How does it work?

Browse through the library of demo videos that explains how, Cloodot's reputation marketing software grows your business.

All Posts
Google Business Listings Calls: Scam or Legitimate?
Google Business Listings Calls: Scam or Legitimate?
Google Business Listings Calls: Scam or Legitimate?

Google Business Listings Calls: Scam or Legitimate?

general

Published on July 7, 2024

Share on X
Share on Facebook
Share on Linkedin

Robocalls and phone scams are becoming increasingly common. According to the FCC, about 4 billion robocalls are made every month. In August 2023, the FCC even levied a record $300 million fine on a transnational illegal robocalling operation.

Business owners are frequently targeted by scam calls, with one of the most common schemes involving companies pretending to be Google. These fraudsters contact business owners, offering to manage their Google Business listings for a fee. It's important to note that Google does not make unsolicited calls to offer listing management services. While Google might contact you to verify store hours and wait times, they will never call to sell listing management services. So, any calls about Google Business listings offering such services should be treated with caution.

Recognizing Legitimate Google Business Listing Calls

Before diving into the details of the ongoing Google Business listing call scam, it's important to recognize the few situations where Google might genuinely contact you regarding your business listing.

Let's explore the legitimate scenarios where you might receive calls about your Google Business listing.

Business Listing Phone Verification

Verifying your business on Google is crucial for optimizing your listing to rank high in local search results. If your business qualifies for Google’s phone verification process, this could be a reason for receiving legitimate calls about your Google business listing. These verification calls are always initiated with your consent, so you'll know when to expect them. During the call, Google will not ask for any personal or business-related information. Instead, they will provide a unique code that you’ll need to enter on your screen to complete the verification process.

Non-Sales Queries

Another legitimate reason you might receive calls about your Google business listing is for non-sales purposes, such as verifying business details. Google may contact your business to confirm information like operating hours or reservation availability. These calls are strictly for fact-checking and ensuring accurate information for search engine users. It’s important to note that Google only makes these calls to businesses with a publicly listed phone number. If your Google My Business (GMB) profile doesn’t have a phone number, any call claiming to be from Google regarding your listing is likely a scam and should be disregarded.

Customer Service and Account Support

Another legitimate reason for calls about your Google business listing is customer service or account support. Google may contact your business if you have recently submitted an error report or support ticket for your Google My Business, Google Ads, or Google Play account. In these instances, you’ll be speaking directly with a Google representative who will identify themselves before proceeding with authentication. They will never ask for payment information or offer performance guarantees for business listings or Google Ads accounts.

Google uses a mix of automated and manual calls, so it’s essential to listen to the initial exchanges to verify the call's authenticity before deciding to hang up.

What Is the Google My Business Call Scam?

Unfortunately, numerous scammers target Google My Business listing owners with fraudulent calls. These deceptive calls about Google business listings are designed to trick business owners into paying for services that Google doesn’t offer. Below, we outline the most common Google My Business call scams to watch out for.

Is This a Call from Google?

"Hello, I'm reaching out on behalf of Google.” If you've received a call that starts this way or with a similar line, chances are you've encountered a Google My Business scam. These fraudulent calls come from shady third-party companies aiming to deceive Google My Business listing owners into paying for services that are either unnecessary or already available for free.

These scam calls use Google's name to build trust with their targets. Once they've established some level of credibility, they typically offer services such as boosting search rankings or various optimization tasks for a fee.

The reality is that many of these services are already provided free of charge to Google My Business listing owners directly by Google. It’s essential to recognize these scam calls about Google business listings to avoid falling victim to their schemes.

Threatening you to remove yourself from Google business listing 

A frequent scam tactic involves threatening to remove your company's listing from Google Search and Maps if you don't pay a so-called renewal fee (which is entirely fictitious). These deceptive calls about Google business listings are designed to create a sense of urgency and pressure business owners into paying for non-existent services. Recognizing these fraudulent attempts can help you protect your business from unnecessary expenses and potential harm.

