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Are Google Business Listing Calls a Scam?

June 26, 2024
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    Have you ever been exposed to online fraud? If yes, you don’t have to feel bad. With such advanced technology, it is not easy to avoid any fraud that can be done online. But at least we have the chance to learn more about how they work and to avoid them in the future.

    Almost 70 million Americans lost $40 billion as a result of phone fraud schemes in 2022, according to True Caller, the creator of an app that blocks spam calls. Usually, these phone frauds follow a common method of promising business owners that they will manage Google business listing calls on condition of payment. Many of these people who are scammed do not know that Google never calls you to provide listing management services.

    We are writing this article to expose these schemers, and to educate the public on how to avoid these offers.

    What is Google My Business (now Google Business Profile)?

    Lately, Google has become the oasis for consumers who are seeking information about businesses, which can be local bakeries or multinational corporations. Google platforms, especially Google My Business and Google My Business Profile play an important role in the way a business is going to appear online. Recently with Google’s branding and platform changes, people have been confused about Google My Business and Google My Business Profile. Are they the same?

    In 2021 Google declared a significant change, that of rebranding Google My Business to Google Business Profile. This shift signified how businesses manage their profiles and interact with Google’s services. The aim was to streamline the process of managing business information directly from Google Search or Maps making it simpler for small business owners. In this way Google could integrate business profile management into its core services, reducing the need for platforms that are separated or apps.

    The names Google My Business and Google Business Profile might indicate two different platforms, however in reality Google Business Profile is the evolution of Google My Business. This re-branding shows how Google is committed to integrating business profile management services, making it very easy for businesses to connect with their customers. 

    That is why if a business is looking to rank its business higher in Google and get more customers, the best way to do it is through Google My Business Management services and GMB optimization services. Imagine you have a lemonade stand in your neighborhood, and you want everyone to know everything about your stand. You want them to know the time you are selling, how tasty it is, and more. This is the case with Google My Business, it will tell your customers who you are, when you’re open, what you offer, and what people think of you. Isn’t this amazing? 

    However, before you organize your business there are some not-that-funny tasks you have to do, like for example filling out forms, providing pictures, descriptions, and other verification. Sometimes Google will call you because of not verifying your Google number. This is one of the most common reasons Google can contact you directly. You will know your envy when you receive this call from Google, and only you can approve it. Google will not ask you about any personal or business-related information during the call. Google will simply give you a unique code with which you will complete the verification process on your screen.

    Does Google Verify Business by Phone?

    Now we know that Google will help us grow our business, because it is a great universal contention tool for all mankind. But, ah there is always a but, to help you google might call you on the phone to make some quick verification. However, keep in mind that Google business listing calls are strictly performed for non-sales purposes. They can verify business hours or reservation availability. It’s worth mentioning that these calls are only made to businesses with a public phone number. If your GMB doesn’t have a number listed, you can automatically flag any Google task-related calls as a scam and hang up right away. 

    How To Recognize Genuine Calls From Google?

    We all have received spam emails from Facebook messages, or phone calls from individuals who are trying to trick us into paying with money or personal information. During these calls that are trying to scam people, business owners are bombarded with phone calls from individuals pretending to be from Google. 

    Always keep in mind if the caller tells you any of the following: <make this H4>

    • – When the caller tells you that you are not ranking.
    • – When the caller tells you that your site is not mobile-friendly.
    • – When the caller tells you that your listing is not verified. 
    • – When the caller offers you a precise placement or position on Google.
    • – When the caller talks with you about your performance on Google.
    • – When the caller mentions services of SEO or optimization.
    • – When the caller asks for money or payment.

    Just remember that Google will never call you without you requesting it, and will never, ever ask you about the topics mentioned above. 

    Here is what Google usually does in this cases and what approach does it have:<make this H4>

    Schedule the calls

    • Google usually schedules calls. You will receive an email or notification informing you when to expect the call. 
    • The operator who will call you will give you specific details about your business that only you and Google know about. 

    Specific Information

    • Google operators will know important details regarding your business and they will ask you to confirm those details. 
    • They will not ask for sensitive information.

    Verification Codes

    Google operators may give a verification code. You will enter the code into your Google My Business profile to complete the verification process.

    Professional Communication

    • The operators will not ask you for any immediate actions.
    • They will be polite and professional.

    Check Caller ID

    • Verify the numbers that you will receive calls from. 
    • You can ask for a callback if you’re not sure about the number.

    What To Do If You Receive A Suspicious Call?

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of fraud subjects that make misleading calls. Oftentimes these callers or pre-recorded robocalls claim to be working with Google or for Google. They try to sell different schemes and marketing services to individuals who don’t suspect this. 

    In these cases keep in mind to:

    • – If they ask you for money during the call, hang up.
    • – If they ask you for personal information or money, it’s a good hint that the call is a scam.
    • – You can call the company’s official number to verify the authenticity of the company offering Google My Business Management services.
    • – You can also notify your phone company or government agency to know about the call by reporting the call.

    How Do I Stop Google Business Listing Robocalls?

    Here’s what to do if you receive an unwanted automated robocall from a non-Google entity:

    These tips will help you to protect your business in case you get an automated robocall from the non-Google entity which is possibly a fraud, here is what to do:

    1. Report fake Google business listing calls.
    2. Block the numbers or use blocking apps
    3. Add your number to the Do Not Call Registry
    4. Report Fraudulent Activity to Google

    We recommend you share this information with other business owners now that you know what to expect in the future. In this way, you can help yourself and others avoid scammers who often ask for hundreds of dollars from any organization. Keep in mind that Google business listings are free and they do not expire. 

    How Will iDigitalise Help You?

    If you are really tired of scammers that are pretending to be Google and you need help with your Google My Business profile, iDigitalise can help you with a safe and reliable GMB optimization service. We have organized 5 easy steps to show you how it works: 

    Tell Us About Your Business

    All you have to do is fill out a simple form to give us details about your business location. This will only take 10 minutes. 

    We check your Listing

    We are going to carefully review your Google My Business (GMB) listing using a 100-step checklist. You’ll get a report showing what needs improvement.

    We Make a Plan

    Your account manager is going to create a custom plan to improve your GMB listing. After you have approved that plan, we’ll start optimizing your profile. 

    We Improve Your Listing

    Your account manager will make changes that are necessary to your GMB profile. After applying those changes you will get an updated checklist showing what’s been done.

    You Get Better Results

    Within 30 to 90 days, you should see better search rankings, more traffic, more calls, and more revenue from your improved GMB listing. 

    Conclusion

    The significant issue of online fraud, related to Google My Business (now Google Business Profile) is a big warning to show us that we need to be prepared in any case trying to ruin our business. In this blog, we learned how to detect scammers who try to use business owners by offering fake management services in return for a fee, despite the fact that Google’s policy of never making such calls. 

    We highlight the importance of being vigilant and informed, a must in today’s high-technology innovations. Being informed about this situation will help us avoid these fraudulent schemes and prevent falling victim to these scams. iDigitalise will help you with your Google Business Profile setup, local citation management, and local search engine optimization. Our Google My Business Management services will drive more Google business listing calls for your business. We welcome you to share your experiences in the comments below, and forget to share this with your friends on social media!

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