Cybercriminals use search engine ads to impersonate trusted brands, compromising user security

The FBI warns the public that cybercriminals are using search engine advertising services to impersonate brands and websites, including financial institutions, payroll sites and cryptocurrency exchange platforms.

These malicious sites appear as ads at the top of search results, and the differences between the ads and the actual search results can be subtle. Once accessed, these pages direct users to enter their credentials and financial information, or they contain links to download software that is actually malware.

Although search engine ads are not malicious in nature it is important to be careful when accessing a website through these links. Before clicking on an ad, check the URL to make sure the page is authentic. A malicious domain may resemble the target URL, but may contain spelling errors.


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