A site ripped me off

We're always sorry to hear when a site misrepresents its products or treats individuals unethically. As you may know, Google is a reflection of the Web. Although we organize content published on the Web, we don't control the content itself, and it's our policy not to police content.

Ways to take action

While Google cannot reach out to the site, there are still a number of ways to take action if a site has ripped you off.

  • Report sites that use the Google trademark inappropriately

    If you think a site is using the Google trademark or logo for fraudulent purposes, please let us know.
  • Report a fraudulent site that showed up in your ads

    If the site in question appeared as a sponsored link above or to the right of your search results page, please report the site through the Adwords Help Center.
  • Alert the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

    Regardless of where a suspicious site appeared, you can take action by alerting the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which handles complaints about deceptive or unfair business practices. To file a complaint, visit http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/contact.shtm or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.

We appreciate your diligence in reporting your experience and believe it will provide a better experience for everyone. You can help your fellow users by posting a warning about suspicious sites using the Google brand in the Web Search Help Forum. We rely on users to exercise good judgment and educate each other about Internet fraud due to the sheer number of scam sites and the number of Internet users falling prey to fraud.

Suspicious sites and what to look for

  • Fake news stories about making money using Google
    Look out for sites that look like news stories or blog posts about ways to make money on Google. The sites often look very similar to real online news sites. The rule of thumb is that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Here are some common signs that the site you're on isn't legitimate:
    • You don't recognize the name of the news source. Or you do, but it's off by a letter or two. Big news outlets rarely misspell their own names.
    • You got to the site by clicking a link in an unsolicited email or an ad.
  • Fake reviews of money-making programs
    Watch out for sites that claim to evaluate money-making programs, but in reality just link to scams. Detecting these sites can be especially tricky, because they claim to help you avoid scams. Here's what to look out for on these sites:
    • Just a few reviews, all of them positive. (Real review sites will usually include negative reviews.)
    • A section with user comments, but no place for you to leave a comment.
  • Make-money-fast sites
    Sites offering 'fast cash with Google' or a 'Google success kit' that promise a quick buck if you join. Users tell us that their services involve a lot of hidden charges.
  • Google lottery
    Users have told us about a common email scam in which they're told they've won a 'Google lottery' or other award. Sorry -- there's no Google lottery.
  • Sites that appear to be, but aren't, affiliated with Google or other recognizable brands
    Look out for disclaimers at the bottom of the page using variations of the language 'GOOGLE is a registered trademark of Google, Inc. We are not a partner, affiliate, or licensee of Google Inc., nor is our company in any other way formally associated with Google Inc.'

We know it's not always easy to tell, so we've posted some more information on the Official Google Blog and in the Web Search Help Forum.