

Additional Enhanced Campaign Resource: https://support.google.com/adwords/editor/answer/30532?hl=en