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Websites run by companies purporting to sell lower mortgages with US Government backed programs have been shutdown for fraud. Allegations last week implicated Google in selling AdWords ads to these companies without verifying their claims. The inquiry was expanded to include Yahoo!/Bing, Microsoft and other future search engines and ad servers. 125 companies have been named in the case which is a big win for brokers and consumers alike. This was a major victory in particular for SIGTARP or "The Special Inspector General For The Troubled Asset Relief Program".
The scams usually claim that mortgage payments and be greatly reduced by a government program via claims in ads and ad copy. After the client makes a large upfront payment, the scammers play the cat and mouse game of avoid the duped party.
This is on the heels of Google having to pay a $500 million dollar settlement for false pharmaceutical ads. SIGTARP was able to assuage some fear of consumers who have cast some doubt on how the major search engines operate selling advertising to fake companies in the Mortgage industry and others. Search engines are a huge part of life today and how people search for and ultimately shop for deals. Studies show both related keyword searches for mortgage total over 3 Million in the last quarter alone.