Scam Alert: Google Plus Local Listings
Small businesses have reported receiving calls from people claiming to work for or with Google, typically with some type of sales pitch about updating, improving, or finalizing Google listings.No, Google is not calling you.Click To Tweet
These calls are actually from unethical companies attempting to sell you on their business services, many times with a promise of free upgrades or increased visibility. They typically call right after a Google local business account as been created, and to the layman, really seem to know what they are talking about. They are confident, they sound official… but they will never help your business. The moment you ask them who they are, or what exactly they are selling – most end the call immediately – and call backs to the number simply going to a recorded message allowing you to be placed on their “Do Not Call” list (I believe that… said no one ever). A few have been more adamant, claiming to do contract work with Google, and won’t give up on the sales pitch so easily.
Before you ever give out any information, or decide to purchase something – be sure to always get the person’s name, email address and phone number. If you work with a marketing company, agency, freelancer, or other professional working on your Google presence – report the call to them. You should never divulge your private or business account information to someone who calls you over the phone. If Google were actually calling you for any real reasons – they would already have your account information.
Google has a bit to say about telemarketing calls like these:
• Google does not place robocalls.
• Google does not call to “update your front page listing” or ask you to “claim your free website.”
• Google does not charge for inclusion in Google Search or Google My Business.
From Google: Avoid and report Google scams
Phone calls aren’t the only way scammers try to pull the wool over your heads. Google has a list of many of the types of scams that shady people and businesses perpetrate in Google’s name:
- Google Lotto Scam
- Google Wallet Vehicle Purchase Scam
- Google Account Recovery Scam via SMS Messages
- Google Top Placement/SEO Scam
- Google Maps/SEO Fake Invoices
- Google Telemarketing Calls
- Google/Zagat Job Scam
- Gmail Update Phishing
- Google AdSense Scam
- I’ve been scammed. What should I do?
- I’ve noticed the Google Trademark used incorrectly, how can I report it?
- Tips for staying safe online
Have you had to deal with this yourself?
Need help figuring out whether a potential deal is a scam? Let me know in the comments, or contact me here. Perhaps you’ve had to deal with this in the past – let us know your own experience with predatory marketers who claim to be from or partnered with Google!