“Hello, we’re trying to reach you about your car’s extended warranty…”
You’re sure to have heard that robocall more than a few times within the last few years. In fact, such robocalls have become so aggressive that they’ve risen to “meme” status! However, as a business owner, you’ve likely received other robocalls that seem more relevant: Google My Business verification calls. The basic gist of these calls is a “Google” representative is trying to reach you about verifying your business listing on Google. And as you likely know, your Google My Business listing is crucial to your online marketing and SEO! However, 309 Marketing is here to tell you, like calls about your car’s extended warranty, so too are these GMB verification calls a scam.
If you play along long enough in your call, you’ll eventually talk with a real person who “looks you up” in their system and tells you they can help verify your GMB listing. This ends with them requiring a small fee to do so.
You should first know: Google will NEVER call you to verify your GMB listing. The only exception to this rule is if you are already going through the process of GMB verification. Google will sometimes call you with a code to complete the verification process. Otherwise, Google will never call you directly.
Second, this particular scam can be disastrous for your existing GMB if you go through with it. Companies use the information you give their fake Google reps to snatch up your business listing before you do. In most instances, these call centers target small businesses who have not already claimed their GMB profile, meaning it’s up for grabs! Giving someone (that isn’t your present marketing company) access to your GMB allows them free reign to add new users, adjust your profile, and generally make changes to the listing.
While one lost business listing might not seem like a huge deal, GMB profiles are the ONE profile you should have full access to, no matter your business. Google My Business is the primary way most customers or clients find your website, see your business hours, read reviews, or locate your business through Google Maps. If you don’t have access to your own account, not only can you no longer make changes, but those who have access can. And until you pay scammers the fee to “verify” your GMB listing, they can hold it for ransom.
Unfortunately, these calls never entirely go away (even if you request to be taken off their list). The best way to prevent your GMB account from being taken over is to not engage with these calls, much like other spam calls you receive. However, if you suspect you don’t have access to your current GMB, give 309 Marketing a call! We can help you set up your profile, and we promise to put you in charge of your own account.
To learn more about our SEO services related to your GMB and online listings, contact us today at 309-228-9640. We are located at 311 SW Water St, Ste 201, Peoria, IL 61602.