Scammers get hold of PayPal and Amazon clients through Google Search Ads

The ‘bad actors’ are at it again and this time they are using Google search results to place ads with customer support numbers for popular sites including Amazon, PayPal, and eBay. When the innocent user calls these numbers, the scammer pretends to be associated with the original company and ask them to send code from the Google Play gift card before they can proceed further.

The BleepingComputer who received the information from an anonymous security researcher first reported the scam. Since then, multiple similar frauds have been observed on the internet.

Apparently, to any innocent victim, the ads seem legitimate, especially if they are seen from a mobile browser. However, the numbers listed in the ads are fake and operated by the crooks to redirect the victims.

Hackers get hold of PayPal and Amazon clients through Google Search Ads

On the other hand, desktop ads are not as convincing – thankfully.

What happens when the user calls?

When the targeted individual calls the fake support numbers, the person who claims to be a representative with the said company greets them.

Upon hearing the inquiry, they tell the victim that their account has some problems which can only be rectified if they sent them a code present on the Google Play Card. If a user asks them why they are requiring a fees, the representative reassures by saying the company would reimburse them instantly.

Upon addressing the issue to Google, the company’s representative claimed that the company has a strict policy of ads that conceal or misstate information. Additionally, Google also said that they remove any ads that violate their policies.

Users who encounter fraud ads are also requested by the company to report them immediately using Google’s ad flagging tool.

From our investigation, the ad in question is now removed from Google.

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