Nobody wants to deal with robocalls or soliciting calls in general. But in the case of any phone calls you get about your listing on Google My Business, you could potentially be getting scammed. Here’s what you should know about getting yourself set up on Google My Business and why you should ignore any phone calls that claim to be coming from Google.
What is Google My Business?
In short, Google My Business is a directory of businesses that you can sign up for — and you SHOULD be signing up for it.
You’ve probably looked a business up on Google before. You know when you search a business name on Google and all the information for that business is available right there at the top of the search results? The address, the hours of operation, the website, the phone number, customer reviews, even photos, and special offers. That’s all because the business is registered with Google My Business. At ASMM Digital, we believe that Google My Business is the single most important digital asset you have.
Think of it as being part of an online phone book. You wouldn’t want your contact information left out of the phone book, would you? And while you might think that all the information available on Google My Business is already listed on your website (which people can find through a Google search anyway), this just makes the information more readily available for your potential customers. Plus a Google My Business listing will also show you even if people aren’t searching for your specific company name. They might just be searching for your type of business (hair salon, sports bar, plumber, etc.) within their zip code — and just like that, your Google listing comes up.
Making a Google listing, or even modifying an existing one, doesn’t cost anything, and it’s fairly simple to fill out all the pertinent information. We encourage you to take our Google My Business course to learn how to use Google My Business effectively for your business.
Many business owners are alarmed to get a robocall (or, in some cases, a call with an actual person on the other end) telling them that their Google listing is incomplete or is in danger of being taken down. In some cases, the caller will say that you have a Google listing but there’s an emergency problem with the way your information is being displayed or that it’s not showing up when somebody searches for you. In order to fix any of these problems, the caller claims they will need either payment or certain information like your password. In several instances, the caller doesn’t claim to be directly working for Google but is an affiliate hired by Google.
As stated previously, and as will be stated several other times in this post, this is most likely a scam! Don’t fall for it. Your Google listing is fine (and if it isn’t fine, this isn’t something the person on the other end of the phone can fix for you).
In short, no — Google does not make calls about listings on Google My Business. If someone claims to be calling for that reason, you can safely assume that person is a scammer. More importantly, Google does not put out robocalls, nor does it charge any money for you to have a Google My Business listing or to improve your ranking in search results. The only time a person might receive a phone call from Google might be if verification or confirmation is needed about business details. Google might also make phone calls about Google AdWords, Google Play, or other Google products; however, these will be calls from an actual employee and not robocalls.
Unfortunately, there’s little that can be done to stop these scam calls. If you get one, the best you can do is hang up — the scammers can’t do anything if you refuse to talk to them.
In the past five years, Google has received hundreds upon hundreds of complaints about these robocalls from users, but although the tech company is aware of the problem, they can’t press charges because most of the numbers are untraceable. In 2016, Google did successfully take action against a particular SEO company that agreed to stop making calls. If you get a scam call and want to report it to Google, you can visit https://support.google.com/business and file a report.
You also have the option of registering your phone number to be removed from the list of all robocalls and soliciting calls by visiting https://www.donotcall.gov/, though it’s important to note that registering your number with the Federal Trade Commission can only block calls from U.S. call centers. Some of these robocalls come from call centers that are outside the country and are therefore not subject to these laws.
Do you need help putting your Google My Business listing together? Contact Ann’s Social Media & Marketing at 443-679-4916 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This content was originally published here.