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.
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.
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.
If you are ready to take scams and cybersecurity seriously, Virtual Business Solutions can support you throughout the process. To learn more, contact us today at (504) 840-9800 ext. 105.