Bing Ads Warn Consumers Of Online Scams
Microsoft has partnered with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and Western Union on a series of online public service announcements (PSAs) aimed at protecting consumers from a number of scams.
"Unfortunately, many scammers who would exploit a homeowner in danger of foreclosure or a person struggling with credit card debt will try to misuse the Internet to connect with their victims," said Nancy Anderson, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Microsoft.
"By harnessing the reach that Bing holds with consumers and the expertise of organizations like the FTC, USPIS and Western Union, we believe this program can help fight back against scams by reminding consumers to exercise their street smarts online right at the time they need it most."
The PSAs will appear on Bing and focus on scams related to mortgage foreclosure, credit repair schemes and lottery scams. The PSAs for each topic will be triggered by keyword search terms entered on Bing, such as "foreclosure rescue," "fix my credit," and "money transfer."
Users who click on the sponsored ad will be directed to a landing page with advice on avoiding scams and information about how to report a scam if they have been victimized. Landing pages on credit repair and mortgage foreclosure scams are hosted by the FTC. A landing page on lottery scams is hosted by Microsoft.
In 2008, the FTC received more than 234,000 complaints about fraud where the consumer was contacted via the Internet. The average payment amount for each complaint was $440.