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Adwords billing fraud

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# 1
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Opened my America Express bill when it arrived in the mail last Thursday... to see that I had a $200 mid-August and mid-September $297.69 charge. I have opened at some time past an AdWords account but have never run a campaign. The first thing I did was go to my account. Nothing there about campaigns run.


Then went looking for how to contact Google re an errant charge. That info is not easy to find. An obvious phone number or email address would be nice. I did find the content that shows how charges on various credit cards should look on a statement. Checked the example for Amex. It did not match the statement on my card. My charge was "Google*ADWS(9numbersnext)MountainView". No idea re the Mountain View part. This listing was the same for both charges.


Called Amex and reported fraud. Card was canceled and a new one sent.


At 12:54 today I received a "no-reply" email ostensibly from Google with this message: "The ads in your AdWords account have stopped running because the amount you owe is too high. To start running your ads again, please pay your amount due, $497.68." The email included an email link to pay the amount supposedly due. The last thing I'm going to do is click on an email link that might not be legitimate, Ignored the email. The email signature was from the "Google Billing Team."


At 6:42 PM a second no-reply email arrived: "We've heard from your credit card company that you disputed one or more AdWords charges. While we resolve this issue, we've suspended your AdWords  (customer ID number here) so that you don't accrue additional charges." Additional paragraphs follow with links telling me how to pay the amount above and then contact Google to reactivate my account. In the mix is the statement that Google believes the charges are accurate. The email is addressed to "Hello" with no name following. The email signature was from the "Google Adwords Team."


So might this actually be a contact from Google? I did not and will not respond to links in no-reply emails like these. If indeed Google wants to tell me why it things these "Mountain View" Adwords charges are legitimate it should contact me directly with an email that I can reply to. For now I am assuming that Google security has been breached since I (1) have not run any Adword campaigns and (2) cannot believe that if these contacts were indeed from Google the company would not have a better contact system, including the name of a real person at the company in the email.


That's all for now. We'll see if any further emails come along as I continue to ignore these. 

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Adwords billing fraud

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

This is a billing issue. A billing specialist has to look into the charged.
I'll escalate the case to Google.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Adwords billing fraud

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# 3
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A billing issue indeed. For now it is in the hands of Amex and Google and I assume a billing specialist is already involved. Not impressed with the initial "no-reply" emails sent by Google if indeed they came from Google. Google will have to show Amex that I ran whatever "Mountain View" campaign I am being billed for. Since I have never actually run a campaign that will be a challenge. Thank you for forwarding this to somewhere. I assume Google reads these discussions as well.