Google Tightens Measures Against Cyber-Scams

Online scams have become rampant, and the tech giant Google is gearing up to tackle the problem head-on. These scams often feature promotional content on platforms like YouTube, promising lucrative returns on small investments. They exploit familiar faces like celebrities or influencers to gain credibility. However, the reality is far from these claims, as many victims lose money to fraudsters, often based overseas.

YouTube, owned by Google, is the largest video content portal globally. In response to the increasing number of scams, Google has pledged to strengthen its measures against cyber-thieves. “We have strict rules. We enforce them for ads with the help of automated systems and human control,” says Alžběta Houzarová, a spokesperson for Google’s Czech and Slovak branches.

In the past, Google has managed to eliminate over five billion ads and suspend over six and a half million accounts through its protective system. As part of their new approach, Google will suspend the YouTube account of any scammer who uses a known personality or brand to deceive people into parting with their money or information without prior warning.

However, Google acknowledges that the scammers are often one step ahead. They create thousands of different accounts, and if one is suspended, it hardly affects them. They are also adept at disguising their scams. They can present a different version of their ad to the evaluator, either a bot or a human, than the one they eventually publish.

Users often complain that their reports of scams are dismissed by YouTube, stating the ad does not violate any policies. This is due to the aforementioned masking technique used by scammers. However, users can verify the ad by finding the small “i” in a circle at the video’s bottom left corner. This will reveal who paid for the ad and whether Google has verified the advertiser. It is important to note that scammers are usually unverified and often originate from countries outside the European Union.

In conclusion, the fight against online scams is an ongoing battle. While Google is taking significant strides to protect users, it is also essential for individuals to remain vigilant and take steps to verify the authenticity of promotional content.