Google might have accidentally SCAMMED you – did you lose money?

World News

IF you check your gift card balances online you may need to watch out for this scam.

Google has been accused of prominently promoting a scam advert for a fake Target gift card balance checker.

According to The Verge, the fake gift card balance checker could actually steal your money.

A Reddit user posted a screenshot of the scam advert on r/assholedesign.

It shows the gift card checker being advertised at the very top of Google.

The Reddit user had typed in "Target gift card balance" on Google Search and found the ad titled “Check Gift Card Balance – Target.”

The site the ad leads you to isn't Target but a scam page called “bristolhirevan.”

It looks pretty legitimate apart from the strange web address and would be easy to fall for.

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Researchers from The Verge also found the fake ad and webpage and noticed it had plenty of links back to the official Target page.

The scammers have clearly gone out their way to lull victims into a false sense of security.

Victims who entered their gift card's numbers and security card could have all the money on the gift card stolen.

The good news is the ad has now been taken down by Google for violating "policies against phishing".

The scammer was also suspended from their Google account.

You should still keep an eye out for other similar scams.

Victims of gift card scams lost a staggering $148 million last year, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

It's thought this type of cybercrime is on the rise.

How to avoid a Target gift card scam

Remember, the Target website requires you to sign in before you check a gift card balance.

Double check the website address is the official Target page.

If a gift card balance checker starts asking for personal data, like bank details, avoid it.

In other news, ancient life on Mars is one possible explanation for a recent discovery by Nasa's Curiosity rover.

China has built an 'artificial moon' to train its astronauts for future missions.

And, a new virtual reality vest that lets you feel multiple sensations could be used by long-distance lovers.

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