Sunday, November 27, 2011

Yahoo, Microsoft's Bing Come Under Scrutiny In Ongoing Criminal Probe Into Online Foreclosure Rescue, Loan Modification Rackets

The Associated Press reports:

  • A criminal investigation into mortgage swindlers has expanded beyond deceptive advertising on Google's Internet search engine to root out con artists who were luring their victims on Bing and Yahoo, too.

  • Monday's news of the widening probe confirmed that the Internet's three largest search engines had been turned into tools of prey for crooks looking to bilk homeowners scrambling to avoid foreclosure. The scams involved online ads making bogus promises of help people hold onto their homes under a government-backed program to modify mortgage payments.

  • After finding their victims using ads triggered by phrases such as "stop foreclosure," the swindlers extracted upfront fees or arranged to have the mortgage payments sent them without providing any assistance. The ruses had become increasingly common.


  • The identities of the alleged swindlers haven't been disclosed, partly because the criminal investigation is still open. A spokesman for agency steering the investigation declined to provide any further details Monday.

For more, see Criminal probe into online mortgage scams widens.

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