India: Fraud Through Google Search Ads - Alleges Amul

Last Updated: 27 February 2019
Article by S.S. Rana & Co. Advocates

As per reports, India's biggest dairy owner Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) which is in the business of marketing of milk and milk products under the brand name 'Amul' was struck with a state of awe when it found that a lot of innocent people across India were being tricked on account of paid fake advertisements on fake Amul websites carried vide Google search engine.

As per the report, the dairy player had themselves stated that a series of fake B2B Campaign were initiated with regard to Amul Parlors and Distributors who had started operating fake websites using Google Search ads since September 2018 with the malafide intent to exploit individuals across India with fake promises of business opportunities with Amul. It had been informed by them that those miscreants had been running paid advertisements on google search engines against keywords like Amul Franchisee, Amul Parlor and Amul Distributor.

It was informed by various reports that the individual upon opening the fake website was required to first fill up forms and consequently would receive calls from unknown numbers for payment/transfer of the registration fees ranging from Rs.25,000 to Rs.5,00,000 via NEFT in various accounts. After the money was transferred, these miscreants would disconnect all form of communication with the concerned individual.

Aggrieved thereby, Amul had issued a legal notice against both Google India Pvt Ltd and internet domain registrar Godaddy.com (earning revenues through subscriptions) and accused them for misusing their platform for the purpose of earning revenue by running fake campaigns and advertisements thereby fooling several innocent people since September last year.

As per the report, it was stated by Amul that they had even approached Google to take steps to prevent running of such sham advertisements by miscreants and stop them from using 'Amul' keyword-based ads on the google search engine and thwarting people from getting duped. An email querying about the said massacre had also been sent to Google and requested to run advertisements to educate customers about the fake campaigns. Pursuant to that, Amul had also informed the cyber cell of Gujrat Police and website domain portals from which the website domains were being purchased regarding the fake campaigns. It was stated by them that the Google in order to earn revenue was running these click-based advertisements on their page and promotion-based services on its platform without any background check of the miscreants.

It would be thought-provoking to see what the next step would be taken by Google on account of legal notice being served upon it in the case of fraud as alleged by Amul.

For further information please contact at S.S Rana & Co. email: info@ssrana.in or call at (+91- 11 4012 3000). Our website can be accessed at www.ssrana.in

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