Desperation leads to scams. Here’s one that turned up today after an investigation by my loyal staff. The “Google Biz Kit” has been around for a while, promising money for working at home. Other names turn up sometimes – “Google Money Market,” “Google Home Business Kit.”
It’s just a scam, just as sleazy as all the other scams over the years. I remember ads in comic books promising I could make money addressing envelopes. I still remember a close friend who was convinced he could make money and earn free trips by selling vitamins after he saw an ad in the back of a magazine.
The “Google Biz Kit” folks have lots of phony blogs with fabricated comments, and they’ve put up realistic-looking web sites that resemble newspapers or news sites with favorable articles. I’m not going to supply links for obvious reasons.
The scam is an easy one – get your name and credit card information, don’t send anything, start billing your credit card $70 or $80 each month, and blow off attempts to cancel.
So far it’s a typical story. You can’t get rich quick; you can’t make money doing something easy working at home in response to a sleazy ad; your best friend online is common sense.
I ran into a twist when I put in “Google Biz Kit” into Google. The top result was: “Google Home Business Kit Review – Is The Google Kit A Scam?” The link was to a page on “www.reviewopedia” dot com and Google’s excerpt suggested that the page had a description of the kit being a scam. I clicked through.
A long article appeared that describes the kit as a scam. But on top of it appeared a window asking me to update my Flash player.
Remember my suggestions for safe computing?
Do not install any updates if prompted by a random web page. Example: you’re on a dodgy web site and a window appears: “You must download a new version of Flash player to play this video file.” Close the window and check for an update separately.
Take another look at that picture. “Please, follow the instruction.” That doesn’t sound quite right, does it? And “install_flash_player.exe” from “install-adobe-flash.com” – that’s not exactly Adobe’s normal practice.
The stupid site with an article about a scam business tried to install malware on my computer! It’s almost more offensive than the scam.
Be careful out there!