Google Business Listing Calls: Scam or Real?
This article demystifies the current Google My Business call scams so you can protect your business and continue growing online.
Yes, there is a Google Call Scam
In a perfect world, the only calls you’d receive from your Google My Business listing would be actual customers expressing their interest. Sadly, that is not the world we live in. If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve received a call (or multiple calls) from suspicious persons or entities that claim to be working “with” or “for” Google. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, tens of thousands of Google My Business users have received similar scam calls attempting to sell services or request payment for benefits that Google provides for free.
The good news is, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to debunk the claims of the current Google My Business call scams and help you identify legitimate listing calls so business can proceed as usual.
What Are REAL Google My Business Listing Calls?
Before we go over the current Google My Business call scam, let’s take a look at the handful of scenarios in which Google will actually give you a call.
1. Business Listing Phone Verification
Verifying your business on Google can be a pain at times. Depending on the type of business you have, it may or may not qualify for Google’s phone verification process. If it does, this is one of the most common reasons Google will be contacting your business directly. The verification call can only be initiated with your consent, meaning you’ll know exactly when to expect it. During the verification call, Google won’t ask you for any personal or business related information. Instead, they’ll simply provide you with a unique code for completing the verification prompt on your screen.
Already Verified on Google?
2. Non-Sales Tasks
Another common reason Google may be calling your business directly is to perform some fact checking as a service to search engine users. These automated calls are strictly performed for non-sales purposes such as verifying business hours or reservation availability. It’s also worth noting that these calls are only made to business with a public phone number. So, if your GMB doesn’t have a number listed, you can automatically flag any Google-related task calls as a scam and hang up promptly.
3. Customer Service & Account Support
The last reason Google would be giving your business a call is in response to a customer service or account support-related matter. These calls are most commonly made in reference to a Google My Business, Google Ads, or Google Play account that you have recently submitted an error report or ticket for. During these types of calls, you’ll be speaking directly with a Google operator that will identify themselves as such before proceeding for authentification purposes. They will never ask for payment information or offer any kind of performance guarantee for business listings and Google Ads accounts.
What is the Google My Business Call Scam?
Sadly, there are hundreds of shady individuals and “businesses” out there that try to scam GMB listing owners with fraudulent calls. Below, we’ve outlined the most common Google My Business call scam to look out for.
“Hello, I’m calling on behalf of Google”
If you’ve received any call that starts with this opening line or a similar variation, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve been the target of a GMB scam. Initiated by shady third-party companies, these calls aim to convince Google My Business listing owners to pay for services that are either already offered for free, or that don’t exist.
By claiming to be calling on behalf of or even from Google, these scam calls are designed to gain the trust of whoever they’ve targeted by simply throwing out Google’s name. Once they have one foot in the door, they’ll typically proceed to offer a boost in search rankings or any number of optimization services for a fee.
The truth of the matter is, many of the services these third-party companies are attempting to make money on are already offered to Google My Business listing owners by Google for free.
Threatening to Remove Your Listing
Another common scam they’ll employ is threatening to remove your company’s listing from Google Search and Map results if you don’t pay for the renewal fee (which doesn’t exist).
How to Identify Fake Google Calls
Because there are so many different variations of GMB call scams, you never know what kind of tactics will be employed the next time you’re targeted. That being said, below we’ve outlined a few guidelines that can help you identify any scammer.
1. Google Employee Verification
One of the easiest ways to identify a Google My Business scam call is by asking the caller to verify their identity. Any employee calling from Google will be more than happy to provide you with a verification email from an @google.com account. If they try to dodge the question or provide any other form of verification such as a false ID number, the call is most likely a scam.
2. Google Never Asks for Personal Information
Another telltale sign that you’re dealing with a scammer is when they ask for personal information such as your password, verification code, or payment information. Always aiming to protect their users, Google will never ask for this information regardless of the reason they’re calling. If you hear a request for any of this information, it’s a scam.
3. Google Will Not Attempt to Sell Services
As we touched on earlier in this article, Google will never call you attempting to sell services such as account management, search engine boosts, or the removal of bad reviews. Because Google doesn’t contract with any third-party companies, you can immediately mark any call that tries to sell you something as a scam.
How to Call the Real Google
We’ve got a more extensive article on the different ways to contact Google for your business, but if you are just looking for a number to call, try the number below:
GMB Contact Number: 1-844-491-9665
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 9am-6pm EST
Keep in mind that you may have to wait a little while before getting someone on the line. Even though Google does a great job managing the massive number of contact requests they receive every day, thousands of business owners, just like you, are looking to talk to a live person.
Want to Talk to a Human About Google?
If you’re looking to speak to someone with questions about your Google business listing or your Google presence in general, Thrivehive’s got a team of experts who are armed and ready to help. Click here to open up a live chat or click below to book a free session.