Google wants to make a lot of money. We understand that. Who wouldn’t? Somehow, the nearly 140,000 employees worldwide have to be paid. With its search ads, Google Search is the company’s most important source of income. Around 3.5 billion search queries are made every day, and that’s precisely how often Google can present its ads to the searching individuals. Over 80% of the $183 billion revenue Google generates through ads. Unfortunately, Google also earns a lot of money from ads placed by fake publishers like the Russian BibleTellsUsSo to defraud consumers.
Especially in the area of illegal financial services, scammers use Google and place massive fraudulent financial ads. In the UK & Ireland, the online search monopolist introduced strict rules in August 2021. Essentially, only FCA-regulated firms (with some exceptions) can run financial ads after a KYC check. Since then, fraudulent financial ads in the UK have seen a massive decline.
In the EU and especially in German-speaking countries, however, fraudulent financial ads on the Google Search sites are still big business. In our little series The Russian Google Game, we will introduce you to some of the Russian fake publishers.
The Religious Fake
Our investigations found many of these fraudulent financial ads are placed via fake companies in Russia. For example, BibleTellsUsSo (https://bibletellsusso.com), disguised as a religious site, advertises fraudulent crypto campaigns such as Bitcoin Up, Bitcoin Evolution, or Bitcoin Revolution. The BibleTellsUsSo states that the Russian company OOO BibleSuSo («Байблсусо») would be the operator. However, this company with an address in Moscow does not exist. The company number listed on the website belongs to a fitness club in Moscow.
Customers who click on the Google ads of BibleTellsUsSo are not led to the website but to other websites where these fraudulent marketing campaigns chase victims for broker scams or illegally operating brokers.
In our review today (19 Jan 2022),
- the Google ad associated with the domain www.bibletellsusso.com
- redirected to the website https://securelyrich.com where the fraudulent Bitcoin Revolution traps customers for
- regulated brokers.
The German regulator BaFin just recently issued a Cease-and-Desist Order against Bitcoin Revolution. Evidently, this doesn’t bother Google. Its EU operation still accepts ads from Russian fraudsters.
Stay tuned for the next part of the Russian Google Game!