back to article Google sues alleged work-at-home scammers

Google has sued to stop what it called "a widespread internet advertising scam" being pushed by a Utah company that allegedly used the search engine's trademark when offering work-at-home opportunities. Salt Lake City-based Pacific WebWorks doctored up a variety of websites with regularly changing addresses that promised as …


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  1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

    I like traffic lights

    I got one of these pop-ups the other day.

    It was a full page, very professional looking, even to the point where the feedback was suspended due to spam! :)

    It was obvious it was a scam though because it sounded too good to be true. Which is always the acid test.

  2. garetht t


    God! I hate sleazebags like this that prey on the weak & gullible.

    That's why I instead choose to make $$$ working from home as an El Reg Journo! My specially prepared kit contains 1 cup of bile, 40 Pot Noodles, a home brewing kit, discount spellcheck software from The Guardian and a bucket of Playmobile (for the indepth stuff). This can be yours now for only $9.95!! ($500 shipping and mishandling fee applies).

  3. Dick Emery

    Seen it

    It's been everywhere especially on torrent sites. Anyone who falls for this deserves what they get though as it's pretty obvious it's a scam.

  4. Geoff Mackenzie

    Ah, I saw those

    I suspected Google might crush them. Fair enough.

    1. Big-nosed Pengie

      Pop ups?

      What are they?

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        But only when they're amber

        They're the things that only appear on my work laptop, even though I manage firewalls for a large mobile company :)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Pop Ups

        Something that Google Chrome users never see for a start.

        Seems they've done more work than the rest on blocking popups and why? Because they detract from Google's own adverts. Cynical? Me?

    2. David 105

      And now for the final touches...

      You missed off the bit about how this scheme has been THOROUGHLY INVESTIGATED by the BBC, CNN, Fox News and Al Jazeera and found to be 100% GENUINE!!! (Links to spoofed news pages included)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Of course they don't deserve it. It may be obviously a scam to you , but not to the people who reply - who, whilst they may not be a bright as you, probably have a better set of morals.

  5. Glenn Amspaugh

    Nice penalty

    I like how that other company that represented itself as eBay just has to stop doing that. I mean, I go around and stand in front of a bank and say I represent them and ask people for money, they'll lock me up. But if you're a scammer who's taken in lots of money over the internet, they just tell you to stop. I gotta' get in to a better line of work.

  6. Mike Flugennock
    Thumb Up

    Well, FIII-IInally...

    ...finally, they're getting down to dealing with this.

    I spend a lot of my free time surfing the record-collectors' blogs to download obscure old out-of-print vinyl rips, and of all the remote-hosting sites, MegaUpload has to be the absolute worst for this. When I click the "download" button, the first thing I get is a full-page popup for one of those goddamn' "Make Money Posting Ads To Google" scams, complete with voice-narration soundtrack. Assholes.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Apparently nothing good comes from Utah including SCO and myself. :P

    I'm glad I moved...

    1. John Lilburne


      [I get is a full-page popup for one of those goddamn' "Make Money Posting Ads To Google" scams]

      Surfing for rips is a bitch. Came across a forum today where they were all a moaning that the latest 'crack' they'd install had turned out to be a trojan quite made my day.

      1. Mike Flugennock

        surfing for rips

        Well, I'm running a Mac, so I don't have that problem quite so much. It's the huge-assed popups and interstitials that gunk things up. RapidShare's not so bad, but MegaUpload and MediaFire are the total worst. MediaFire even has one of those banners that offers to scan your computer for viruses; I clicked it one time, just for cheap laffs, and watched the little Flash animation run as it pretended to scan my Mac, and then announced that I had a virus via a fake Windows dialog. Frickin' sad, I tell ya'.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    this long....

    why have they (google) waited this long? surely these scammers have used google to advertise their lies and even use their logo, so why did google wait so long to react ?

    I wonder how many victims have fallen in the web of these lies

  9. Haku

    @Timothy Wright

    Nothing good comes from Utah? but what about the Utah Saints?

    1. Shannon Jacobs
      Big Brother

      Not just Google

      Lots of companies have their reputations abused by the spammers. I posted a later comment in the thread about how Google could actually help US deal with the spam problem--if they aren't too busy going evil, that is.

  10. Big-nosed Pengie

    Salt Lake City?

    Aren't they all Mormons? Surely their god will punish them?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I think in the case of these guys you might have to drop the second M if they thought they were going to get away with this.

  11. Shannon Jacobs

    Google COULD fight spam if they wanted to

    Actually, the best thing Google could do would be to give US better tools to fight the spammers FOR them. There are a LARGE number of people who hate spam and only a SMALL number of fools who ever send money to the spammers.

