Google has sued an individual who impersonates the tech giant and defrauds hundreds of people by offering it basset puppies. The case accuses Cameroonian Inchi Noel of fraudulently using websites, Google Voice phone numbers and Gmail accounts.
One of the perpetrator’s victims paid $700 in “electronic gift cards” to a baby dog. Insisting that the pet would not arrive, the African demanded an additional $1,500 for the supposed transportation expenses.
He said the individual had used “tempting images and false testimonials from clients to take advantage of people during the pandemic.” The Google. He went on to say that his scheme responds to a common pattern: identity theft to get paid for products that will never reach the buyer.
The company claimed that pet-related fraud accounts for 35% of all online shopping frauds. In particular, Basset Hound puppy fraud targeted “the most vulnerable people, just as the pandemic has caused a record increase in demand.”
According to Google search trends, searches for “adopt a dog” spiked at the start of the pandemic, as people spent more time at home. By the end of 2020, he said, 70% of Americans reported having a pet.
“Unfortunately, this scam disproportionately targeted older Americans, who may be more vulnerable to cyberattacks,” she added. Each year, online fraud reaches $650 million in that country, according to official estimates.
According to Mountain View, it blocks more than 100 million fraudulent emails every day from reaching its users.
“Beeraholic. Friend of animals everywhere. Evil web scholar. Zombie maven.”