Google files federal lawsuit against company for work-at-home scams.

You know those work-at-home scams that use Google’s name and logo?

It looks like Google is finally going after one of them. A federal lawsuit has been filed against a company called Pacific WebWorks, based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The suit alleges that Pacific WebWorks has been using Google’s name and logo, without authorization, to sell a “work-at-home” scheme. Victims of this scam are charged repeated fees while receiving nearly nothing (or literally nothing) of value in return. Google is also demanding the company reveal an accounting of its profits.

The Better Business Bureau’s report (“F,” in case you didn’t already guess) for the company lists the following as websites operated by Pacific WebWorks:

www.pacificwebworks.com
www.profitcenterlearning.com
www.googlefastcash.com
www.gogglefastcash.com
www.homebizkit4u.com
www.moneyy.org
www.googlebizkit.com
www.profitstudiolearning.com
www.yourprofitgateway.com
www.esuccess2u.com
www.eauctionsuccess.com
www.yourwebsiterev.com

Do NOT visit any of the above sites!

But, take a moment to study the web addresses. You see words like “success” and “profit” and “cash” an awful lot in there. They even use a misspelling of “Google” (“gogglefastcash”). Why would a legitimate business need so many different websites, including some that use another company’s name?

Anybody else think this won’t just stop at a corporate suit? I see criminal charges looming for Pacific WebWorks. That’s good—it’s a criminal organization that needs to be shut down. I don’t mind jumping the legal gun and passing judgment here; this company has been running a scam, pure and simple.

“I’ll be judge, I’ll be jury,” said cunning old Fury:
“I’ll try the whole cause, and condemn you to death.”

—Lewis Carroll
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Criminal Identity Theft: Indiana needs to get with the program.

Let’s set up a little scenario here.

Someone steals your identity and creates false identification using your information. This person then commits a crime, for which he is later arrested. He gives your name, SSN, address and other information to the police during the arrest.

The criminal then bonds out, but is due to appear in court on a certain date. Naturally, he never shows up. The police mount a search, which leads them directly to your front door.

A complete mess ensues.

At some point, however, probably after a massive amount of humiliation and stress (and possible physical injury, depending on what the police think you’re capable of), the “system” figures out that the person they were really looking for was also an identity thief, and that you yourself aren’t guilty of anything.

So your arrest record is expunged and you go on with your life, right?

Not in Indiana, apparently.

As it turns out, Indiana has “does not have [a] specific law” regarding the expungement and correction of arrest records for victims of criminal identity theft.

I’m not saying you won’t be able to get your records expunged, but I’ll bet it takes years upon years of sustained effort, red tape and extreme hassle. You’ll basically encounter a wall of, “We don’t have to, so we don’t want to.”

I guess we’re not alone—a lot of states fall under the “no specific law” category at this time.

But you know something? I’ve never been one to buy into the herd mentality, either with regards to action or inaction. In other words, just because not that many other states are doing it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.

Not many people are running truly non-profit websites about fraud and identity theft prevention, either. Doesn’t stop me, though, does it?