September 30, 2009

Bing Launches Ads Against Misleading Internet Scams

Microsoft's Bing search engine has launched an ad campaign to warn the site's visitors from online scams and misleading claims.

According to a press release, Microsoft worked alongside the US Federal Trade Commission, Postal Inspection Service and Western Union in order to create public service announcements to appear alongside Bing search results.

The campaign is intended to protect Web users from mainstay scams of the Web, including offers to fix credit scores, mortgage foreclosure rescue and advance fee fraud, also known as lottery scams.

The different PSAs will be triggered by certain search terms, such as "foreclosure rescue," "fix my credit" and "money transfer." If users click on the sponsored link, they will be directed to either landing pages on credit repair, mortgage foreclosure scams or one on avoiding advance fee fraud.

The credit repair, mortgage foreclosure scam sites are hosted by the FTC. The site based on mortgage foreclosure scams is hosted by Microsoft.

"By including this information within the search experience itself, these organizations aim to remind consumers to be on alert at precisely the moment they may likely be faced with scams," Microsoft said.

The statement notes that the FTC-managed Consumer Sentinel Network database of consumer complaints received more than 234,000 complaints about fraud in 2008 where the consumer was contacted through the Internet.

"We believe this program can help fight back against scams by reminding consumers to exercise their street smarts online right at the time they need it most," Microsoft deputy general counsel Nancy Anderson told AFP.

"Unfortunately, many scammers who would exploit a homeowner in danger of foreclosure or a person struggling with credit card debt will try to misuse the Internet to connect with their victims."


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