Google, one of the most prominent search engines globally, is under scrutiny for purportedly profiting from fraudulent advertisers in the crypto world. Investigations suggest a concerning trend of fake crypto ads, which mislead users into scam sites instead of the genuine websites they expect.
Deceptive Advertising Networks: A New Trend?
Users might believe they’re accessing a legitimate cryptocurrency website. However, in a deceptive twist, they are often redirected via specific ad networks, leading them to scam sites. This method involves exploiting ad networks that are either intentionally malicious or have been compromised. As a result, the URL users click on isn’t where they end up.
The renowned researcher from DeFiLlama “0xngmi” raised the alarm regarding these deceptive practices. According to them, the genuine domain “defillama.com” was once redirected to a fraudulent one. Despite multiple reports to Google about the misleading ad and the suspicious ad network, Google’s response was tardy.
Some users have a glimmer of hope, as the issue might have been intermittently resolved. Occasionally, a legitimate site emerges after a user clicks on the ad. However, the consistency of this rectification remains uncertain, with suggestions that it might be based on geographical factors.
Google Should be Held Accountable
Many are questioning Google’s role and responsibility in this. A Twitter user by the handle ‘ChainLinkGod’ opined, “It’s astonishing how Google, which profits each time a phishing link ad is clicked, isn’t held accountable. They seemingly lack the incentive to address this glaring issue.”
Furthermore, ‘Scam Sniffer’ highlighted a distressing incident where a victim lost a staggering $900,000. The victim clicked on a nasty “sponsored” link, a paid ad on Google, which then redirected to a harmful site. That website then lured the user into initiating a transaction, resulting in a significant financial loss.
Google isn’t the only tech giant facing scrutiny. Facebook, the popular social media platform, has become a breeding ground for scam ads and fraudulent pages. This is especially concerning in countries like Thailand, where most people use Facebook. The issue has escalated, so the Thai government is considering stringent measures, potentially even banning the platform.
The digital age brings numerous advantages, but it also presents sophisticated challenges. Both users and platform providers need to be vigilant. While tech giants like Google and Facebook must ensure safer online environments, users must be discerning and cautious.
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