SCAM Alert - Google My Business

We hear you've been getting calls and even we get calls. A strange number rings, there's often a pause, and then a recorded message states:

Dear Business Owner, Numerous attempts have been made to verify your business location. This is our last attempt to reach you. Your business is at risk to be removed from Google's Search Results. Press #1 to speak to a Google Operative Now.

Sounds important, right?

Well, it's a scam.
Here's the bottom line; claiming your business listing is a straightforward, one-time process. Claiming your business is one of our on-boarding steps for new clients. There is no need to pay another company for this service.

So what happens if you decide to actually Press #1? Depending on which company/scammer is calling of course, but usually the person on the phone will tell you that they will update your Google “Business Listing” and keep it updated for a fee. Some callers will tell you that if you do not do this, Google may take you out of their search results, effectively making you invisible to new visitors online - this is not true.

According to Google’s Support page, Google does not make automated or recorded calls, which is one way you could verify whether or not the call is actually from the search engine company. Google also does not charge for “inclusion in Google My Business or in Google Search” nor do they offer to improve your company’s SEO or manage your business’ online records.

Google’s Safety Center warns against the dangers of “Robocall Scams” and urges potential victims not to provide any passwords or sensitive information over the phone. The Safety Center page also claims that many of these Robocall scams that claim to be working “for or with Google” are actually attempting “to sell different schemes and online marketing services to unsuspecting individuals and companies”.

For legitimate help with advertising your small business online, visit UpOnline and follow our blog for more digital marketing news.