Beware of scammers trading on Google’s name

The Better Business Bureau says it has received more than 1,500 complaints about dozens of Web sites that are trading on Google’s name to scam people who want to learn about making money from home.

Because the sites use the Google name and often prominently display its logo, consumers may assume they are getting a job with Google. But instead, BBB says, they are getting taken in by a work-at-home scheme.

Victimized consumers say they signed up online to receive a free trial of a CD or access to information that would show them how to make money from home using Google, BBB says. Consumers had to provide a credit card or debit card number to cover shipping — which is typically only a few dollars.

But consumers told BBB they were billed before their trial ended — or never even received the CD — and continued to be billed after they had canceled their order.

Consumers also found mystery charges from several other businesses for services they didn’t realize they were signing up for with their “free” trial.  One Georgia consumer’s bank account was debited $433 by various entities, BBB says.

Before signing up for any work-at-home opportunity, BBB advises job hunters to:

  • Beware of any offer that guarantees a lot of money for little effort and no experience.
  • Thoroughly read the Web site’s terms and conditions, keeping in mind that a free trial could cost you in the end.
  • Be wary of work-at-home offers that use logos from Google, Twitter or other prominent online businesses.
  • Research the Web site to determine ownership of the domain name. If the site is anonymous or individually registered, beware.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

4 comments Add your comment

whit johnson

November 10th, 2009
5:15 pm

Nice to know that the AJC was promoting a business just like this from Google two days ago. I didn’t believe it then either. I refuse to believe you can make $26k a year off of Google doing nothing.

Eric

November 10th, 2009
5:20 pm

AJC, CNN, FOXNEWS, YAHOO etc all let these scam artist advertise on their pages. What do expect from the AJC though….

phil

November 10th, 2009
11:10 pm

I signed up for this and cancelled before the 5 day period. They do not send you info overnight, so it did not arrive before the 5 days they allow you for free. Fortunately I kept the cancellation number because they charged my business’s credit card for the fee. After follow up, they issued a credit. The next month they also charged the card again. After follow up, they again issued a credit. Two months now with no charges. They are preying on the carelessness of consumers. The services they tout, you can do on your own.

BJohnDawg

November 11th, 2009
4:56 pm

They could learn how to make money on google without buying a cd or using their credit card. Google has the ADSense program on their website.

It is simple if you know about website,using a web design template, and webhosting. If you dont, they you have no business trying to use the program. Scammers have been around for centuries. This is just the latest hot thing- and targeting people who are unaware and unfamiliar with the promise of money for nothing.