At least twice a day I receive a call from what looks like a local phone number. If I don’t recognize the number, I usually let it go to voice mail. I figure, if it’s important, they will leave a message. Unfortunately being in the internet business means I get a LOT of scam solicitations. Even if you own a single website, you likely do too.
Deception from the start; Fake Caller ID
The Google listing scam has become a scourge on the phone system. He’s how it typically goes. first, you receive an robo-call that appears to be from your local area code and prefix. If you pick up, the recording starts. If you don’t pickup, they leave the same recording as a message.
They KNOW they are annoying you…
Ironically it start out as “Hi, are you tied of getting calls regarding your Google listing? we understand they can be quite annoying…”
Even though they KNOW the calls are annoying, they continue…”we would like to free up your time as the business owner to stop these calls. Our system has come back with an error on your listing, showing that it’s either unclaimed, lacking pertinent information or is not 100% complete, which flags it at risk for removal. Seventy five percent of search engines users use Google as their preferred search engine. If you’re missing information chances are you’re not being shown in local results. Press 1 now to speak with a technician. We only need a few minutes of your valuable time to gather the needed information to update your listing and secure the listing and fix the issues. If you’re the business owner, please press 1 now to speak with a Google certified technician to get this finished once and for all“… “press 2 to be removed from the calling list“.
Don’t take the bait
I can assure you, the 2 option only verifies that you answered the call and are a “live one” to whom they can solicit a $350 listing fee. BTW – Google does not charge any fees for their My Business service. You’ll likely get another call the next day, and the next and the next until they get you and your money. Even though it’s common knowledge that Google themselves will never just call you out of the blue, these third party callers make the name “Google” synonymous with “phone scam”. They also erode trust in the Google brand.
Never give out personal information on the phone
in 100% of these cases, the goal is to get you to spit up your credit card information. This is just another phishing expedition. While they may get all your business info and claim to update your listing for $350, they now also have your card number, so if you sucker in, expect random changes in the future.
If you’d like to share your experience, please feel free to post a comment below. Be sure to share the phone number.