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Ep. 20 Google Business Scam – Look Out
Google Business Scam – Look Out
When you’re stretched thin as a business owner it’s easy to be taken advantage of. Sean got a call from someone claiming to be Google and needing to verify his account. After talking with them it was obviously a scam. Torie Mathis and her cohost Sean talk about steps to take to avoid being scammed and what to do if you get on the phone with a scammer.
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Listen or watch the full episode below:
EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION –
(transcription is auto-generated)
[00:00:00] Sean: There’s no, there’s no shortage of people trying to scam you out of money, business owners specifically because you’re spread so thin.
[00:00:15] Torie: Hey, Hey, welcome to Smart AF I’m your host Torie Mathis. We have got a great show for you today, so let’s get started.
[00:00:23] Sean: So I hate answering the phone. Don’t mind most of the calls I get complete garbage. But when it comes to my Miles Through Time I got to answer the phone. But I know it’s a Miles Through Time call cause they’ve got a special ring on my phone.
So I’ll answer it every single time, as long as I actually incapable of answering the phone, you know? So I’ve been getting phone calls pretty frequently for a few weeks now. Nobody’s there it’s a delay and then a little click and then it’s the hill. It’s either that, or it’s the hello? Don’t hang up. If you like seriously.
[00:01:03] Torie: They really say hello. Don’t hang up
[00:01:04] Sean: in an automated voice call. So every time I’m like, I don’t have time for this click click, click out the other day. It happened again. And. We got, we got to the gym early, so we’re going to sit there anyways. And I was like.
[00:01:19] Torie: Sitting there checking our email in the car.
[00:01:22] Sean: I was like, I’m going to see what this is because actually in, in this one. So it’s either the delayed click. So I know right off the bat, it’s automated or is the hello? Or it’s this one that says, oh, don’t hang up because you tell them not to, or it’s this I don’t remember the exact verbiage, but it’s something about your you’re verifying your Google listing. So it’s the Google listing one that, that caught my attention a little bit because I’m very familiar with the museum’s Google business listing.
[00:01:54] Torie: We’re familiar with all of our clients, Google, like we know what’s going on with Google listings.
[00:02:01] Sean: I’ve been hanging upon him for weeks now.
[00:02:04] Torie: It hasn’t really been weeks.
[00:02:04] Sean: They’ve been calling for weeks. Yeah, for sure. And so I answered it. Yes. And it tells me that something about wanting to verify my business to make sure everything’s right. And in case it gets shut down.
[00:02:18] Torie: Okay. So when they called, was it all automated? Because I heard you talking to somebody, like when did it click to somebody?
[00:02:24] Sean: It was automated telling me that. So I, I listened long enough for it to tell me a, you know, we want to make sure your business is verified and all that kind of stuff. I know it’s verified. But it is said, you know, I click one or stay on the line or whatever the hell the thing was. And so I did, and then it goes, and now I’ve got a real person.
Right. So the real person is like the reason we’ve been calling, we want to make sure all your information is good and it’s not accurate and all that kind of stuff. And we just want to make sure everything’s okay. And so right off the bat, I’m like, everything’s been verified for like four years now and literally what the guy said.
Oh, it looks like you got a really nice museum here. Click, click hung up on me afterwards. So I always Google numbers. Like I just, I want to know who’s calling. And so I Googled this number very first one, Google scan. So I don’t know. I don’t know what they would have done. I mean, I, I didn’t, I didn’t want to mess with a two line man.
I could tell him was the guy, I suppose. Some, I’m assuming somewhere along, they’re easy, they’re easy. They’re collecting data. And then reselling that somehow. Or he was going to try to sell me on something. And you know, because I knew my Google business listing was verified. He had nothing, but how many people. I don’t. I mean, we’ve, we’ve talked about claiming your Google business and making sure all your information is correct. Well, what happens when that phone rings and that person doesn’t have a clue about their Google business listing, maybe it’s the first time they even heard of it. And now you got this guy calling saying, let’s make sure everything’s all verified, starts checking off all these boxes, getting all your information.
