AdWords
2.2K members online now
2.2K members online now
Learn about the Google Ad Grants advertising program for nonprofits
Guide Me
star_border
Reply

Ad Grants Fraud?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I am posting this here as a last resort.

 

I have called the Google AdWords phone number and have been through 4 representatives. I am not able to apply Ad Grants to my AdWords account, and everyone that I talk to has a different story on why. None of the offered "solutions" ever seem to solve the problem, and this has been going on for almost a month now. That means that the project we are working on - in which AdWords is a part of - has also been delayed by almost a month due to this issue alone. They are still trying to find a solution, but because this has been going on for so long and I have heard so many different answers, I have little hope that this will be resolved.

 

In July 2015, I applied for Google Ad Grants and was approved. However, I was and still am unable to run ads because I get the error message about my account being inactive because I need to enter billing information.

 

To cut my story short, the latest reply I received from AdWords Support is that someone else has applied for an ad grant with our EIN# and was approved. This representative gave me this person's gmail account and name. There is no one by that name who has EVER worked in this organization, and my boss who has been here for 10-11+ years can verify that. During 2013-2014, we outsourced AdWords to a marketing agency, however it is a small company, and there is no one who worked there with that name. Furthermore, the gmail account does not match the gmail account used by this agency. We cut ties with said agency during summer of 2014.

 

Regardless of my repeated statements that no one by that name has ever worked for or with our organization, the representative offered the preposterous solution of contacting a complete stranger and demanding access to his or her AdWords account. The representative was very insistent on this being the solution. If this truly is the case, either someone mistakenly entered the wrong EIN# or they are willingly committing fraud. If I did contact them, why would they believe anything I say and what motivation would they have to give up their AdWords account?

 

However, I kept pushing back so we did a screenshare. Supposedly, when I log into Google for Nonprofits at http://www.google.com/nonprofits, I should be able to see this person under the "Administrators" section. I only see myself in the Administrators section, so the representative took a screenshot and said he would get back to me on it. That's where it stands, but as I've said, this has been going on for almost a month so I have no hope that he will ever get a resolution to this. 

 

Is there anyone who can truly help? We were hoping to start PPC with Google and then get into other platforms if this works well for us. However, I am tempted to just say forget about Google and use Bing as my starting point.

 

And to make matters more complicated, I will be on vacation 9/3-9/18. I am very frustrated that this will probably bleed into my vacation and that this will also delay our project for another month. Because I don't have a direct line to the specific representative handling my case, communication is spotty. Communication will be even more spotty because there are a good amount of cell phone dead zones where I am going, and I am obviously not available to talk about this while kayaking.

 

Oh and another note... please fix your phone system. Every time I call the number on the website (1-866-246-6453), stick in my customer ID#, and choose AdWords, I get routed to someone who wants to help me setup a new AdWords account. It is even more irritating when said people tell me that I have called the wrong number and repeat the instructions that got me to them in the first place.

2 Expert replyverified_user
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author LSSI A
September 2015

Re: Ad Grants Fraud?

Community Manager
# 2
Community Manager
Hi LSSI A,
This sounds like a less than ideal situation. I'd like to help. Please look out for an email from me.

Kathleen

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author LSSI A
September 2015

Re: Ad Grants Fraud?

Community Manager
# 2
Community Manager
Hi LSSI A,
This sounds like a less than ideal situation. I'd like to help. Please look out for an email from me.

Kathleen

Re: Ad Grants Fraud?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
As an update, I am posting this as potential help for anyone who may encounter this problem and comes to this forum for help. It does appear that there is such a thing as ad grant fraud. Since this was the issue, posting to this forum was a billion times more helpful than calling AdWords Support. In fact, this issue probably would have never been resolved if I had depended on the standard AdWords phone or live chat support. I would recommend coming here FIRST and avoiding phone and live chat support as much as possible.

