Google is King
Having your business information correct on Google is essential for driving people to your local business or your website, so when you receive an automated call that mentions "important information for the business owner regarding your Google Listing" and asks you to press a number to update your information or fix a problem with your listing, it's tempting to press a number and receive help.
When you are setting up your Google Maps listing, you will receive a PIN number from Google. You'll immediately receive an automated call, where you will receive your pin for verification. Other than this verification call, Google never makes robocalls, nor will they have a third-party call you using an automated system.
That Voice...It Sounds So Real!
Robocall scams are rampant, even though they are illegal. If you speak to a representative, they will attempt to sell you search engine optimization services or threaten you with being removed from Google entirely because your account information is not correct. This is deceitful; Google does not audit each business listing to verify that the information is still correct, nor do they make courtesy calls.
Creating Bad Names for Good Companies
Business owners report receiving numerous calls, which tie up their business line and waste their time. Pressing a button during the call to place your number on a "Do Not Call List" usually results in even more calls since now you have confirmed that they have reached a working number. Or, even worse, you reach a live person working in a call center. This person has no idea of the state of your Google listing, and is trained to install fear that your "Incorrect Google Listing" is costing your lost business and potentially thousands of dollars.
The funny part, we here at WebMarkets receive these same phone calls. And to be honest, sometimes we humor ourselves and play along. But every time, and I mean every time, when these scammers realize that WebMarkets is a highly reputable online marketing agency, they always become embarrassed and hangup. And yes, they do the same thing to your business. They call as many business owners as possible, install fear, and try to scoop up as much money as they can.
Why is This Happening!?
Well, long story short, because it works. Unfortunately, when you call thousands of businesses a day, you get good at it. You get good and lying, selling fear, and taking money from those who earn it. And in this case, its the numbers game. The more people you call and try to scam, the higher probability you land one.
If scammers persist, be sure to hang up, block the phone number or formally complain to the Federal Trade Commission at www.donotcall.gov. You can also fight back by wasting the scammer's time, just as they are wasting yours.
Google is fighting back as well; they have filed a lawsuit again a California SEO company, which they claim is responsible for a large number of these calls. Remember, unless you specifically request a call from Google, they do not call business owners, nor do they charge for a Google listing.
What To Do If They Come For You
Don't fall victim to some random person selling fear. If you receive a phone call, ask them how they get their information. Ask them if them how many people do they call everyday with this same exact script. And ask them if they have researched your Google listing before calling.
The Moral of the Story
If you're looking for expert advice from a tried and true professional that has your best interests in mind, contact WebMarkets.