Beware of business opportunity companies that uses the name of Google — e.g. Google Money Tree, Google Cash Kit, Google Quick Cash, or whatever the other names are. They are all running a scam using Google’s name. And I must say that they are succeeding pretty well, convincing a lot of people with snapshots of checks supposedly earned from the “business opportunity.”
The scammers are spinning the money making opportunities provided by Google’s contextual advertising program, Adsense. Unlike Adsense which is free, the main difference of these scammers is that they charge shipping fees of either $1.98 – $3.88 for a CD that will supposedly provide you with a way to earn money from home. They will also ask for your bank information as you enroll in this “free trial.”
Once you get suckered into the promise of easy money (they even have photos of checks received from Google typically around $5,000), you will then realize that you will be billed anywhere from $69.90 – $72.21 on a monthly basis if you do not call to cancel your “free membership.” The fun part is that the CD contains nothing but information on how to sell on ebay, where to supposedly find drop shippers and suppliers etc.
Here’s the FINE PRINT from the Google Kit website:
By submitting this form I authorize Google ATM (DRI*GoogleATM) to immediately charge my credit card $1.95 USD for the setup of the Google ATM Home Business Kit. I hereby request that Google ATM (DRI*GoogleATM) activate my account and authorize them to advance funds as indicated. Monthly Service fees will commence seven days from the date of this purchase, and will be billed monthly thereafter. After the seven day trial you will be billed Sixty nine dollars and ninety cents USD monthly for the continued access to the Google Money Making System. No refunds will be given for failure to use the requested and provided services.
It is very important to read the fine print. The above is at the very bottom of a very long page where the reader may be enticed with all the promises of income from the program, further bolstered by the various so-called “testimonials.”
The worst part for me was their presentation of a “Google” check thereby giving potential suckers (err, buyers) the confidence that this is indeed a program by Google. But, in the fine print they admit that Google has NOTHING to do with this program — which begs the question: what’s the point of showing a “Google” check other than to deceive the people and misrepresent the program as that of Google.
Google does not endorse or sponsor this site and is in no way affiliated with this site The trademarks of Google, MSN, CNBC, USAToday, ABC, CNN and Yahoo! are the properties of their respective companies. These organizations do not specifically endorse or sponsor this site. The Google work job kit is free to try for a limited amount of time only.
There are a number of variations to the scam, such as the blog supposedly by a Scott who was able to wipe out his debts by using the Google Cash Kit system, or the Earn Cash from Google or the Money Making Story with Google. I’m not sure how they actually work, but here’s what Google in their official Adsense blog says
We’d like to take this opportunity to state that we’re not affiliated with any third-parties that solicit payment to join the AdSense program or that sell CDs with money-back guarantee offers. AdSense is a free product offered to publishers by Google Inc., and there’s no cost or obligation involved. As a result, we recommend that prospective publishers exercise caution when presented with such offers
If you want to earn money from Google, the ONLY way is to apply to Google Adsense http://www.google.com/adsense . Read the fine print always with these “money making programs.” Search the Web for complaints from other people — and actually listen to their complaints.
Remember that there are no scammers if there are no suckers. Don’t be one.
UPDATE: On July 1, the Federal Trade Commission filed a case against Google Money Tree and its principals for the scam. Here’s what FTC had to say
Google Money Tree, its principals, and related entities allegedly misrepresented that they were affiliated with Google and lured consumers into divulging their financial account information by advertising a low-cost kit that they said would enable consumers to earn $100,000 in six months. They then failed to adequately disclose that the fee for the kit would trigger monthly charges of $72.21, the complaint states. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada.