"Make 1000's of dollars a day with Google!" "Easy Money with Google: Make $1000 a day working from home!" Have you see ads like this? Well, as tempting as they may sound, stay away! Google filed a lawsuit this week in an effort to stop companies from using their name to hook people into fraudulent work-at-home schemes. Because Google is such a trusted company, "Thousands of people have been tricked into sending payment information and being charged hidden fees by questionable operations," Google stated in a blog post.
Google sued Pacific Web Works, a software development firm, in a Utah District Court for trademark infringement and dilution, federal cyberpiracy, unfair competition, and violation of consumer sales practices. Other unnamed companies were sued as well. Google has never endorsed these comapnies or authorized use of the Google logo or name.
"This action seeks to stop a widespread Internet advertising scam that is defrauding the public by misusing the famous Google brand," the suit says. "The scam victimizes unsuspecting consumers by prominently displaying the famous Google mark, by suggesting sponsorship by the plaintiff Google Inc., and by urging consumers to obtain a kit supposedly showing them how to make money working from home with Google."
Google warns people to be skeptical of any such offer they see online and to remember that if something seems too good to be true... It probably is. Google also stated that there is indeed a legitimate way of making money using Google AdSense to place ads on websites, or by participating in a program like the Google Affiliate Network.
Here are some names to watch out for when you're surfing the web: Google ATM, Google Cash, Google Adwork, Google StartUp Kit, Google Works, Google Biz Kit, Google Fortune, The Home Business Kit for Google, Earn Google Cash Kit, and Google Marketing Kit.
Check out Google's tips for avoiding online money scams HERE.