Maybe they want that credit card number. You’re not talking to Google, man. I mean, it blows my mind, but the simple fix. Just know what you got out there and verify something that like, I literally can see as a verified thing on a weekly basis. Like there was nothing, so he just hung up on me.
[00:04:31] Torie: Well, once you have your Google business listing, all setup. You get alerts through it right to your email and you, like Sean said, you can always just go right in there. So this is something that like, you really need to set up for your business. Like no matter what it is and never. Never let somebody talk you into giving money
[00:04:52] Sean: over the, I had another one while we were out and it was, it was to connect Google AdSense to my Google.
[00:04:59] Torie: Do you think that one was a
scam too? I don’t know. Oh, I remember you had that call and you’re like, that’s kind of weird that they called me. Like, does Google really do?
[00:05:06] Sean: I don’t know if they really like it’s, you know like you don’t call Google, you don’t call Facebook. You don’t call these people. It’s all through their chat or their email. Like that’s how you, you interact with these people.
[00:05:21] Torie: I have a, I do have a rep that I talked to at Facebook, but like, that’s not, I’ve talked about that before.
[00:05:27] Sean: You can’t just go do it. You can’t say, Hey, I want to talk to this person. Like it, you went through channels to get to that, to where, you know, it’s validated. So. I would be hesitant to do anything with somebody on a cold call out of the blue for any of that kind of stuff.
[00:05:42] Torie: Do you remember when we had a friend of ours and she called me while it was happening and it was somebody who was calling and said she had a warrant for her arrest and not, they, they were going to come, oh my God. They talked to her, they had her so scared, talked her into driving down there and paying money. Oh but right when she hung up like she got to that point where like, she knew like, what was happening was like, not real, but, but they were so convincing. And so like they have their whole shtick down that she was convinced that like there was something wrong and, oh my gosh, I can’t believe this because it, it kind of sounded right.
She was like, well, I know how to do stuff with the courts because of this. And like, it just, it all kind of seemed right just like the Google listing. Well, do I have a Google listing? Like I could see how they make it, that, that it, it seems like maybe it is real well. I, I do want my business verified.
[00:06:40] Sean: Because I don’t typically answer the phone for random numbers. I knew kind of what I was going to answer or what I was getting myself into, but I answered the phone. But even if I didn’t like hang upon him, like right in the middle of the, Hey, I want to verify my business, even if it is legit, hang up on them, search that number real quick. See if it’s legit.
[00:07:03] Torie: Luckily they’re calling back. Luckily there are people out there, that have had the same stuff happen. So, you know, doing something like that. And, and double-checking because we get the middle ones all the time. As I was just gonna say, just like the male ones are about one, two weeks.
You need to, oh, it was the same one, right?
[00:07:19] Sean: The domain.
[00:07:22] Torie: It’s a bill and it’s like, you need to domain registry, blah, blah, blah. Totally seems legit. Like it’s $218 and if you don’t, you’re going to lose your business list. Like, it sounds legit, but like I’m saying.
[00:07:34] Sean: They make it, they make it appear that if you don’t pay this, what appears to be a bill website disappears just like
[00:07:41] Torie: Google, like your business, isn’t verified, people.Aren’t gonna find you that fear they tried to get.
[00:07:46] Sean: Yeah. But in that, because it’s mailed, you know, if you just do a little research and, and, and, you know, determine what, what this thing is. You know, they’re trying to collect money from you. You’re very quickly going to realize, you know, you don’t host with them.
That’s not where you purchased your domain name. They’ve got nothing on you know, on a song, you, you may not be able to do that real quick, but you know, hang up on them and look, you know, if it’s legit, they’ll call back.
[00:08:15] Torie: Yeah they will email right. And then you can tell if it’s a legit email, I know I’ve had a lot of our clients contact us and they’re like, Hey, we got, this is this legit. And we’re able to, you know, take care of them and make sure that they’re not being charged for things that they shouldn’t be or where we know if stuff is a scam or stuff like that, because. It’s the same things over and over again that these people are trying to do.
