This is the 2nd article in our Russian Google Game series. Over the past few weeks, we have been investigating the advertising activities of scammers on Google. Specifically, we looked at how fraudulent marketing campaigns around Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are advertised. Google plays an essential role by either selling ads to scammers or presenting fake review pages on the first page of search results. Many Google ads we analyzed were placed by Russian websites like the Woodhursta. Here is the report.
Russian Google Game
|Scheme||Russian Google Game|
|Activity||Promoting fraudulent crypto campaigns via Google|
|Promoted scam brand||Bitcoin Prime, Bitcoin Revolution, Bitcoin Evolution|
Bitcoin Loophole, Bitcoin Up, and others
|Fake Russian publishers||BibleTellsUsSo (www.bibletellsusso.com)|
Cognitive Mattress (www.cognitivemattress.com)
|Landing pages||https://whetherk.com, |
The Fake Cleaning Company
The Woodhursta website (www.woodhursta.com) pretends to be the internet outlet of a cleaning company. It states the Novgorod-based company OOO Wudchorsta (Вудхурста) as the operator. This company does not exist. The given company number belongs to the Russian company OOO Resurs (РЕСУРС), founded in 2009. We assume that this company is not involved in the Russian Google Game. Woodhursta acts as the imposter of this Russian company. Obviously with the intention to deceive Google, which was successful.
In our review today (19 Jan 2022),
- the Google ad associated with the domain www.woodhorsta.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!