Business Owners: Beware of Google My Business Scammers

Many business owners, at one point or another, come face to face with Google. Whether you are trying to optimize keywords on your website or grow engagement, it is near impossible to have smooth marketing tactics without Google.

A popular way to increase customer awareness and engagement is to set up a Google My Business page; this free tool helps businesses manage their online presence across Google and is an easy way for customers to find your business via Google Search or Google Maps, leave a review, and contact you directly.

Although Google My Business pages have been around for some time, there are still scammers attempting to use this platform to scam business owners out of money. To help educate local business owners, we’ve identified the types of scams to be aware of, how to identify fake Google calls, and how you can learn more about Google My Business.

Types of Google My Business Scams

One of the most popular ways scammers will contact business owners is via telephone, claiming to be “with,” calling “on behalf of,” or “for” Google and wanting to set up or remove your Google My Business page. These scammers typically target smaller businesses who have not yet claimed their Google My Business Page or have not updated their page. These scammers will request payment and will claim to boost search rankings or optimize your page.

Another tactic used by scammers is threatening removal of your Google My Business Page unless a fee is paid. Once again, scammers often claim to be working “with” or “for” Google.

Identifying Fake Calls

For someone who may not be familiar with Google or how to navigate this complicated web of digital information, these calls may seem legitimate. We want to help you identify these fake calls. Here some helpful tips to help you determine if you are receiving a phone call from a scammer:

Free Services

The number one thing to remember is that setting up and maintaining your Google My Business page is 100% free.  Business owners are able to freely edit information, respond to reviews, and add photos for no charge. Anyone who calls your business claiming that you are required to pay a fee in order to update or maintain your page, is a scammer.

Employee Verification

If you are still having trouble determining if you are speaking to an actual Google representative, simply ask for an employee verification. Each Google rep will be able to provide you with a verification; if they cannot, you are not speaking with a Google attendant.  

Personal Information

Another telltale sign that you are being scammed is if the person on the phone asks for personal information. Google reps will never ask you for passwords, verification codes, or payment information.  

Third Party

Lastly, Google does not hire contractors to work directly with customers; they do all customer care in house. If you are speaking with someone who is claiming to be calling “with,” “on behalf of,” or “for” Google, implying they are a third-party vendor, then they are not the real Google.

Learn more

If you are interested in learning more about Google My Business, you can visit the Google support page for helpful articles and information.

To contact Google directly, call:  

GMB Contact Number: 1-844-491-9665

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 9am-6pm EST

Here at Blackhawk Bank, we want all business owners to be well informed and aware of current trends in the digital world. It can be difficult to navigate, but we’re here to help. Are you interested in learning more about how Blackhawk Bank can help your business? Contact us today!