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Now Casting: Man with fake Facebook account accused of trying to steal a dog’s identity Now Playing Watch: Video shows ‘drowning’ of two girls in a swimming pool Now Casting, the daily advertisers show You may have noticed a lot of ads that have been running lately.
Now, some are more direct and a few are more deceptive.
CBC News spoke with some of the ads on Craigslist and the ad-free sites like AdWords and Google Ads.
The ads are either sponsored or paid for by advertisers.
We also spoke to several people who have found these ads to be deceptive.
What’s behind the ads?
The ads often appear in a small, bold font and often are in bold, block capitals.
They often use a number or logo to describe what the ad is about.
It may say, “this is a commercial,” “advertising is not appropriate,” “this ad does not reflect our values,” or “this advertisement does not meet our standards.”
They also usually have a phone number, or email address.
The phone number is often linked to the ad.
For example, in one ad, the ad says, “Call the AdSense hotline, toll free, for more information about your ad.”
But in another ad, it says, “[this ad] does not apply to us.”
It also says that the phone number may change depending on how many times the phone is called.
The ad is often accompanied by a link to an ad.
What happens when you click on the link?
Sometimes, the ads show a link in a popup window or in a toolbar.
When you click the link, the text changes to say, “[link removed]”, and the text gets replaced by a message that says, “.
this ad is not available in this location.”
The ad disappears.
Why do the ads look so different?
In some cases, they are simply different fonts, colors, or sizes.
Sometimes, ads are bold or italic.
Sometimes they are in different font sizes, or different sizes for the phone numbers.
Sometimes the text is very small.
Sometimes it’s bold or small.
In some instances, the phone names and email addresses are different.
Sometimes both the phone and email are removed.
Sometimes one of the phone or email numbers is in bold or large type.
Some ads are in one language, others in another.
Sometimes there is a lot going on behind the scenes.
Some adverts are in English, others not.
What should you do if you think you’ve been duped?
If you see an ad that seems to be a scam, call the National Consumer Law Center’s Consumer Protection Line at 1-800-426-9382.
They have advice for consumers, including ways to protect themselves.
CBC Ottawa has also set up a hotline at 1.888.411.3322.
If you think the ad you’ve seen might be fraudulent, you can report it online at www.consumerprotection.gc.ca/complaints-and-admissions.
The FTC’s website is www.ftc.gov/about/consumer-protection/consumerprotection-complaints.
For more information on consumer protection, visit www.cftc.gov.