Beware WizAdwords.com

By Gene Quinn
April 27, 2017

Yesterday IPWatchdog.com received a suspicious invoice from a vendor that we have never done business with by the name of WizAdwords.com. After investigating the matter on our end it seemed appropriate to provide this warning.

The Invoice, for what they claim is a “GoogleSEO Web Site” (shown below minus potentially identifiable information) says that our yearly subscription failed to auto renew. Not having any recollection of ever doing business with WizAdwords.com, alarm bells initially sounded.

 

WizAdwords.com Invoice

WizAdwords.com Invoice received by IPWatchdog.com

The Invoice also claims that without paying WizAdwords.com our site – IPWatchdog.com – will not appear in Google searches. I know that there are certain search engines that require a yearly payment or you do not show up in their search results, but I never remember paying to be included in the Google search database. Furthermore, the awkward terminology regarding blocking seemed strange: “Avoid blocking your website in Google. 5 days left to block” (notice the double space and no period at the end, both of which appear in the actual Invoice). Thus, further alarm bells sounded.

Upon investigation, we have been unable to find any evidence of a payment from IPWatchdog to WizAdwords.com. We have likewise been unable to find any evidence of a prior business relationship of any kind with WizAdwords.com.

Still further, although the Invoice claims that our yearly renewal failed, according to a WHOIS search performed using the website of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) the domain name WizAdwords.com was first registered on February 1, 2017. See screenshot.

It is a clever ploy to send a fake Invoice that claims billing auto renewal failed. Given the proliferation of identity theft related crimes, credit card numbers are revoked and reissued with increasing frequency. Many individuals and businesses will probably just assume this is a valid Invoice and make the payment without much consideration because, after all, being delisted or blocked from Google search can be crippling to any business.

Based on my investigation of the facts it is my opinion that the Invoice sent by WizAdwords.com is a scam. If anyone receives a similar Invoice I would encourage caution. At a minimum it is prudent to advise undertaking a similar investigation to determine whether any prior business relationship exists and whether payment is, in fact, due.

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and founder of IPWatchdog.com. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and an attorney with Widerman Malek. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on IPWatchdog.com do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of IPWatchdog.com. Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 7 Comments comments.

  1. Jeff Lindsay April 28, 2017 4:08 am

    Ditto for all the trademark registration bills you will get once you get a US trademark. Some look very official, billing you hundreds or thousands of dollars to maintain your trademark in their vital international database.

  2. Gene Quinn April 28, 2017 10:25 am

    Jeff-

    We just received several fraudulent trademark bills with respect to our trademarks. One came from the Patent and Trademark Office, which is now apparently in Brooklyn, NY.

    -Gene

  3. Paul April 29, 2017 4:05 pm

    Gene, I just received an email from a client asking about a WizAdwords invoice pretty much identical to the one in your article. As in your case, I’ve never even heard of WizAdwords let alone ever used whatever “services” they offer for any of my web clients. The PayPal payment buttons in the invoice was a further tip off that this is a scam (a real service provider would remind you to log in to your account and make your payment there). Thanks for providing the explanation. I suspect that they’ve just recently started firing out these fake invoices so your blog post is likely to get some traffic in the coming days and weeks.

  4. Vanessa April 29, 2017 6:37 pm

    Do not pay an invoice to WizAdWords.

  5. Gene Quinn April 30, 2017 11:53 am

    Paul-

    I think you are right, at least based on my investigation and the opinions I’ve formed therefrom.

    When I did an initial search for WizAdwords I didn’t find much other than some of the usual forum sites raising questions. That’s why I decided to dig a little deeper and post something so as to hopefully save some folks.

    Cheers.

    -Gene

  6. Reggie May 4, 2017 2:32 pm

    I have, in fact, used a company similar to this for 2 years. My automatic assumption was that it was an invoice from them. I followed through with the Paypal requests, but soon figured out it was a scam and initiated a dispute through PayPal, which was almost immediately approved and refunded back to me. Definitely a scam – beware

  7. Aimee June 7, 2017 1:47 pm

    Indeed, this has to be a scam. Google’s search engine results are not dependent on any form of payment, which is what raised the red flag for me when I got one of these. You cannot have your website “blocked” by Google for not paying this scam artist. Google does accept advertisers who use THEIR Google AdWords program to get their web addresses highlighted in the sidebar/top bar when people do certain keyword searches, but that program is a pay-per-click system, not an annual renewal.