Online search giant Google is being criticized for its alleged lack of action against a bitcoin scam that takes on the form of a legitimate published newspaper article.
Google Crypto Scams Are Becoming Too Prevalent
The scam looks like a piece published by British media platform The Daily Mirror. The piece includes an interview with a person that is alleged to be Britain’s youngest millionaire, who reportedly earned all his money through crypto investments. The headline of the piece reads, “Brit shocked everyone by revealing the app which makes him 23,000 pounds a month.”
This would all be fine, except for one big thing… The ad is purportedly fake. Should readers decide to click on the advertisement within the article, they are taken to a site which promises them millions of dollars if they are willing to utilize a certain algorithm that trades in crypto market settings. The site is also decorated with celebrity images of well-known individuals that supposedly used the same algorithm to add to their personal wealth.
The piece has been the subject of heavy controversy for some time, particularly because Google – allegedly knowing about it for the past several months – has seemingly done nothing about it. Martin Lewis – the founder of Money Saving Expert – says that incidents like these are becoming all too common, as he was recently part of one without even knowing about it.
His likeness and face were used without his permission to promote an online cryptocurrency scam, and he has since discussed the problem on Facebook and other forms of social media as a means of warning his followers so that they do not get duped into investing in something illicit.
Paul Lewis, a BBC consumer finance journalist, is also claiming that he has seen his face used in phony online crypto scams that appear on Yahoo search results. He stated in an interview:
I have never bought cryptocurrency and advise everyone against doing so. You can lose all your money.
Mark Taber – a man who campaigns against online fraud – says he has repeatedly reported the Daily Mirror scam to Google but has yet to see anything done. In a separate statement, Google mentioned that it had taken alleged action against the scammers, though nothing specific has been mentioned yet. Taber explained:
This fake Mirror article bitcoin scam using Holly Willoughby has been ever present on Google Ads for months. I have reported it repeatedly, but no effective action has been taken to stop it from reappearing time after time. This suggests Google is either unwilling or unable to enforce its own policies.
What Is Being Done?
A spokesperson for Google has stated:
Google has always had strict policies around the type of content that is allowed to serve as ads on our platform. We quickly remove any ads that violate these policies.
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