Google Sues Marketer of "Google Money" Program

On December 7, 2009 Google filed a lawsuit against a U.S. company it alleges runs work-at-home scams that unnecessarily charge people's credit cards and spoof Google's brand name.

The lawsuit was filed against Pacific WebWorks of Salt Lake City, Utah, who is accused of offering for a small fee a toolkit to enable online work at home but then continually charges a person's credit card offering "little of value, or nothing at all, in return for their payments."

The names complaint alleges that the defendants marketed programs under the names "The Home Business Kit for Google," "Google StartUp Kit" and "Google Adwork" among other variations.

The complaint allege that the program is advertised as free, but people are required to pay either an access fee or a shipping and handling fee for an instructional DVD. But after paying the fee "many consumers receive nothing," Google alleges. "Consumers are not enrolled in any program that provides opportunities for generating income," the lawsuit reads. "Instead they are subjected to continuing monthly fees that often exceed $50 and range as high as $79.90."

Also named in the suit are 50 "John Does" that Google alleges are complicit in the schemes. Those individuals will be named later in the suit as their identities are discovered.

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