This is some speculation on my part, but it does appear to be a "profitable" business model to create a bogus website advertising fake jobs for a well known corporation, obtain personal information under this pretense in order to sell said information, and then sign up for Ad Grants with a charity's EIN for free advertising. From what I can tell from the ads this person was running with our ad grant, I would guess this is what happened.

Re: Ad Grants Fraud?

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I have a very similar problem, can you help? Our nonprofit account was controlled by someone unknown to us. It was changed to me. When I go it, it says that we are approved for adwords grant. But when I use the same email to create the adwords account (using the link in the adwords grant area) it tells me that it is not active because I have to enter billing information. I have talked to chat and recreated the account repeatedly at their direction, but still have the same problem. Please help us too! <edited by a Community Manager as noted below>

 

Note: this post has been edited by a Community Manager, per Community Guidelines, in order to protect privacy and account security. Please do not include contact information in your posts.

Re: Ad Grants Fraud?

[ Edited ]
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 5
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆

Merinda, sorry to hear you are still having issues and the lack of solution here. Many people are in "Grant Limbo" such as yourself.

I believe you simply need to have the account reviewed one final time once it is setup (takes about 2-4 hours). You definitely do not enter your billing information, in fact, you are told to skip this step specifically per the Ad Grant Guidelines.

<edited by a Community Manager as noted below>
 
Note: this post has been edited by a Community Manager, per Community Posting Guidelines, in order to remove what appeared to be an offer of assistance outside of the Community forum itself.

Re: Ad Grants Fraud?

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

@Merinda C

 

If you don't have access to the organization's Google for Nonprofits membership account because the original login credentials have been lost or there is an “unknown” administrator tied to the G4NP account then you can request access to the G4NP account by following the steps below.

  1. Go to the Google for Nonprofits membership application page.
  2. Make sure that you're signed in with the Google Account you want to use to access your organization's Google for Nonprofits account.
  3. Agree to the terms and submit your charity ID.
  4. Locate your organization in the results.
  5. Click 'Request Administrative Privileges'.
  6. Fill out the administrative access request form.

After you fill out this form, Google will send the listed account owner an email asking him/her to respond to the request within 14 days. You will receive an email notification once the listed account owner responds to the request. Note that the email will be sent to the account from which the request was made.


If the request is approved by the listed account owner, you will then be able to access the organization's Google for Nonprofits membership account using the account details supplied on the form. If the request is denied, then you will not be able to access the membership account. (Further escalation may be necessary.)

If the original owner does not respond within 14 days, a Google representative will review the request.

 

 

Lastly, please remove the email address posted in your previous post since personal information is not allowed to be posted for the safety and security of your accounts.

 

 

Re: Ad Grants Fraud?

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

@Brian K

Thank you for posting on our forum. However please refrain from promoting any products or services here as it is against the Community guidelines. 

 

Re: Ad Grants Fraud?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
@KathleenG and @RobertCoats it's great to see that you were able to help so many here. I hope you can help the Nonprofit where I work. We have a similar problem - my manager tried to apply for an account and discovered someone had already made one. I have talked with all the staff here who might know who set up an account for our Nonprofit but no one has any leads. What can we do to find out who made the account so we can try to track them down (I'm thinking it could be someone who has since left) or so that we can report a fraud if there is one?

Re: Ad Grants Fraud?

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor

@Visitor S

In most cases, it is an individual who has moved on from the organization, often it is a well intentioned volunteer. Google has several layers in place to help prevent fraud.

 

Have you taken the steps that I recommended in my previous post above?

Re: Ad Grants Fraud?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
@KathleenG and @RobertCoats

I'm having a similar problem with our grant with Google for Nonprofits/GoogleAds. I have contacted GoogleAds, who said there is nothing we can do about another non-profit using our EIN. We were told by the GoogleAds account representative to email Google Legal Support, which we did, but we have yet to hear back. We have contacted the other non-profit and have given them until June 30, 2016 to cease using our EIN for Google for Nonprofts, but who knows what's going to happen. I also sent the legal department copies of our IRS determination letter, and most recent 990-EZ tax filing.

Help! What can we do to stop the unauthorized use of our EIN?