Learn how to deal with duplicate Google business listing 

How Can You Identify Fake Calls About Google Business Listings?

Given the variety of scam tactics used, it's essential to know how to spot fraudulent calls about Google business listings. Here are some guidelines to help you identify potential scammers:

Google Employee Verification

A straightforward way to spot a scam call is to ask the caller to verify their identity. A legitimate Google employee will gladly send you a verification email from an @google.com address. If the caller avoids this request or provides an alternate form of verification like a fake ID number, it's likely a scam.

Google Never Asks for Personal Information

A clear sign of a scam is when the caller requests personal information such as passwords, verification codes, or payment details. Google will never ask for this information over the phone. If such a request is made, it's undoubtedly a scam.

Google Will Not Attempt to Sell Services

As mentioned earlier, Google won't call you to sell services like account management, search engine optimization boosts, or bad review removal. Since Google doesn't partner with third-party companies for these services, any call attempting to sell you something is a scam.

Recognizing these red flags can help you protect your business from fraudulent calls about Google business listings.

What Should You Do If You Receive Scam Calls About Google Business Listings?

Receiving scam calls about your Google business listing can be frustrating. Here's how you can handle these calls effectively:

Hang Up or Report the Call

Simply hanging up is often the best course of action, but you can also take additional steps to help authorities crack down on these scams.

Avoid Pressing Any Keys

Even if the automated message instructs you to press a key to be removed from their call list, doing so may lead to more calls. It's better to hang up immediately or listen long enough to gather information to report the scam later.

Report Suspicious Calls in the US

You can report these calls to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) through their website at www.donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222. Another option is to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Report the Call to Google

Google is aware of fraudulent activities targeting its platforms, including scam calls about Google business listings. They have a complaint system where you can report these calls. When reporting to Google, be sure to provide:

  • The caller’s company and contact information

  • Any documentation you received from them (emails, documents)

  • Any other relevant details about the call

Additional Resources for Scam Calls

  • FTC Tips on Handling Robocalls: Visit the FTC website for advice on dealing with robocalls.

  • Your Phone Company: Check if your phone service provider can block specific numbers from contacting you.

  • National Do Not Call Registry: Contact them via their website or call 1-888-382-1222 to report and block unwanted calls.

  • Google’s Safety Center: Access resources and support for dealing with scams targeting Google services.

By following these steps, you can protect yourself from scam calls about Google business listings and help prevent others from falling victim to these fraudulent activities.

How to Contact Google for Real Assistance About Your Business Listing?

If you need genuine assistance with your Google business listing, you can contact Google directly. Here's how:

Forums: https://support.google.com/business/community?hl=en
Google My Business Contact Number: 1-844-491-9665
Tweet them: @GoogleMyBiz
Contact form:
https://support.google.com/business/gethelp/?visit_id=636390086093566386-1272788107&rd=4

Keep in mind that due to the high volume of inquiries, you might experience some wait time before speaking with a representative. Google handles thousands of contact requests daily, so a little patience might be required.

For more detailed guidance on contacting Google for business-related issues, refer to our comprehensive article on the various methods to reach Google support. By using the correct contact methods, you can avoid falling prey to scam calls about your Google business listing and ensure you get the legitimate help you need.

Related Articles

Free business listing sites in USA
Free business listing sites in USA
Free business listing sites in USA

Jul 12, 2024

general

Boost your online visibility with free business listing sites in the USA. Enhance search rankings, build trust, attract qualified leads, and reduce marketing costs by ensuring consistent business information. Use top directories like Google, Yelp, and Facebook to increase exposure.

Subscribe to our newsletter

An all-in-one reputation marketing software to automatically generate, monitor and market reviews for your businesses.

© Copyright 2023, All Rights Reserved by Cloodot

An all-in-one reputation marketing software to automatically generate, monitor and market reviews for your businesses.

© Copyright 2023, All Rights Reserved by Cloodot

An all-in-one reputation marketing software to automatically generate, monitor and market reviews for your businesses.

© Copyright 2023, All Rights Reserved by Cloodot