Beware of the Latest Google Business Profile Scam

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As reported by Better Business Bureau, scammers are now targeting Google Business Profiles. For all local business owners out there, this new scam can seriously affect your business reputation.

Read on to learn more about how the scam puts all the good reviews you worked so hard on the line.

google business profile for marketing

 

How the scam works

Chris Babin of the BBB of Acadiana explained that Google Business Profiles give businesses an opportunity to claim their business and provide all the basic information about their business to anyone who may be looking for them. The information can include locations, phone numbers, hours of operation and other vital details.

Alongside the business’ information, there’s a link enabling the business owner to claim and edit the profile. Unfortunately, it’s also an opportunity for scammers. Scammers click the “Own this business?” link which sends a request email to the current owner. If you approve this request, thinking it’s legitimate, the scammer can take over your profile.

GMB Own This Business?

The businesses that fall victim to this scam are the ones that aren’t really paying attention to the emails they might get from Google. If they don’t respond to that or haphazardly click the link and don’t pay attention to it, they could be giving a scammer access to their GBP. Scammers will likely change the name of your business and lock you out of the account.

Scammers then use this new business profile, with all of your reviews, to fool consumers into contacting them. Scam locksmiths commonly use this technique. If your business profile is stolen, you’ll need to go through a process with Google support to reclaim your profile. In the meantime, your profile may have received bad reviews or been altered by scammers.

How to protect your Google Business Profile

  1. Reject suspicious ownership requests. Stop scammers in their tracks by rejecting unauthorised attempts to claim your business profile immediately. If you aren’t sure if a member of your staff is behind the request, find out before you accept it.
  2. Check your email and any alerts you receive from Google in a timely fashion. Scammers are counting on you not noticing strange activity on your profile. When initially verifying your account, be sure to use an email that you check regularly.
  3. Contact Google support if your account gets hijacked. Regain control of your stolen account through Google’s support team. Fill out this form on Google to start the reclaiming process.
  4. Always report fraudulent activity. Report any problems to Google immediately.

How we can help

It’s great that many people are increasingly aware that GBP listings are a good way to increase online visibility and drive customers to their shops. However, with more and more people using technology to work, shop and connect socially, the new digital reality also provides scammers with fresh opportunities to target you.

The latest GBP scam might be just the beginning. With the Google logo freely available on the web, many official looking but fake web pages and emails have surfaced. You need to be constantly on the lookout of the latest scams in the digital landscape in order to protect your business.

It is however understandable that as business owners, it may be too overwelming for you do these, all while running the storefront on a day-to-day basis. So why not reach out to our web experts for help? Save your time with our Google My Business Management service. When you use our GMB management service, your professional, dedicated Project Manager will continuously monitor the search results in the fight against spam tactics. We will open up new ranking opportunities for your business and give your listing the chance to rank higher by removing competitors that hold top ranking positions.  e will also take care of your Google My Business profile, maintain its reputation and handle all the posting. Get in touch with us today to save time and skyrocket your presence on Google.


To find out how we can help you with your Website + Marketing, using our unique location marketing platform called Top4, get in touch today at www.top4marketing.com

Looking to build customer loyalty through social media? Don’t forget to add your business to Top4.global

List your business, create your own digital store to sell goods and services, and share posts on social media. Promote your business on Google instantly! Should you need help with local digital marketing then view our new Google Marketing Platform and services Top4 Marketing

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