Using Google Suggest To See If A Company Is A Scam

from the neat-tricks dept

Jeremy Wagstaff has a neat little trick to determine if a company contacting him is likely to be a "scam" of some sort. He just types the name into the Google search bar in Firefox and lets the "Google Suggest" feature take over. Google Suggest, of course, tries to suggest what you might be searching for based on the most common searches done on what you've already started typing in. For some companies, Wagstaff has noted that many of the top results are the name of the company and "scam" or something equally questionable. It's a neat trick, though, as Wagstaff wonders, how long will it be until those companies hire "media specialists" to come up with ways to scrub the Google Suggest results. In the meantime, I'm curious when Google will end up getting sued for such a suggestion. You can bet that some company will try to twist Google Suggest into saying that Google is responsible for the implication from the suggestions, rather than the collection of Google users and their searches.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Lucretious, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 3:15pm

    actually I use a similar method for finding whether other gamers are having similar tech and bug issues with a particular game that I have. It is quite handy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 3:39pm

    Wow. I always just type into google "[company] scam."
    usually get a page of results.
    Think I could patent this idea?

     

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    identicon
    Jeff, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 4:05pm

    Finally Fast!!!

    Soon as I saw the commercial, I did a search... Asecentive is found to be phishing and spyware crap. I did my research.

    I even called up the number on the FinallyFast commercial 3 different times, asked them questions, and they were completely loony. They thought I was some idiot. I even recorded their calls for convenience.

    Call #1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWF_U6fmmMs
    Call #2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NapxF5SNiM0
    Call #3 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQBsi-UT7zA

    Enjoy!

     

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    Johnny Canada, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 4:29pm

    Been doing just that for years "Google is Your Friend" :)

     

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    mischab1, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 5:22pm

    That will tell you if a lot of google users are asking if the company is a scam, not if the company is actually a scam.

    On the other hand, if a lot of people are asking...

     

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    Mike Davis, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 6:00pm

    google's new motto

    "Google : Be as smart as you want to be!"
    or
    Thank god for google!

    i sent them as freely given ideas, hope they use em'

     

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    joshua, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 6:18pm

    you know what works?

    typing virtually anything into google and pressing enter.

    google isn't quite as sharp as it used to be, but it's still incredible how efficient and "usable" google makes the internet.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 8:29pm

    I hope the judge knows what is going on

    "You can bet that some company will try to twist Google Suggest into saying that Google is responsible for the implication from the suggestions"

    Yes, because we can not tolerate the people having a tool which provides facts upon which informed decisions can be made.

     

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    opit, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 8:46pm

    Safety reading

    I have Web of Trust loaded in Firefox. If I do a search to figure out what a given URL represents, I also get a reliability reading without any added typing. You can select alternate search engines and are still set up.

     

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    Ppitstop, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 2:53am

    Information only

    Neat idea only slight flaw is that I didn't think all information on the internet was accurate and if enough people search for "Canada does not exist" google suggest will suggest it.

    Far do some actual fact based research I think?

     

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    Scott Lithgow, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 2:56am

    Cut n Paste

    I think half the world uses this to find its info.

    1 person creates content 100 people cut n paste it and call it there own.

     

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    Yakko Warner, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 7:28am

    Does it work?

    Seems like it wouldn't find out if a company *is* a scam, but just find out if enough other people are trying to find out *if* the company is a scam, no?

     

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 9:06am

    Mailing scams

    I have received mailings stating that I won a free trip to here or there and to call a number. I have only punched in the phone number into the Google search bar and it will return a scam alert website with a description of the scam and different comments from the scammed or the scammer explaining or protecting the scam. Great reads.

     

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      Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 9:08am

      Re: Mailing scams

      Forgot to say that I have also entered in numbers that show up on the scam alert site that are actually pointed out to not be a scam.

