100% of these calls are a scam, and here is what you need to do… Just hang up. For no reason should you give any personal information, or hire the caller to help verify or claim your business listing. The Google listing phone call is not coming from Google. Google does not call about listings. Read on to get all the details about these scam calls, and how to actually verify and update your Google business listing. But one last time, please understand — if anyone ever says they are calling you from Google they are LYING.
Sorry to harp on that point. Even when we explain this to clients, by the end of the talk they are asking what to do the next time their “Google rep” calls. And we have to say, yet again, that person is not working for or with Google. Far too often we hear of clients who have paid to some random company a subscription for services that Google offers for free. Again, the call is Not Google. There will never be an emergency or an urgent problem with the way that search results show your business info. If you ever feel pressured when it comes to Google, it’s a sign that someone is trying to con you. With that out of the way, let’s go over all the details you need to know about the Google My Business options. Click any of the links below to jump to the most important topic for you right now. And don’t worry — this article is for small business owners. So there will be no confusing tech jargon. Just simple explanations so you can protect yourself and understand how the local search directory works.
What A Google Listing Phone Call Scam Sounds LikeIt could be a robocall asking you to press 1 to verify, or press 7 to be removed from a list (you won’t actually be removed). Or it could be an actual person who is “alerting” you that you are not showing up on Google, or that there is a problem with your listing. They might even say your listing is “scheduled for deletion” or “flagged for removal”. Finally, they could offer to sell you a “lifetime Google listing at a discount”. If you do not let them bamboozle you, and you ask some pressing questions, they will usually admit they are not Google, but may say they are “working with” Google. They’re not. These calls happen so often, that the actual support team from Google had to release a public statement. They gave a list of some things that they would NEVER do:
- they don’t charge for inclusion in Google My Business or in Google Search
- they don’t offer to improve your search ranking or manage your business’s online profile
- they don’t ask you for your password or for a verification code
What To Do If You Already Got The Google Phone Call & Are Paying For HelpFirst, don’t worry too much. These scammers are just trying to overcharge you for a simple service you could get for free, or that you could do yourself. So the worst thing that happened is you just over-paid for the “help”. You may even be on a monthly payment plan. If you try to cancel, the phone rep could try to scare you by saying that your site will drop out of the Google search, or some other bad thing will happen. It won’t. The first thing you should do is to remove their access from your page. Go here: https://www.google.com/business/ You may already be signed in on your computer. If not, you’ll need the email tied to your Google Account, as well as the password of your Google account. Here are the instructions to remove a manager from your Google listing: https://support.google.com/business/answer/3403100?hl=en Once you have removed any control this scammer may have, you can stop paying them. If they have you on recurring billing and will not stop it, call your credit card company to explain the situation.
What Is A “Google Partner”?To further protect you, it helps to know some terms. There is a title called “Google Partner”.
This is a third party agency or marketer that took some basic online training and got a certification from Google. All it really means is that the agency / marketer has at least an entry-level understanding of how Google services work. It does not guarantee you (the small business owner) any results. So someone might call you and offer to help you show up higher in the search results for a specific phrase, or to run pay-per-click ads for you. They might let you know they are a Google Partner. As long as they don’t claim to be working with or for Google, or promising specific results, you can just weigh their offer versus the cost like any other service. We list some red flags for scammy SEO providers here.