Crypto scam using Google Ads for marketing fools thousands of users

A Google forum cybernaut self called “Kazuo Kusunose” claims to have lost $15,000 USD while trying to participate in what he described as a “new sale of Chinese cryptocurrencies,” which took him to the Pay Group’s website

According to the forum’s post, the suspicious website allegedly attempts to take advantage of the recently revealed digital asset that China is working on in an attempt to launch its central bank digital currency. The ad says that “China launched a new Yuan”, which intrigued this particular user.

The alleged cryptocurrency scam is performed through a platform called, according to Kusunose. When the user clicked on the ad, it redirected him to the Yuan Pay Group website. After doing so, the users are directed to the platform to open an account and deposit funds to participate in the sale of the digital Yuan.

The Yuan Pay Group page looks like any other cryptocurrency exchange platform and is presented as the only approved entity to sell and exchange the new Chinese Yuan. Alleged scammers also use images of Peter Thiel and Richard Branson as part of their supposed legal commentators.

According to cybersecurity experts, the advertised website seems to be used as a buffer before the user is automatically redirected to the Yuan Pay Group page.

Suspected scammers are also using the name “Coindaq”, which is a cryptocurrency analysis platform (not an actual exchange platform) and resides under the top-level .net domain. In the complaint, the scammed investor asks Google to verify the ad to help prevent more victims of falling on this trap.

Google has imposed strict guidelines and in the past has been cautious in promoting cryptocurrencies. While Google allows some crypto ads, they are restricted to hardware products and cryptocurrency exchanges, in accordance with the company’s advertising policies.