In the last couple of weeks we received another ugly proofs that the internet is full with frauds and scams as the scammers try to target without any morals anybody with a need, however, this time it seems to be stopped- It has been reported that Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are working with the federal government to eliminate mortgage scam ads.
The Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) has announced last week that an investigation with a cooperation from Google resulted the suspension of 500 fraud internet advertisers in AdWords and that related to 85 online mortgage scammers, that have been using deceptive advertising for their malicious purposes.
Two days ago, the SIGTARP has announced about another investigation, this time with cooperation from Microsoft (Bing) and Yahoo, that resulted the suspension of 400 fraud internet advertisers in adCenter (which powers both Bing and Yahoo) and that related to 125 scams. Both of the investigations are still ongoing and may produce more frauds exposure and suspension in the future.
The scammers have posted ads to website that allegedly were suppose to assist mortgage owners with their payment and/or mortgage modification process. The frauds disguised themselves as a legitimate sources and some of them even claimed to work with the US government by using special seals or names that resembles to some government agencies.
The scammers have been using the fact that there are lots of people who are searching online for information about mortgages as its one of the top PPC keywords in terms of traffic and that these people are willing to take a lot of actions to reduce their mortgage bills in these tough economy times, such as paying upfront fees.
The SIGTARP announcements should make us aware that not everything in Google/Bing/Yahoo is legitimate! Even though the companies have a strict advertising filtering mechanism, there can be many cases where the scam advertisers manage to publish their ads to fraud websites.