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Google reverse image search
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Security & privacy

A quick tech trick that could save you from falling for a costly scam

Seeing is believing. Sometimes, though, crooks may be able to use legitimate images to rip you off. Tap or click here for six secrets to spot fake news or scams.

What if we told you that you could keep yourself out of trouble with one of the most valuable and intuitive Google tools? Reverse Image Search may be your best friend in this regard, and we encourage you to utilize it to the fullest possible advantage.

It’s a big world, and scammers grow more skilled daily. Read on for a foolproof way to eliminate the possibility of a disaster when buying, selling and dating online.

How to use Google Reverse Image Search on a computer

You’ll find Google’s Image Search page at on any desktop browser. However, typing an inquiry into the search bar will only bring you new images. You’ll need to hit the camera icon in the search bar to search for an image by hosted URL or with a file stored locally on your computer.

From here, you can drag and drop an image to upload it or paste the image URL directly using the text field on the page. Click Search to begin your journey, carried out through Google Lens.

If you already use Google Lens, you’ll be more than familiar with its style of search results. Visual matches link you to sources where the image is used, but the machine will also use context clues to produce related results that may inform your search.

How to use Google Reverse Image Search on an Android device

Google Lens also allows you to do a Reverse Image Search on an Android device. NOTE: The Google Lens app is only available for Android on the Play Store. You can get it for free here. Apple fans will need to go through their browser of choice.

After downloading and installing the Google Lens App:

  • Take a photo or choose one from your library.
  • Choose an area of the photo to scan and search for.
  • Swipe up on the results box to see everything there is to see.

We love this feature because it can be applied to anything in front of you. For example, you can snap a photo of a coffee mug you like when you are out and about and search for places to buy your own.

You’ll need to give Google Lens permission to view your photos, but after doing so, you’ll be able to search on the go with ease.

When should you be investigating an image further?

There are many possible scenarios where you may need to authenticate an image using Google. A few common use cases where you should perform a precautionary Reverse Image Search include:

  • You worry that your creative work has been stolen and used elsewhere without credit.
  • You think an online seller may be trying to scam you with an image found online.
  • You fear an image of you has gone viral spontaneously.
  • Someone you meet on a dating app is acting suspiciously (and potentially asking you to send Amazon gift cards).

Finding images within personal message chains can be handy, too. Tap or click here to learn how to find any message shared through SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp and more.

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