Sharing Daily Discoveries About Personal Finance And Business Topics

Strange Google Adwords Emails

large business and finance

Recently I have been getting a string of e-mails from what it is made out to look like it is from Google to inform me that I have an outstanding balance in regards to an advertising campaign. Although it pretty much smelled like a phishing scam, here is the e-mail:

X-Account-Key: account3
X-UIDL: 1226436490.2587.pt01
X-Mozilla-Status: 0001
X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000
Return-Path: jaye
Received: (fqmail 2586 invoked from network); 11 Nov 2008 20:48:10 -0000
Received: (fqmail 2586 invoked from network); 11 Nov 2008 20:48:10 -0000
Received: from [] ([])
Received: from [] by; Tue, 11 Nov 2008 22:48:09 +0200
Message-ID: <01c9444f$91715a80$53a1c451@jaye>
From: “Google AdWords Team”
Subject: Google AdWords Alert
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 22:48:09 +0200
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2800.1409
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2800.1409

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

Content-Type: text/plain;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable


Our attempt to charge your credit card on Tue, 11 Nov 2008 22:48:09 +0200 for your outstanding Google AdWords account balance was declined. Your account is still open. However, your ads have been suspended. Once we are able to charge your card and receive payment for your account balance, we will re-activate your ads.

Please update your billing information, even if you plan to use the same credit card. This will trigger our billing system to try charging your card again. You do not need to contact us to reactivate your

To update your primary payment information, please follow these steps:

1. Log in to your AdWords account at:
2. Click the ‘My Account’ tab.
3. Click ‘Billing Preferences’ link.
4. Click Edit next to the appropriate ‘Payment Details’ section.
5. Enter your new or updated payment information.
6. Click ‘Save Changes’ when you have finished.

In the future, you may wish to use a backup credit card in order to help ensure continuous delivery of your ads. You can add a backup credit card by visiting your Billing Preferences page.
This message was sent from a notification-only email address that does
not accept incoming email. Please do not reply to this message. If you
have any questions, please visit the Google AdWords Help Centre at to find answers to
frequently asked questions and a ‘contact us’ link near the bottom of
the page.

Thank you for advertising with Google AdWords.
We look forward to providing you with the most effective advertising available.


The Google AdWords Team

Aside from the fact that I haven’t used the service for a long time for myself personally, one dead giveaway on how this e-mail wasn’t legitimate is that the IP address of the e-mail did not seem to originate from Google and at the same time it looked like the sender used Microsoft Outlook to send the message which is something that I have never seen Google do before.

At the same time, I fail to see how the person would benefit in anyway from this as normally for phishing scams the intent is to make you visit a phoney website in an attempt to harvest your personal information. In this case, the url just leads to the Google site.

The Internet might make it a lot easier to do business in, but at the same time that means you will see whole lot more shady practices as well.

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