After The Wall Street Journal reported that scammers were purchasing search ads and “masquerading as authorised service agents for companies such as Apple”, Google said on Saturday it is taking action against such scam artists.
“Just last year alone, we took down more than 3.2 billion ads that violated our advertising policies – that’s more than 100 bad ads per second,” said David Graff, Director, Global Product Policy at Google.
“We’re taking another step. We’ve seen a rise in misleading ad experiences stemming from third-party technical support providers and have decided to begin restricting ads in this category globally,” said Graff.
In the coming months, Google will roll out a verification programme to ensure that only legitimate providers of third-party tech support can use its platform to reach consumers.
“One of our top priorities is to maintain a healthy advertising ecosystem, and that means protecting people from misleading, inappropriate and harmful ads,” Google said.
The move came after scammers were found using Google’s advertising system to create misleading ads.
“The ads would display a link to Apple’s website, but the number in the ad would direct to a call centre that engages in tech-support scams.”