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Google Response to Fraud Report

For some time I have been reporting to Google the various passport, document, and currency counterfeiters using gmail as their business contact method to Google. Thought I would share the email that I received from Google yesterday, not clear which report it was for, possibly the particularly blatant counterfeiter from this past weekend.

"Hello,
Thank you for your report on potentially abusive account activities on Google. We investigated the account(s) you provided and took appropriate action. Please note that it’s our policy to never reveal information from an account to anyone but that account’s owner.
For more information on our policies, please visit this link Gmail policy (https://www.google.com/gmail/about/policy/)
We appreciate your support and if you have any additional questions, please respond to this email and we will be happy to assist you.
Google Anti-Abuse Team"

Unfortunately, I have found no way to report WhatsApp violators.

Posted by
1151 posts

"...and took appropriate action".

Which could mean anything or nothing, of course. Convenient for them that they have created their own "policy" not to say!

Posted by
7143 posts

I assume all, or most, companies have a policy not to say what action they’re taking in this circumstance.
I’m sure Google does appreciate your reports Larry.

Posted by
8889 posts

I think you are on a lost cause reporting it to google. These "advertisers" create a new e-mail account for each day, the next time it is a new address. Blocking them is closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, tomorrow a new stable door will be opened

Posted by
875 posts

Thank you, Larry. Even if reporting these counterfeiters to google is a bit like playing whack-a-mole, still you are DOING something about this fraud and maybe someday the moles will tire a bit. Thank you.

Posted by
1151 posts

Susan - a decent company would have a policy to always report illegal actions to the proper authorities. Google and its like have decided to choose for themselves what to report and what to cover up and deal with by a secret internal "policy".

Posted by
8889 posts

a decent company would have a policy to always report illegal actions to the proper authorities.

That is assuming the "proper authorities" can be determined. If I open an e-mail account, there is no record of where I live, so who are the "proper authorities"?

These counterfeiters are probably operating out of somewhere where there is no enforcement, or even no laws against what they are doing: Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Transnistria, . . .

Posted by
1151 posts

Chris - that it's difficult to find enforceable laws in one country isn't an excuse for Google, etc. to ignore the law everywhere, despite what they seem to think. Look at how Google has just tried to illegally shut down discussions on unionization in Switzerland.

Posted by
2039 posts

Yes, it may be whack-a-mole, but I would like to believe that Gmail takes this seriously enough (after all, surely they don't want to be viewed as supporting these actions) that when these come in, especially, when they can see that the poster has this gmail for the fraud plastered all over the internet (seriously, do a Google search on any of these email addresses when these appear, it's not just on ricksteves.com. If nothing else these folk have to keep going through the trouble of getting a new email address and placing all their SPAM adds again. To paraphrase Mark Twain about teaching a pig to sing, at least irritating the pig is worth something.

Posted by
7143 posts

Nick, you and i have a different opinion of Google. I’ll leave it at that.

Posted by
5019 posts

Thanks, Larry, agree with you 100%. Yes, it's frustrating, but we gotta do what we can do, even if that's limited. It's certainly true that internet companies need to do more. Google absolutely has plenty of resources. I'm sure they put some effort into this fight; I wish they (and the others that enable these scams) put more into them. One can always hope (and vote).

Posted by
3947 posts

If anyone is foolish enough to believe that a proper business is going to use a gmail account as their business account without routing it through a simple domain name then consider it a lesson learnt.

Also, if you're responding to adverts that clearly offer unlawful/illegal services then you deserve all you get.

A common sense approach is all that is required, no need to bombard Google with reports of dubious Gmail accounts as such accounts are often deleted as rapidly as they're created by the fraudsters themselves.

Posted by
4499 posts

If anyone is foolish enough to believe that a proper business is going
to use a gmail account as their business account without routing it
through a simple domain name then consider it a lesson learnt.

Um... LOTs of small businesses use email services like Gmail, Yahoo, ATT for their legitimate business. That spammers use them too is irrelevant.

Posted by
3947 posts

Um... LOTs of small businesses use email services like Gmail, Yahoo, ATT for their legitimate business. That spammers use them too is irrelevant.

What's the "Um" for? I know some small businesses use Gmail etc for their e-mail address but it simply looks amateurish and unprofessional. If you can't even grasp the basics of how to present a professional front for your business then I'm going to question your business accumen.

It's not irrelevant that spammers use those e-mail addresses because they do and if they're purporting to be from a major company then the .gmail etc address is a huge giveaway.