Google Search listed an ad which turned out to be a target gift cards scam

Whenever you want to get information about anything, you just hop onto your browser and go on Google and just search for it. Google is the biggest search engine which works on algorithm based searches and finds out suggestions and links which it feels is suitable according to the item that was searched.

Websites are fetched according to their rankings and SEO optimizations. If they have the highest rank in terms of their content and trafficking, they would be the first priority of Google. That is why websites and companies are looking for SEO experts who would help them to improve their rankings and would provide them with content that would attract traffic.

Being a tech giant, Google is really careful when it comes to links and search results as it finds out the most authentic websites and provides its users with the best of content so that they face no problems. But it seems like the people at Google forgot to check this website before approval.

Most of us are familiar with target. It is one of the biggest departmental stores in U.S. A few days ago, a website named “bristolhirevan” was provided as the top fetched result in Google search. When users searched the engine for “Target gift card balance”, the first link that was provided by Google was this.

r/assholedesign, a reddit user was able to identify this scam as he saw this ad pop up when he searched about target gift cards. He was able to differentiate between the fake website and the authentic one.

He said, “Well for starters, the name of the website gave away its cover as it was clearly not related to the Target in any way. When I opened the website, it was quite similar to the original website of Target which is enough to fool anyone. Secondly, Target asks its users to login when they want to check their balance and doesn’t ask them about their account and security number right away”.

The website was designed in such a way that if anyone was in a hurry and would not notice the name of the website, they might proceed with all the formalities and end up becoming a victim of this scam.

It was pointed out by FTC (Federal Trade Commission) people who became a victim of this scam lost around $148 million, with $35 million of it coming from target gift card scams. These events mostly occur on phones when scammers are impersonating themselves as a salesperson from companies like Google or Amazon and ask consumers to buy something via gift cards.

These websites are present everywhere and well while we should always be looking out for them, it is the responsibility of an organization as big as Google to be a lot more cautious when it comes to running targeted ads as they could unconsciously be playing a part in these scams.

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