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Google AdWords Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Email purporting to be from Google AdWords claims that the recipient’s Google ads will be suspended unless payment information is updated.

Subject: Your payment didn’t succeed, so your ads have been suspended.

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 in to your account at [Link Removed],
and update your payment information.

We look forward to providing you with the most effective advertising available.
Thank you for advertising with Google AdWords.

The Google AdWords Team

Detailed Analysis:
This unsolicited email claims to be from Google AdWords. Google AdWords provide an easy method for people to place advertisements on the Google network via an online submission system. According to the message, the recipient’s payment for ads was unsuccessful and current ads will be suspended if payment details are not quickly updated. The email instructs the recipient to click a link to sign in to his or her AdWords account and update payment information.

However, the email is not from Google AdWords and is designed to steal personal and financial information from AdWords customers. To further the illusion of legitimacy, the email is disguised so that it appears to originate from a genuine Google AdWords email address. A victim who clicks the link in the scam email will be taken to a fake login web page that is almost identical in appearance to the genuine Google AdWords login. If the victim “logs in” on the bogus webpage he or she will then be taken to a fraudulent web form like the one shown in the following screenshot. The form requests credit card names and numbers as well as address details and other personal information:

Last updated: 29th July 2008
First published: 29th July 2008
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

What do I do if I receive a suspicious email claiming to be from AdWords?
Beware email scam trying to get your adwords account details

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,