An outfit called DedicatedEmails.com has stopped using Google’s ad platform to harvest email addresses, according to a joint investigative report by Engadget and Point.
The company was the seventh-largest purchaser of U.S. political ads on Google -- spending $3.5 million on more than 3,400 Google ads, the report alleges.
However, the firm stopped running ads on Nov. 4, the day the authors asked DedicatedEmails.com for comment on their charges.
In addition, Conservative Buzz, a “supposed news site” run by the firm, had wiped out its content by Nov. 8, the article continues.
Conservative Buzz used reticles from other sources without permission, including text from Politico that it used with no attribution, the story states.
MediaPost could not independently confirm these allegations at deadline.
According to Engadget, people who clicked through to ads reached web pages asking: “Does Trump Deserve A Second Term? VOTE NOW.
The ads appear to be “geared towards collecting potential voter email addresses and directing people to questionable news sites.
The report says people who sign up typically get emails to miracle health cures, secret ways to boost income or "scary news about savings and the latest socialist coming to take them."
The authors claim that they found at least three companies placing "ads connected to incendiary 'news' sites, one of which is run by a Republican donor and another that was registered by a former Trump campaign lawyer."
In addition to DedicatedEmails.com, the firms are Ascension Marketing Group, Inc. and Digital Communications LLC, it claims.