       

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    Sean, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 11:30am

    Well this isn't really anything new, I've been using Google to clarify a .exe in task manager or a file extension for as long as I can remember - it looks like this guy just found a different way. I just rely on my natural wit to detect if something is a scam, it's not too hard.

    "Hi I am Bank of America! Need password and username! Thnx!"

    "Hi, this is mom, I'm lost in Nigeria, need monies, send it to this paypal account. Soccermom75677@paypal.com"

    It isn't hard to see scams...

     

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    adel, Oct 9th, 2008 @ 9:31pm

    inqiury

    How do i know that this one name company is not scammer?

    this the name shengzhen Xiyang Trading Co.,Ltd please let me know before we going to get order from them.thanks

    Mrs Jenks

     

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    identicon
    roger mill, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 7:39pm

    Best places to play, best strategies to win. Player ratings & reviews of top online casinos & pokers with highest payouts & biggest bonuses.

     

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    video to dvd service, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 2:11am

    @ Adel

    Just like what Anonymous Coward have posted, you just type [Company Name] Scam on google's search engine and scan for the results. Then again, you'd better ask his permission if he already had that idea patented. *lol*

    Google is still the best, no doubt about that.

     

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    identicon
    Dorothy Weidner, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 11:22am

    Child Shield USA, in Tucson AZ

    I have been trying to find out if this company is a scam. They ae with the BBB, have a A+ rating eith Chamber of commmerce. Yet, nobody in Tucson has heard of them.
    Is anyone familar with them?????

    Please let me know.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Dorothy Weidner, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 11:23am

    Child Shield USA, in Tucson AZ

    I have been trying to find out if this company is a scam. They ae with the BBB, have a A+ rating eith Chamber of commmerce. Yet, nobody in Tucson has heard of them.
    Is anyone familar with them?????

    Please let me know.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Bobby Fetherolf, Nov 27th, 2010 @ 4:12pm

    Excellent company

    Hi Dorothy. This company is probably the most "true" and "real" home business out there. My wife and I are about to start with them in a few weeks. They immediately called us after our initial online submission, and not with forceful sales or anything. Instead they were as helpful as could be, answering every question we had and sent out a free 20-page informational package within days. I would suggest you join them if you are seriously interested in starting a home business.

     

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    icon
    Bobby F (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 7:50am

    #1 home business for a reason

    Just wanted to comment on Child Shield one more time. I have now officially become an affiliate and have never been so excited to belong to a company before as I am now. Excellent program. Great customer service. Unmatched 20-year record. And as a business opportunity, there is NO commission structure that compares. Through the roof. I would love to get more people on board either as teammates in this venture or as customers who realize their children truly deserve this protection. My personal site is www.ChildShieldPA.org and my direct e-mail is admin@ChildShieldPA.org. Come join me in this life-changing opportunity!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Bobby F (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 1:32pm

    #1 home business for a reason

    Just wanted to comment on Child Shield one more time. I have now officially become an affiliate and have never been so excited to belong to a company before as I am now. Excellent program. Great customer service. Unmatched 20-year record. And as a business opportunity, there is NO commission structure that compares. Through the roof. I would love to get more people on board either as teammates in this venture or as customers who realize their children truly deserve this protection. My personal site is www.ChildShieldPA.org and my direct e-mail is admin@ChildShieldPA.org. Come join me in this life-changing opportunity!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Mahaboobkhan, Feb 24th, 2011 @ 9:28am

    plese tell me the company scam or not

    Hi,
    i have been trying to find out if this company is a scam. has heard of them.
    Is anyone familar with them?????

    Please let me know.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    finallyfast.com scam, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 4:55am

    finally fast scam

    Donít download finally fast . Programs that say they speed up your computer are bogus. Plus, my WOT addon for Firefox wonít allow me to enter the site, so many people donít trust it, and for good reason.

    Finally Fast Scam

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    jonzy, Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 9:12am

    I want to know if bootypill.com is a scam or not

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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