Google Robocall Scams: Hello, This is Google Calling!

Google Robocall Scams: Hello, This is Google Calling!
Chris Lonergan
Chris Lonergan July 13, 2018

An unfortunate side effect of publishing your business contact information so that prospective clients can get a hold of you is that scammers can more easily get your contact information as well. One of the most common phone calls and emails that we get from clients is "Google called and said my listing was going to be deleted – Do I need to pay them?" - the classic Google Robocall Scam.

We've talked about domain renewal scams, SEO email spam, and link buying schemes – let's take some time to about Google Robocall Scams and what you can do about them.

But They Said They're From Google!

They're lying. (The majority of the time).

Calls from people targeting your Google Listing, saying that your listing will become suspended or won't perform unless you pay, are a common variant of Google phone call scams.

Google My Business and the creation of your Google listing is a free service. Google allows you this privilege so that it can learn more about you and your online presence for the sake of ranking. GMB is also a conduit to eventually getting you to pay for a different service – like Pay Per Click.

Sometimes Google does legitimately call.

If you get a phone call from Google about a listing verification (which is usually an automated phone call where you just have to listen and perhaps bunch some digits into your phone), or about Google Local Services, or about your Google Ads account – listen in first.

Even if you were to get a call from Google, it would likely be related to a specific Google task that you initiated – like a customer support call from Google AdWords. Google isn't going to ask you for money over the phone to rank you better. If they ask for money or your password, hang up the phone.

So if someone calls saying they are from Google and they are asking for payment – you can rest assured that it is a Google Robocall Scam. You can assume they are not trustworthy.

What if They Really Are From Google?

They are 99.99999% not from Google. But if you want to be absolutely sure, you could always to be emailed by the caller to prove their identity. As suggested in a recent Google post about scammers, "Anyone who works for Google should be able to send you an email from an email account."

What Do I Do?

Hang up the phone, and congratulations, you're done!

If you get a call from someone claiming to be Google, you can also report the call directly to Google for investigation.

How Can I Stop Getting These Google Listing Scam Calls?

These are scammers – which means the methods they use may be less than legal. Google scam calls have become increasingly problematic. These scam companies take advantage of the average user's inexperience with Google and use scare tactics to get business owners to pay up money that does absolutely no good.

Google has recently taken a big interest in stopping these calls, even taking legal action against scammers to make a point they will not tolerate this activity being carried out in their name.

While we haven't used them ourselves, there are apps like RoboKiller App that promise to block spammers and robocallers.

If you want to have a little more fun and get some revenge on telemarketers, you could try a service like Jolly Roger Telephone which fights telemarketers with robots that waste their time (though sometimes the language and subject matter can be a little crude). This doesn't stop the problem of getting these calls, but you can rest assured that you've wasted a telemarketer's time.

We're unfortunately a long way off from being able to go without robocalls or scam artists targeting small businesses. While it is annoying, the best thing to do is try to ignore those calls as much as possible. Don't hit a button to be added to the "Do Not Call" list – just hang up and move on with your day.

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