Attorneys Seek Advertisers for Click Fraud Class Action

Lawyers engaged in a click fraud-related class action suit against the major search engines have employed a little online marketing of their own.

Dallas attorneys Joel Fineberg, Dean Gresham and Stephen Malouf this week launched a site at LostClicks.com to help them find potential click fraud victims.

The attorneys have a pending class action suit in the circuit court of Miller County, Arkansas. Plaintiffs in the case are Lane’s Gifts and Collectibles and Caulfield Investigations, while the named defendants include Google, Yahoo, Lycos, AskJeeves, FindWhat.com, Buena Vista Internet Group, LookSmart, America Online, Netscape and Time Warner. Two other plaintiffs that had originally been part of the case, U.S. Citizens for Fair Credit Card Terms and Savings 4 Merchants, have apparently dropped out.

The lawsuit accuses the defendants of overcharging advertisers for pay-per-click advertising and concealing the overcharges.

The LostClicks.com site exhorts visitors to help the firm with the case, urging them to email “If you have information about click fraud, have not been given answers or your money back from the search engines for suspected click fraud or you suspect click fraud and need to investigate….”

“What we’d like is for LostClicks.com to become an electronic meeting place for advertisers and individuals who are concerned about pay-per-click fraud,” said Fineberg in a statement.

A recent survey by the Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization (SEMPO) found that 45 percent of advertisers were worried about click fraud, though they hadn’t tracked it much. Meanwhile, 26 percent said it wasn’t a significant concern. Only 6 percent labeled click fraud as a significant problem that they had tracked.

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