    In this particular case, the 'good Samaritan' spam complaint system should be analyzing for brand name usage, and then the human would confirm something like 'Not really Google, but Google should be notified of the abuse of their reputation.' The system would send the confirmed complaints to the proper representative of the company and they could decide on whether or not legal action was called for. (Pfizer is #1 with my spammers, however) That's the kind of decision that a human can easily make, but there are lots of others--and the spammers cannot hide from humans because the spammers are trying to reach human suckers.

    I think Google is going increasingly evil--but I don't actually blame them that much. The way our rules and laws are currently set up, the pressure is on for every company to become more and more evil. I think the government should adjust the rules of the capitalist game to encourage good companies, not evil ones. I'm not being extreme on it. Extreme would be to advocate a hunting season for spammers, or even a bounty for the fingers of spammers.

    1. Maty

      funny you should say that

      Actually you can MAKE MONEY by reporting false adverts for the posting links to Google scam! It's not known that Google pays $25 for every one of these adverts reported!!! People make hundreds of dollars a day doing this.

      All you need is your FREE GSPAMLINK WEBKIT system, and you can report these links from home and make $$$$ in your spare time!!!.

      (Handling and processing charges apply)

  12. Sadie

    Not just dubious Torrents

    Those ads have been appearing on more reputable sites too (well as far as Facebook and Digitalspy could be)

  13. Anonymous Coward

    What are you lot doing?

    I use FF with popup blockers on, ADplus and Flashblock fitted. I may get one popup a week if I'm lucky. I occasionally peruse the odd torrent site for radio plays, but I have never even heard of this before. I am either damn lucky or just not poking my snout in the right troughs!

  14. Ian Ferguson

    For those smugly saying 'what popups'

    If you use Firefox or popup blockers, you're probably canny enough to know a scam when you see one. IT illiterate types using IE and computers full of malware are the target audience; they're the type who might think that "Posting links on Google" is a profitable enterprise.

    What strikes me is how long it takes to stop these companies when they're hosted in the USA. Anything like that in Europe is punched down within days by the authorities; America's 'free trade' appears to allow this kind of thing to go on until somebody pulls out a lawyer.

  15. Eden


    Facebook was forcing this Google Cash down my throat for bloddy months no matter how many times I told it to stop.

    Despite being a blatant scam, the fact they are on facebook would convince some idiots.

  16. x25
    Thumb Down

    ...malware? ...really?

    The only thing im trying to figure out from reading this article is the source for the sentence:

    "received a DVD that contained malware."

    As someone who works in the industry and has seen all the shadyness, I still don't believe it. Sure, it makes a great subheader but I believe it's an outright lie.

    Or was your source... google?

  17. Dan Goodin (Written by Reg staff)

    @...malware? ...really?

    The source of that information was the complaint Google filed in federal court.

  18. Dark Ian
    Thumb Up

    Natural Selection

    Good to see it's alive and well. I didn't fall for this scam because I'm neither greedy nor stupid. Perhaps if the idiots in our society can no longer afford to have children of their own, or have to resort to eating them, then we'll have a brighter future.

  19. John Dougald McCallum

    False work advertisements

    Dear Gentlesinics,

    This is not a new scam but a very old one just using a new vector to get the mugs to hand over their hard earned cash it always rears its ugly head in a ressesion I can remember several cases being reported to traiding standerds officials in the uk.It always goes along the lines if this.Work from home earn silly ammounts of money for typing,stuffing,etc envalopes or any other light job that could be done at home always the same no statr up fees but oh yes the kit will cost you £/$/25 for postage and could only make money by using every member of your family (assuming you had one) working 24/7. you got paid paid only IF Every One was perfect and there was always one wrong.As I said a VERY old scam.

  20. x25

    @@...malware? ...really?

    and your somehow okay with presenting as fact, arguments from google, who have a vested interest in discrediting another company ? This is a joke right?

    Simply incredible.

  21. Dan Goodin (Written by Reg staff)

    @@...malware? ...really?


    This is an article reporting the contents of a lawsuit that was filed by Google. It contains numerous allegations Google has made about Pacific WebWorks. How is it "simply incredible" that I'd include that detail?

    More importantly, what evidence do you have that this detail is incorrect?

  22. gimbal

    I know how we fix!

    Hmm, it's all in the planning...

    1) Establish a stupendously immense DRM algorithm for locking-down company brand names

    2) Set up a microcredit payment system, substracting funds from netzien's accounts, for every use of the company brand name

    3) Employ audio and video sensors to extend the system into "real life space"

    4) Rake in the dough!

    Seriously, I could almost like to feel sorry for the people who got raked into the scam. I guess they fell asleep during "Avoiding Pyramid Schemes 101" in gradeschool.

    ...but wait, should I feel sorry, though? It looks, to me, like: Some people wanted to get some easy money, so they signed up with this company - this company with the random domain names, google (ad?) linkage whatnot, malware-infected DVDs, and overall *bad* business concept. Caveat emptor.

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