Google Adwords Counterfeit E-mail

If you’re a Google Adwords advertiser, watch out for the phishing e-mail that could put your account at risk.

Phishing means (from Wikipedia) “a fraudulent attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.” Communications purporting to be from PayPal, eBay, Youtube or online banks are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting.

Below is a scam e-mail that appears to be from Google, but in fact, will send you to a fraudulent web site where you’re asked to input your account information.

Dear Advertiser, We were unable to process your payment. Your ads will be suspended soon unless we can process your payment. To prevent your ads from being suspended, please update your payment information.

Please sign into your account at,and update your payment information.
The Google AdWords Team

So, if you’re a Google advertiser, how do you know it’s a fake? Mouse over the link within the e-mail and you’ll see the actual web site address in your status bar. If you clicked on the link (we recommend you NOT do so), you’ll see in the address field of your browser something that looks like,

Notice the added characters following the .com. The extra “” is your clue you’re visiting a different domain. For example, the real adwords link looks like:

Remember, never respond to an e-mail invitation to log into any web site. Always visit the site directly before inputting your private information.

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