The CEO of Binance Changpeng Zhao (CZ Binance), in a tweet this week has issued a warning that Google search results are still favoring ads relating to cryptocurrency phishing and fraud websites.
CZ highlighted that phishing sites with an “ad” tag were appearing in front of the legitimate website while searching for CoinMarketCap on Google in a tweet on October 27.
Scammers have been getting through Google’s rigorous limits on cryptocurrency marketing for its ads service for the past three years despite those policies. Scam websites have occasionally been listed above trustworthy cryptocurrency and blockchain ventures.
This affects users who visit these phishing websites to add smart contract addresses to MetaMask. We are attempting to get in touch with Google about this, and in the interim, we are informing users through social media,” he stated.
One of the most popular cryptocurrency data aggregators on the market, CoinMarketCap, was purchased by Binance in April 2020 for an unknown sum. Given its widespread use, a lot of traffic may be routed to these fraudulent adverts.
Phishing websites occasionally employ imitation URLs to deceive individuals who aren’t paying attention to clicking, making them difficult to notice. One of the websites CZ singled out, for instance, had the spelling “coinomarketcaap.”
The blockchain security company SlowMist discovered a Terra-related phishing scheme in April of this year, in which criminals were using Google Ads to operate fake websites branded with the Achor Protocol and Astroport.
Between April 12 and April 21, $4.31 million worth of Luna Classic (LUNC) was stolen from 52 addresses via the advertised websites, according to SlowMist, which appeared before the genuine websites that individuals were searching for.
The research division of cybersecurity company CheckPoint also released a paper in November 2021 alerting readers to the theft of almost $500,000 by con artists using Google Ads to promote phishing sites that looked like MetaMask and Phantom cryptocurrency wallet providers.
This week, Google’s advertisements business has attracted a lot of attention as parent company Alphabet noted in its Q3 results call that search advertising expenditure from financial and cryptocurrency organizations was down sequentially.
“We did observe a reduction in expenditure by some advertisers in specific search ad categories. For instance, in the financial services sector, we noticed a decline in the subcategories of insurance, loans, mortgages, and cryptocurrencies, according to Philipp Schindler, the chief business officer of Google. However, the company seems to have no issues taking ad payments from con artists.