Utility Ad Scams

Google has been a useful tool for people to be able to search anything on the internet. People have gotten in the habit of using a search engine even if they are going to a site they know. Cybercriminals have picked up on this and have created fake ads. In the latest scam, they have been impersonating utility ads and have created phishing scams that pop up as Google ads.

Cybercriminals have created these scams to trick you into clicking on their ad when you are trying to go to a utility's online payment portal. The add then prompts you to call a number. When the person calls the number they are really calling the cybercriminal. Once the cybercriminal gets you on the phone, they will try any tactic to get what they want - like convincing you that there are issues with your payment for your bills and they need payment now or say they have an offer for a cheaper price if you act now. If you fall for any of these and give your payment information then cybercriminals can start buying things with your money.


  • Always remember that any person can pay for a Google ad even cybercriminals.
  • Cybercriminals will make an offer sound too good to be true so make sure to be cautious of someone trying to convince you to take an offer.
  • Recognize wording that involves a fast action, like need your payment now or urgently. Also be wary if someone asks for another type of payment like wire transfer or gift cards.

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