Beware Scams in Your Google Alerts

Bogus links can find their way into the Web search results that Google delivers to your inbox.

Google Alerts are designed to keep you up-to-date on the latest online chatter surrounding your chosen areas of interest. It's simple to sign up, pick any topic and receive alerts by email as Google finds relevant new results. But hidden dangers can lurk in the links that land in your inbox on a weekly, daily or even real-time basis.

Always evolving scammers are succeeding in getting their links to show up in Google Alerts results seemingly by inserting popular keywords in the titles and pages of their fraudulent sites. So a Google Alerts user who wants to see, say, anything new on the Web related to "Kiplinger" might receive, in addition to legitimate links to and to news about Kiplinger, links to spammy or even malicious sites that are making surreptitious use of the name to attract potential victims. Google, which didn't respond to a request for comment, certainly strives to identify and block bogus sites, but there's evidence that some scammers are getting around its defenses.

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Bob Niedt

Bob was Senior Editor at for seven years and is now a contributor to the website. He has more than 40 years of experience in online, print and visual journalism. Bob has worked as an award-winning writer and editor in the Washington, D.C., market as well as at news organizations in New York, Michigan and California. Bob joined Kiplinger in 2016, bringing a wealth of expertise covering retail, entertainment, and money-saving trends and topics. He was one of the first journalists at a daily news organization to aggressively cover retail as a specialty and has been lauded in the retail industry for his expertise. Bob has also been an adjunct and associate professor of print, online and visual journalism at Syracuse University and Ithaca College. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Hope College.