AdWords Phishing Scam: Beware (

I received a forwarded email from a client this morning, apparently from (the usual AdWords notification email address), telling us that “Your Google Adwords Account has stopped running this morning.”

Obviously my client was a little worried, but a quick scan of the email made it clear that this was a phishing scam, no doubt designed to extract your credit card/bank details as you “verify” your account. Two things gave it away:

1. Far from great grammar/spelling:

Some of the ads have stopped running today (Monday, 12 April 2010).

If you want to get your ad back up and running you need to optimize the campaign to improve the CTR. The link below has some helpful tips, but, in a nutshell, you need to look at your keywords and your ad text. Make sure your keywords are jighly relevant and then make sure that each keyword in the ad group makes sense in terms of the ad text associated with this ad group (usually this means you need to create more ad groups with a smaller number of keywords). Having a tight connection between keywords and ad text helps improve CTR, which should fix your problem.

2. Hover over the links to “Click here to get your ads back up” or “verify the status of your account” and you will see it directs you to – very similar to Google’s own AdWords address, bar the “-rs” of course. Indeed, try to visit the site (I don’t recommend that!) and you will see Google blocks it as a suspected phishing site.

Now whilst phishing email scams aren’t rare (how many emails have you had from banks that you’ve never had an account with!?), this is probably only the second or third time I’ve seen it for AdWords. I’ve seen eBay, PayPal and various other ones over the years. Remember to check those links before you click!

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