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Google Users Searching For Student Loan Relief Bombarded With Scams Hidden In Ads

In terms of popularity, Google reigns supreme for common searches and queries around the globe. But what you don’t know is how so many searches have scam-filled ads lurking around and waiting to attack vulnerable victims.

According to one top watchdog group, those searching for student loans are now being bombarded with scam ads hidden deceptively within them. And the news is adding a lot of confusion to the public, not to mention how it's creating havoc for the Biden administration which is trying to take action on student-related debts.

We’re getting more details from a regulatory body called the Tech Transparency Project whose main goal is to work in a non-profit manner. They’ve managed to review a number of leading searches that are linked to various loans belonging to students.

A common example of their searches was related to the famous ‘student loan of forgiveness’ as well as the ‘cancel debts of students’. See, the main goal was to keep a check on the kinds of ads lurking around such searches.

And that’s when so many security analysts revealed some interesting but alarming findings of threats that no one knew about.

While tracking all the ads that are being thrown out by Google, the group says that at least 29 out of the 242 ads being reviewed had gone about breaching the tech giant’s own policies. Similarly, they also revealed how so many of them had typical characteristics related to scams on them.

With a figure representing a staggering 12%, the results were definitely shocking, to say the least.

The TTP ground revealed that Googe portrayed ads for a number of leading services for students which were charging high and very questionable rates for fees. Moreover, they even went about copying government firms and tried to extract sensitive details from students for purposes that are yet to be clearly delineated too.

Meanwhile, Google says that it makes sure that its policies are followed carefully by all advertisers, and that just puts a halt to scammers that make false promises and take young users for granted.

They also claim that their policy prevents advertisers from falsely aligning themselves with government agencies, adding how financial-related ads have their own strict policies attached.

Google added that they’ve been dedicated to combatting scams since day one and now they’re currently in the process of reviewing the ads brought forward by the TTP.

The reason why such ads are being called out is related to the timing of their release. It’s all taking place during a time when so many young students are very much interested in having loan relief via assistance from the Federal Government.

Google claims that the payments related to such financial assistance were blocked since 2020 on orders by the US administration and now President Biden has ordered a reprieve to take place all the way through the end of August.

This is proved to be a huge relief for a number of borrowers but at the same time, there’s plenty of uncertainty surrounding the situation.

As a whole, stats prove that 45 million individuals owe a staggering value of $1.7 trillion in terms of student loan debts.

In its recent report, the TTP says they’ve only been able to single out a bunch of ads that have been displayed along with common Google search results. Surprisingly, there’s also one portion on the report that shows how a page related to Modifying Student’s Loans is going to go as far as collecting plenty of personal data like tax returns and more.

They have failed in terms of being transparent and according to Google’s policy, no one is allowed to ask for such personal details. So as you can see, there’s plenty of fishy business that needs to be looked at more closely.


H/T: Bloomberg.

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