Top Tips To Avoid The Google Business Listings Scam In 2023
by Arnab Dey How to Guides 05 January 2023
As a business owner, you need every advantage you can get. One of the best ways to do this is by making sure your business is listed on Google Maps. Unfortunately, scammers have created businesses that pretend to help businesses get listed on Google Maps.
You could only pay thousands of dollars for something if you’re careful. This guide will show you how to avoid getting scammed when listing your business online.
Be Wary of Cold-Callers Offering You Free Business Listings
Google does not offer free business listings and would never call you to provide you with one. If someone calls you and says they are from Google, they are probably a Google Business scam.
Business listings on Google have always been paid. You may only get a sponsored result if your company has invested in PPC advertising or an AdWords campaign.
According to TrueCaller, 1 in 3 Americans (33%) have fallen prey to phone scams, and 20% have more than once. This scam is designed to make people think they have been given free advertising when all they’ve done is pay for an advert. Be wary of cold-callers offering this kind of service.
Don’t Give Any Personal Information Over the Phone
As Google has pointed out, scammers use various methods to contact potential victims. It includes email and phone calls, in addition to text messages.
The goal is always to get the victim’s personal information so that they can steal their identity or commit other types of fraud. And with 5.48 billion mobile phone users worldwide in October 2022, as per Data Report, scammers are more active than ever.
The best way to avoid becoming a victim of this scam is by simply refusing to give out your personal information over the phone, even if you think it’s Google calling you. If someone claims they’re from Google, hang up and call them back from a different phone number.
If someone sends you an email claiming that your business listing needs verification or updating, do not click any links in that message. Instead, go directly into Google My Business, where all necessary tasks should be done manually.
Hang Up if the Caller Tries to Pressure You Into Paying Right Then and There
One of the most common ploys scammers use to pressure you into paying them immediately without giving you time to think about it. If a caller tries this on you, don’t fall for it. Hang up the phone, take a deep breath and do some research before making any further decisions.
Visit Google My Business to See if Your Listing Is Already There
You should visit the official Google My Business portal to see if your business listing is already there. If it’s not, don’t panic. Your listing can be added in a few simple steps and will help protect your company from scammers who want to take advantage of businesses unaware of this scam and its consequences.
The second step involves ensuring that all of the information on your business page is up-to-date and accurate and checking whether customers have posted any reviews. While some people may assume that fake reviews are rare, they’re standard. About two percent of all online reviews are fake.
If You’re Unsure About a Call, Contact Google Directly to Check
To verify that the caller is legitimate, ask them to provide their name and employee ID number. If they refuse to do this or offer only a first name and last initial, they are likely trying to scam you into paying for something that should be free.
In addition to following these tips above, hang up if you are still trying to figure out whether someone is trying to scam you out of your hard-earned money or personal information through Google business listing services. Then call back using the number listed on Google’s website.
Always Do Business in Person or Online With a Trusted Company
When you are talking to a company that sells Google business listings and ask for personal information, it’s almost always a scam. You should never give your personal information to anyone who calls or emails you.
If someone asks for this, it’s likely a scammer trying to get money from you under false pretenses. With 14,919 scam incidents reported by people aged 19 and younger in 2021, according to the FBI, it always pays to be cautious.
Your best bet is always to use trusted companies when doing business with Google or any other online service provider. Another good rule of thumb is to only give out money over the phone or online if done through a reputable payment processor like PayPal or Stripe. We recommend only paying after receiving the item/service in question.
Undoubtedly, Google is the most used search engine on the internet. As a result, it is also one of the most important platforms for businesses to use to generate leads, sales, and links back to their website.
Unfortunately, as with any form of advertising or marketing campaign, there are always those who try to take advantage by using unethical methods such as spamming other people’s sites with unnatural links that lead nowhere.