Last month, The Search Monitor detected fraudulent PPC ads running on Bing, Yahoo, and Google. The fraudsters impersonated more than 300 advertisers on a global scale. The advertisers that were affected by the fraudulent activity spanned across several industries, including leading business in automotive (JC Whitney), furniture (Joss & Main), software (MobiStealth), printing (Tiny Prints), home & garden (Ace Hardware), travel (Booking Buddy), firearms (Brownell’s), and services (Deluxe).
How Did The Fraud Happen?
The fraud was perpetrated through URL Hijacking. URL Hijacking is the practice where the scammer impersonates an advertiser by using the advertiser’s URL as its Display URL in PPC ads, then linking the ads through an unauthorized link such as an affiliate link, a phishing link, or a cookie-stuffing URL.