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James
Posts:1757
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-29
:: Quote ::
Subject: Not best pleased!
For the first time in months loged into my adwords account. My web host offered me $50 free adwords, so thought I'd try advertising again.

All of my old campaigs had been deleted, but there was a new one running. Somehow or other, somebody has managed to log into my account and start up a campaign for cheap Canadian drugs! They had a budget of 900 per day, and thankfully had only managed to ramp up 60 in the month or so it was running. Have deleted it, and emailed Google. The repy should be interesting.

I've only ever dallied with adwords very occasionally, and never logged in anywhere other than this machine here, so how this breach happened is a mystery.
December 31, 2008 03:03PM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Not best pleased!
That's really strange. Was your password guessable? And of course you've changed it already....
December 31, 2008 04:10PM
Troi
Posts:4431
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Not best pleased!
I think I have heard of this happening before - thankfully you spotted it early on. Although I think before it was from all those phishing emails that were pinging around - and still are.
December 31, 2008 04:13PM
James
Posts:1757
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-29
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Not best pleased!
Password wasn't guessable, and yes, it's now changed to an even less guessable one. I don't often see phishing emails, as mailwasher zaps them all, plus I am adept at using the delete key.

Looking at the campaign, it was not targetted at all, they put a 1 a click value on it with a 900 per day limit, and still got really poor performance from the campaign! Don't think I'd be employing them to do my ads for me somehow.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/31/2008 05:03PM by James.
December 31, 2008 05:02PM
DamonHD
Posts:6158
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Not best pleased!
Very worrying.

Very nasty to find that there has been access to your account.

Rgds

Damon
December 31, 2008 09:26PM
James
Posts:1757
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-29
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Not best pleased!
Thankfully it's not a lot of money involved, and more than likely G will get it sorted.

I think that what is really starting to hack me off is that having made the effort to get into my account, they made a complete mess of the campaign! In a way, it reminds me of the time a good American friend of mine was mugged by someone that was really not very good at it. After the initial shock, he found himself getting annoyed with the ineptness the mugging was being carried out with.
December 31, 2008 09:34PM
Roger
Posts:46
Junior member
Member since: 2008-12-16
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Not best pleased!
I had the same thing happen to me recently. A listing was added to my account that accrued $1200 in charges in one night before I caught it and notified Google.

I ran Spybot S&D and Norton Antivirus on my computer and changed my Adwords password to a "strong" password.

Google offered to refund the charges to my credit card or give me credit in my Adwords account. The first option would have taken about two weeks and my account would have been disabled during the time. Since it was the start of the holiday season, I decided to take the second option.

-- Roger
January 01, 2009 10:02PM
James
Posts:1757
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-29
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Not best pleased!
Haven't had a reply from Google as yet, but did get a letter from the credit card company G have on record saying that as I hadn't used it for a long time they had reduced the credit limit. Just rang them up and cancelled the card, so even if G try and take the money they will have a job smiling smiley
January 02, 2009 04:26PM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Not best pleased!
Smart move
January 03, 2009 01:00AM
GegaBit
Posts:3311
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Not best pleased!
I don't use AdWords so excuse the stupid question:

Why is G not notifying by email on additional campaigns being set and why are't you able to define all your destination domains and hence getting an additional email notification when a new domain is added to your profile?
January 03, 2009 01:39AM
James
Posts:1757
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-29
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Not best pleased!
GB, I'm not a big user so I may not be the best person to answer. As far as I can see there isn't an option for them to email you to let you know you have started a new campaign. I think they assume that if you have an adwords account, you log in regularly enough to check, and notice odd things. I think it clearly falls down where people like me cease all campaigns and don't close the account as they want to leave the option open. As you say, it would make sense - certainly to have the option.

With adwords you can't set domains as you can in adsense. You just give them the money, and they spend it. Yes, I do know you can target where your ads show(ish), but in this very crude campaign all they had done is told Google to spend up to 900 per day, and allow the system to charge up to 1 per click anywhere Google felt like placing the ads. What they had done is not unusual, so Google wouldn't necessarily have detected a problem. I think people who logged on a lot to monitor ther campaigns would pick up these problems, but clearly there are some security issues.

It does annoy me in a way. When I was advertising, they picked me up on a grammatical error in one of my ads and wouldn't show it until I had corrected it. But this lot seem to have got their ads to show on the same account with terrible spelling! They couldn't even spell prescription properly. It p***es me off that I can't get away with a very minor error on an ad, but the hackers could get away with a LOT more than I would - maybe they had a bigger budget???
January 03, 2009 08:42AM
Pengi
Posts:3345
Senior member
Member since: 2006-12-17
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Not best pleased!
Quote:
so even if G try and take the money they will have a job

A "good move" unless it leads to a bad credit report with G that has a knock on effect to your AdSense account!

When my Adwords account was in active use, I would make multiple chnages to multiple campaigns every day - I would not have wanted an e-mail from G for every change. Obviously someone has hacked into the account and G is unaware that the campaign changes are not as the account owner intends.

Nevertheless, G should still apply the same rules vetting each Ad. I would expect that the Ads should still pass all the AdWords criteria. I have had ads blocked in the past because they appeared to be [but were not actually] in the pharmaceutical area - so surely G should be blocking the ads that have been set up in this case.
January 03, 2009 12:15PM
Troi
Posts:4431
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Not best pleased!
Quote:
They couldn't even spell prescription properly.

More than likely this would have been intentional - as a mis-spelling will show for a short period of time until they worm it - and using perscriptionspelt properly would probably have meant they would have needed a pharmaceutical license to bid - which the chances are these sleeze buckets don't have!

It really annoys me at how quickly Google are able to debit a card - but how incredibly slow they are to refund monies taken in error. Fortunately I am on monthly invoice accounts - so this wouldn't be an issue. However, I haven't used adwords for many months - and have had to go and have a quick look to double check my accounts after this - as I do have a rather massive monthly budget that could have been utilised had the same thing happened to me.

Hope it all gets sorted - and let us know the outcome.
January 03, 2009 06:37PM
Pengi
Posts:3345
Senior member
Member since: 2006-12-17
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Not best pleased!
Quote:
However, I haven't used adwords for many months - and have had to go and have a quick look to double check my accounts after this - as I do have a rather massive monthly budget that could have been utilised had the same thing happened to me.

This was my first concern on reading this thread - I haven't used my AdWords Account for over a year - I believe I'm actually actually in credit by about $5 - and I rarely, if ever chack the state of my account. The first I would be aware of if this were happening to me would be a bill from AdWords at the end of the month.
January 04, 2009 11:19AM
James
Posts:1757
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-29
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Not best pleased!
There is the facility to cancel the account making it inactive. You can log in to reactivate the account - this might help. However, if someone has hacked into the account to set up a new campaign, then maybe it would be easy enough to reactivate the account also!

Still waiting a response from Google. Hopefully now the new year break is over they will eventually get round to it.
January 04, 2009 11:41AM
James
Posts:1757
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-29
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Not best pleased!
No reply as yet, so I've sent a repeat email.
January 09, 2009 07:59AM
James
Posts:1757
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-29
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Not best pleased!
Well, they responded to my second email with a boilerplate reply a few days ago. Change password, antivirus, spyware etc. I did tell them that the credit card assigned to the account was no longer in use and that there was no method of payment.

Still waiting.
January 15, 2009 07:42AM
Pengi
Posts:3345
Senior member
Member since: 2006-12-17
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Not best pleased!
Keep replying to the boilerplate e-mails until to get a human response.

I believe the replys are escalated to a higher tier
January 15, 2009 08:40AM

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