[00:08:36] Sean: There’s no, there’s no shortage of people trying to scam you out of money, business owners specifically because you’re spread so thin. You have no idea what these are things you have to get licenses for or registered for, or any of this kind of stuff that when somebody says, Hey, you owe us money for this. You’re like, I suppose I do. Here’s my check. You know?
[00:09:01] Torie: Well, and you, no matter, even if it’s Google, even if it’s Facebook, whatever it is, even if it’s the court system calling and saying they have a warrant for your arrest like you always have time. To, like you said, hang up and do a little bit of research. Before you make any decision before you give Infor any information out before you give any money over, definitely do your due diligence. If it is important they will contact you again and worst case scenario. Like they’re not going to shut your business down. They’re not going to shut down your Google completely. Like that’s not how this stuff is.
[00:09:37] Sean: That’s what got me a little curious was when they said, you know, it could, my Google business could get shut down if I didn’t verify. I was like, well, what is this all about? Right.
[00:09:50] Torie: We know that that’s not how that works.
[00:09:53] Sean: I know it’s verified, but hopefully we’ll have put an end to that phone call charade.
[00:09:59] Torie: Yeah. I’m glad you checked. And then you did that because I was wondering what was going on. Like, it just didn’t seem quite right.
[00:10:05] Sean: Google is free. Facebook is free. You, you shouldn’t have to pay them for anything you don’t want. And that payment process is going to. Online. You’re going to go straight to Google ad sends and all that kind of, and you’re going to put your information in there and that.
[00:10:24] Torie: And if they wanted to contact you, they would probably not call you like that because there’s no way that they can verify that that’s them, they’ll email you they’ll have an alert in your account. There’s other ways that they, if it’s legitimately them, that they’re going to make sure, you know, it’s them like it’s coming from, you know, your Google account or it’s coming from.
[00:10:44] Sean: I actually for the museum, it was a bit of an ordeal to change locations for the museum. Because we were under construction on the new one. Although I needed to transfer the business, Google business, listing to the new location, they didn’t want to have it verified until the museum was officially open. Well, that’s not going to work for me when the old one is there going to keep it in the old one and start, you know, and people are going to keep going to a location that doesn’t exist anymore.
Like, I can’t have that. So I had to, I had to work with them, which was all through email. And then it was. It was actually video voice through Google. So Google voice talking to a representative through Google who then I walked around and got everything verified, but like, it was, it was all through Google.
It just wasn’t a way, it was not a random phone call whatsoever and that verified, but you always just go to here, Google business and look, and it will tell you verified or not. And you’re done. It’s not going to get unverified unless you do. Do you change something in there? That’s against their rules and then you wind up having something flagged, but for the most part, but like I said, you, you get a phone call like that.
Hang up on him, pull up your Google business, listing it still says, verified, answer the phone again, and tell him to stop.
[00:12:15] Torie: I’m going to turn them in or something. You probably like Google now. And again, like, like Facebook is a really great place or LinkedIn, like let other business owners know that this has happened to you. So that way they can go and say, oh, that happened to me too. And then we’re like, we’re all letting each other know, like, don’t fall for this stuff. Like we gotta take care of
[00:12:32] Sean: each other. They’re doing it because they’re making money off of somebody, you know, multiple people. Yeah it’s a thing with business owners. It’s a thing with the elderly it’s it’s it’s brutal. So, I mean, do your due diligence and make sure it doesn’t happen to you.
[00:12:52] Torie: We’ll be afraid to sit on it, to wait, to hang up. Like the worst that’s going to happen is they’re going to contact.
[00:13:01] Sean: And on the odd chance. Let’s say Google does call and says, Hey, something’s going on? And we’re going to verify your business listing. Unless you, you talk to us. I don’t think this is going to happen, but let’s hypothetically say it does. You don’t answer the phone, business google business listing gets unverified. We verify it and go, you’re going to get, you’re going to get emailed and whatever information it is that they need. Yeah, give it to them. You’re up and running again. You’re going to get email notification. You’re going to see it all. So don’t fall. No worries, man.
About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.
Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine. Learn from Torie at the Smart Arsenal and on her channel.
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