There is a scam going around that convinces organizations to pay for their Google Business Profile, and if you paid for this free service, you’ve fallen for the trick. Google is taking legal action against the scammers who have dragged their name through the mud, using Google’s notoriety to defraud businesses who just want to look competitive.
Let’s look at the announcement to determine what your business should keep in mind regarding these scammers.
Google Wants Consequences for the Scammers Who Charge Businesses for Business Profiles
The first thing you need to understand is that a Google Business Profile is free for business owners to claim and use to share information about their business with the public. This means that anyone who calls you to tell you to pay up for the profile is straight-up lying to you and attempting to scam you.
The problem has escalated to the point where Google needs to take action against these scams. The idea is that taking public legal action against the scammers will keep would-be scammers from acting while also increasing public awareness of these issues. Google’s blog post claims they were able to stop 12 million scammers from creating fake Business Profiles, and that there were 8 million attempts to fraudulently claim Business Profiles.
Again, Google charges nothing for Business Profiles. Such accounts are mutually beneficial; they give you a platform to show off information about your business, and Google can make their search engine better as a result. If you ever receive a phone call from someone claiming to be Google to sell you a profile, then you can rest assured it is most definitely a scam.
How You Can Identify Phishing Scams
Phishing scams can be tricky to identify, but with a little knowledge and training, you and your staff can be well-prepared to deal with any scams that might come your way.
- Look for urgency: Most scams will operate with a sense of urgency to get you to act before you have had a chance to think things through. Don’t fall for it; nothing is so important that it can’t wait 10 minutes while you verify the request.
- The devil is in the details: If you receive a call from someone who claims to be from Google, for example, you can always check the Google Business Profile page to view details on account creation. In this case, the page confirms that it is free, so you know you’re the target of a scam.
- Don’t take any risks: If you have reason to believe that a call or a message is a scam, don’t give yourself any room to make a mistake; just hang up or ignore the message until you can confirm that the message is legitimate or fake. If it’s not, then the person on the other end will surely have to respect your caution.
Let’s Make Your Business Security a Top Priority
If you are ready to take scams and cybersecurity seriously, Symmetric IT Group can support you throughout the process. To learn more, contact us today at (813) 749-0895.