Google likes to boast of its highly developed fraud detection algorithms, but in practice, these apparently fail to keep their promise. This is illustrated by the case of a teenager who made a fortune from Google ads.
The basic principle was actually simple: the student set up a phishing website on which supposedly voucher codes could be redeemed – however, there was no consideration and the accused used the captured codes for their own purposes. He got visitors by simply booking an ad in Google’s search engine that led users to his site.
As the investigation files that have now been made available in the course of the proceedings against the young man show, this scam and other frauds were extremely successful. The coupon site called Love2Shop alone brought the operator codes worth around 7700 euros within a week, according to a report by The Register magazine.
When searching his equipment, the investigators found much larger values, which he had probably collected with comparable deeds: On the student’s computer there were around 12,000 credit card numbers, access data to 197 PayPal accounts, and also a wallet with 48 Bitcoin, the one have a daily value of around 2.5 million euros. The police only got on the trail of the whole thing following complaints from voucher users who had been cheated.
“As an adult, he would definitely come in for the deeds,” said judge Catarina Sjölin Knight. After all, he had ultimately even pleaded guilty to money laundering and fraud allegations. However, since the matter was decided in accordance with juvenile criminal law, the perpetrator was ordered to take part in rehabilitation measures over the next twelve months. In addition, all seized assets were confiscated.
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