(Editor’s note: Thanks to Mike Blumenthal for allowing us to share this heads-up alert. A version of this appeared on his blog, Understanding Google My Business & Local Search.)
A reader sent me this 28-second audio recording of a phone call from a con-artist claiming to be from Google in the voice-mail message left for a small business.
Transcription of the call:
Yea hi, this is an important message for the business owner. Due to recent changes in Google Maps we are required to inform you that unless the business owner reviews and confirms the information on your Google Plus business page, we will no longer be able to show it to Google users at the end of the coming month.
Please call xxx-xxx-xxxx to speak to the tech support person assigned to help you personally. Thank You.
What can be done to stop these folks? Very little given the current regulatory environment which pretty much takes a hands-off approach to these sorts of scams. Education might help, but as the quote often attributed to P.T. Barnum goes, “a new sucker seems to be born every minute.” Perhaps, this is what keeps these scammers going.
(See the SmallBusiness.com article with scam-prevention advice from Google.)
Beware of Calls to Your Business Claiming to be From Google
While Google does occasionally make calls to a business they almost always originate from Google’s main number: (650) 253-0000. Scam calls often originate from boiler room set ups.