The FBI Says You Need to Use an Ad Blocker on Google and Bing

An FBI agent with a laptop.

I want to believe
photo: Dzelat (Shutterstock)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation took a break from hunting serial killers this week to release a public service Notice: If you don’t use an ad blocker, what do you do??

According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, criminals use ads in search engine results like Google and Bing to imitate brands. These ads redirect unsuspecting users to fake websites that look identical to the pages users are actually looking for, where they are then exposed to ransomware or phishing attacks. The bureau says an ad blocker can help.

While the government doesn’t recommend a specific ad blocker, I just tested uBlock Origin with some of my favorite Google searches and didn’t see a single ad in the results. An ad blocker is also a great solution if you find yourself in the comments section of this article with a bizarre impulse to complain about the ads on Gizmodo, a beautiful, perfect website.

When I write about online scams, people often tell me they are too smart to fall for them. Unfortunately, this is the kind of attitude that will scam you. Protecting yourself requires constant vigilance, which is undermined when you think you are unvulnerable. All it takes is ten seconds of oversight or even a single click to get in trouble.

To this end, The FBI recommends failsafes like checking the URL of the page you’re visiting or typing the web address directly instead of searching for it. The FBI says these scams are particularly prevalent in the finance or cryptocurrency sectors. If you’re doing anything with your money online, it’s time to be extra careful.

It’s also worth paying attention to when you’re clicking on an ad rather than an actual search result. This is an increasingly annoying prospect as services like Google work hard to make their ads look like regular search results, often filling the entire first results screen with ads, requiring you to scroll down to find what’s actually relevant .

If you’re the victim of a scam, the FBI wants to know about it. Anyone who wants to speak to the FBI can report the crime to you local FBI field officeor directly to Cyber ​​Crime Complaints Board.

https://gizmodo.com/google-bing-fbi-ad-blocker-scam-ads-1849923478 The FBI Says You Need to Use an Ad Blocker on Google and Bing

Zack Zwiezen

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