Google has become an integral part of any business. The large majority of business owners at some point have to deal with Google, especially in relation to the marketing aspect of their products or services. No serious marketing tactic is possible without optimizing keywords on business websites for Google to recognize and highlight.
Among various marketing tools Google is offering, one of the most popular is the Google My Business (GMB) page. GMB is a free internet instrument that helps create customer awareness. It presents an easy way for customers to locate a business through Google Maps or its search functions. It also allows customers to contact the company directly or post reviews and their experiences with the business.
However, like any other online platform, GMB can also be used by scammers to take advantage of unsuspecting business owners. In the following article, we’ll look at one of the most common types of scams, coupled with advice on how to identify fake Google calls.
What Are the Most Common Types of Google My Business Scams?
Among the most common types of scams are phone calls to business owners, falsely pretending to be calling “on behalf of”, or “for” Google, and offering to set up, update, or threaten to remove a Google My Business page if a payment isn’t made. Scammers typically target small or new businesses that have not set up or updated their Google My Business pages recently. These payments are usually requested to optimize the page that would “boost” their search rankings. Sometimes, the tactic consists of a threat to remove a Google My Business Page unless certain fees are paid. This is always done under the pretense of calling on behalf of or being someone who works with Google.
Identifying Fake Calls
Many business owners are unsure how to navigate the complex interlinked digital information provided by Google properly. As a result, these types of calls may seem legitimate to them. Blackhawk Bank offers some tips that can help you determine if the caller is a scammer:
The Service is Free
The most important thing to remember is that setting up and maintaining a Google My Business page is 100% free. Business owners can update information, add photos, interact and reply to reviews – all of which are free of charge. Therefore, any call asking for a payment or fee related to this service is a scam.
Ask for Employee Verification
If you receive a call from someone claiming they represent Google, always ask the caller to provide you with their employee verification. A Google representative will have no trouble abiding by this request. If not, they’re definitely not a Google representative or employee.
Always remember that any request by the caller for personal information, password, verification code, or payment information is not something a Google representative would ever do. Such requests are a sure sign that you are dealing with a scammer.
It is also essential to know that all customer care by Google is done in-house and is not outsourced to third-party contractors. This means that any caller claiming to be “working with” or calling “on behalf” or “for” Google in the capacity of an affiliated third-party vendor is not telling the truth and is attempting a scam.