Malicious ICO-Related Google Ads Continue to Show Up



TheMerkle Bitcoin Platinum Scam

The cryptocurrency industry has been plagued by scams for quite some time now, especially when it comes to paid advertisements on popular search engines. The NEX ICO, for example, is subject to a lot of fake advertisements, which makes it very difficult for novice users to distinguish between reality and fiction.

Cryptocurrency Scams Rise in Number

People who have been invested in cryptocurrency for quite some time will acknowledge that there is a growing number of scams to contend with. Ranging from social engineering attempts to phishing and even misleading advertisements, this industry has seen it all. It appears the fake advertisement business model is still quite popular, according to some recently surfaced information.

More specifically, it seems initial coin offerings are still prone to fake advertisements on Google. Considering that such projects raise millions of dollars with relative ease, it is only normal that criminals want to get in on the action through less than legitimate means. The NEX ICO is a great example, as it has at least three fake advertisements on Google as of right now.

Unsurprisingly, criminals are using a very common tactic to make their ads look more legitimate. By copying text directly from the message in the search engine description, a smart approach is taken. One of the three results is a bit different in this regard, but that doesn’t mean people will be less likely to click on it.

Anyone with a clear mind can easily see which of these sites are fake. Although the obvious answer is “all three of them”, there are a few giveaways. First of all, the titles of these Google advertisements leave a lot to be desired. They are all focused on hype, and some are even in broken English. Secondly, the domain names themselves clearly show the actual domain name, with the domain extension making it easy to spot the fake ones. A com.de domain, as well as a .at domain name, are simply not the real thing.

It is not the first time such ICO scams have showed up in Google’s paid advertisements either. This has been an ongoing trend for quite some time now, and it seems the search engine giant has not been able to make a big dent in preventing such malicious advertisements to this point. 

For users who are interested in initial coin offerings and other cryptocurrency projects, doing their own research is an absolute must. Not doing so will always result in financial losses of some sort, which is something users need to avoid at all costs. Criminals will continue to target this growing industry, especially as the price of Bitcoin and altcoins continues to go up.



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Posted in Digital Currencies.