Warning! Google Ads used to scam crypto users

Online advertising giant Google finds itself at the center of yet another controversy. Its Google Ads platform is being used by cybercriminals to promote malicious crypto websites endangering users by exposing them to sophisticated phishing scams.

Malicious actors exploit Google Ads to target crypto users

A recent report by BleepingComputer reveal that cybercriminals have exploited Google Ads the technology giant’s online advertising platform to promote a counterfeit version of Whales Market an over-the-counter (OTC) crypto exchange platform facilitating the distribution of tokens by Airdrop.

This fraudulent copy appears at the top of search results Google in the form of sponsored advertising, trapping unsuspecting users. Cybercriminals have registered several domains imitating Whales Marketwhich perfectly reproduces the interface of the legal platform to encourage victims to connect their digital wallets. Once the link has been established, malicious scripts are executed without users’ knowledge, draining the cryptocurrencies contained in their wallets.

Despite the seemingly legitimate URL, Internet users who click on the ad are redirected to a malicious domain, [www.roues.market] instead of the real site [www.whales.market]. At least one of these fraudulent URLs has been identified, [www.whaless.market] is currently inactive.

Google strikes back at crypto fraudsters

Faced with the resurgence of such scams on its platform, Google decided to fight back. The technology giant recently took legal action against two Chinese nationals for using the Google Play Store to promote fake crypto investments.

Although the names of the offending apps have not been disclosed, Google claims to have deactivated 87 fraudulent applications linked to the defendants over the past four years, totalling almost 100,000 downloads worldwide.

Halimah DeLaine PradoGoogle General Counsel emphasized that this legal action represented a unique opportunity for the company to mobilize its resources to fight malicious actors orchestrating a vast crypto fraud program, targeting certain users of the platform. Google is claiming damages of over $75,000, including costs associated with the investigation and securing its services.

These recent Google Ads scams illustrate the ongoing challenges of online security. Despite the efforts of Google To curb these frauds, Internet users must remain vigilant. It’s essential to check web addresses carefully before clicking on the link.