Has Google ever called saying that it’s urgent you claim your Google local business listing, that your listing is out-of-date, or that you can improve your local search rank? These calls are persistent, annoying, and worrisome. They’re also completely fake. Here’s how you can recognize fake Google calls and protect yourself.
There are a lot of unscrupulous companies out there who simply want to take advantage of a local business owner and separate you from your money. These companies use automated “robocalls” that sound convincing:
“It’s extremely urgent that we speak to the business owner! We’ve tried to reach you numerous times. Our records indicate that your Google Business Listing has not been claimed…”
How to Recognize a Fake Google Call
Fake robocalls have an automated message, may claim to be working with or for Google, and may ask you to press a button to speak to a person. They are usually trying to sell you marketing services under false pretenses and can be very persistent and persuasive.
Google will never use automated calls to solicit a local business
Google may call when you’ve asked to verify your business, to confirm business details for Google Maps or Google My Business, or you may receive a call from a customer service rep or account manager whom you’ve spoken to before. But Google will never use automated robocalls to:
- Charge you for inclusion in Google My Business or Google Search.
- Offer to improve or manage your listing.
- Ask you for a password or other sensitive information.
What Should You Do?
Here are some steps recommended by Google and others to handle and help prevent these kinds of calls:
- Hang up immediately – Don’t say anything and don’t press any button … even to be taken off the list. Those just confirm that you did indeed get the call and flag you to get more calls in the future.
- Make sure your number is on the do-not-call registry – This may not prevent all unwanted calls, but it does help. www.donotcall.gov/register/reg.aspx
- Report the call to Google – Google has created a special form where you can report robocalls. They may contact you to follow up. support.google.com/business/contact/rbc_form
- Report the call to the FTC and FCC – You can also submit a complaint directly to the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission.