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Googling these words can hugely increase your risk of being scammed

Googling these words can hugely increase your risk of being scammed

Googling these specific phrases could land you in a trap.

Google may be the single biggest dominating name in the search engine race, but that doesn't mean that it's infallible.

In fact, sites are becoming increasingly practised at pleasing Google's algorithms - meaning they're able to climb up the rankings for search queries they target aggressively.

Unfortunately, this method can also be exploited by bad actors.

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A new report from Lifehacker demonstrates this perfectly by listing five major search terms that seem to result in a way higher rate of scammy results - leading you to murky websites that don't have your best interests at heart.

These search terms are: 'Free credit report', '[company] customer service number', 'high paying remote job', 'free people finder' and 'best crypto wallet'.

Each one has its own cottage industry of scam websites trying to dupe you into clicking through and signing up for expensive services that don't really offer value for money.

Some aim to make you think you're getting the contact details of a reputable business when you're in fact snared in a phishing trap, while others simply offer expensive fees in exchange for low-value services.

Others, like the remote job search, are more likely to take advantage of your optimism by listing results that seem too good to be true - because they are.

Finally, crypto-related searches throw up red flags for potential scams for a more obvious reason - because the world of crypto is itself riddled with scams, rug-pulls and sudden collapses, sadly.

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Avoiding these search terms could be a quick way to keep your safe - although you might find yourself therefore in a bit of a pickle if you are in need of a credit report.

In cases like that, it's best to stick to reputable sources - websites that you know and trust, legacy news organizations, named writers and the like, as these are typically less likely to be hosting scams knowingly.

Hopefully, this attention could shake the tree at Google and result in some tweaks to the algorithm in these areas, to reduce that spammy or scammy feeling while searching.

That said, the great algorithm in the sky is so complex that many Google employees allegedly don't know how it works, so this may not be one to hold your breath on.

Featured Image Credit: NurPhoto / Contributor / Anadolu / Contributor