Google has issued a warning about online scams that take advantage of its brand to trick people into buying kits that will supposedly help them make money from home.
"To fight back, we are working to stop various fraudulent 'Google Money' schemes, and this week filed suit against Pacific WebWorks and several other unnamed defendants," an official Google blog post said.
Google has accused Pacific WebWorks of misusing its brand and logo to trick customers into believing they are joining a Google-sponsored scheme that will allow them to make money at home by performing a simple task that requires no skill or qualifications.
According to Google, thousands of people have been tricked into sending payment information and being charged hidden fees by "questionable" operations.
"Even as we re taking legal action to try to cut these sites off at the source, we are still working constantly to remove scammy URLs from our index," the blog post said.
Google has also undertaken to disable AdWords accounts that provide a poor or harmful user experience, whether or not they use Google's trademarks legally.
The firm said web users should be sceptical and review any offers online before sending any information, and always be on guard when presented with an offer that seems too good to be true.
The blog post said web users should be wary of companies using the following names:
- Google Adwork
- Google ATM
- Google Biz Kit
- Google Cash
- Earn Google Cash Kit
- Google Fortune
- Google Marketing Kit
- Google Profits
- The Home Business Kit for Google
- Google StartUp Kit
- Google Works.