Ok, maybe we’re being a little dramatic. But sometimes I feel this way when they call our cell and office phones 5 – 15 times times a day! It gets to the point where we don’t want to pick up any calls from non-contacts at all.
Is it a scam or a real service? In most cases it is a full scam in other cases the original call is illegal but the service is provided on a very low level. Meaning that you may be grossly overpaying for the service they provide.
These calls are a scam. Sometimes it’s a bubbly woman other times it’s a friendly Robo dad’s voice. These recordings are made to trick small business owners. Sometimes they offer improved search rankings and other times they offer Google Maps listing services that are free.
Some of our clients have reported threats of Google Map Listings being removed if payment wasn’t made. Others have had negative reviews posted against their business with the promise of removal in exchange for payment. They can also promise to remove all of your negative reviews in exchange for an upfront payment.
Every once in a while we try and speak to an agent to see what information they’ll give up. The conversation usually goes like this:
Google listing scammer: “Hi, this is Ali with Google listing experts. What is your name?”
Adjet Team: “Hi, my name is Christopher.”
Google listing scammer: “Hi Christopher, I’m noticing that your google listing is in some type of pending status. Can you verify the name of your business?”
Adjet Team: “Yes, we are Allen Digital Services” (we give a fake name)
Google listing scammer: “Perfect, it looks like your Google My Business listing has not been claimed or verified. I would recommend our monthly listing service that will list, verify and keep your business at the top of Google Maps”
Adjet Team: “Ok, How much does that cost and how do I make payments”
Google listing scammer: “The cost is $99 per month. If you pay the year upfront you get an 18% discount. We accept wire transfers, Venmo, or Zelle.”
Adjet Team: “I thought that Google My Business Listings were free. Where are you guys located?”
Google listing scammer: “Click…”
This is the typical call center response. As soon as you start asking specific questions they’re gone. They’re mainly looking for easy targets. Don’t be an easy target. If you ever get on the phone with them, ask about where what, and how they operate. Never give any of your personal information. That includes your real name or business name and address.