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Predators want your Google searches

Predators want your Google searches
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

You know those harassing phone calls you get from companies soliciting your business, like payday loan companies that promise quick money? If you've ever wondered how they got your personal information, you may want to think about some of your Web searches.

Your online searches are being exploited by some companies. Even if you're using a reputable search engine, these payday loan outfits and other predatory companies may be tapping into your searches.

Those vulnerable searches could taking place on Google, although Google specifically prohibits predatory lenders from advertising on its sites. However, these advertisers can sidestep those rules by saying something like they'll help you find sites to apply for loans.

These so-called lead generators then take their victims to websites where you'll be asked for your private information, like your phone number. If you're searching for something like, "I need money fast," these lead generators will spot you, and exploit you.

The worst part is that, if you are searching for fast money, you may be in a desperate situation. So, they're taking advantage of vulnerable people.

Next page: Protect yourself against lead generators
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