Some of our clients have been getting calls, supposedly from Google, claiming that their “google listing is about to expire.” Another version of these includes verifying their businesses” from a “Google account manager” asking for sensitive data such as credit card information or your log-in details.
If this sounds familiar, we have some good news and bad news.
The bad news is that these aren’t calls from Google but spam calls trying to scam you. The good news is that today we’re going to tell you how to stop robocalls and you won’t fall victim to them ever.
First, let me tell you how to spot these calls when you encounter them:
HOW TO SPOT SPAM CALLS
Technology evolves for everybody, even scammers. Today, it doesn’t have to be around ten to fifteen guys calling random numbers from a phone book trying to increase their chances in a game of hit and miss. It could just be one programmer in their mother’s basement with an app that automatically sends out up to a hundred calls per minute using recorded voice messages on a long list of phone numbers. They use bots to call now. Hence, robocalls.
And that’s the first thing to remember. Google does not place robocalls — unless a request has been placed specifically for an automated phone call. If you get an unexpected robocall, you’re being scammed.
Another thing to remember is that Google does not call to “update your front page listing” or ask you to “claim your free website”. Never happens.
“Front page listings” can’t be “updated”. It doesn’t work that way. There’s a lot of work done to just even be on the third page. You also can’t pay Google to get into Google search, even if you wanted to. If you want to have your website listed on the front page, you need plot and execute a digital marketing plan that employs effective search engine optimization (SEO). No Google employee would do that for you. You have to struggle with that all by yourself or by hiring professional digital marketing firms to do it for you.
You also don’t need to pay for services like Google My Business (GMB). That’s something you should work on yourself. Same thing with websites. Websites don’t come for free. You might win a free domain from a raffle or a contest that you HAD to consciously join in the first place. However, that’s different from a website. Websites are hard labor. Aside from the domain name, you need to have smart CMS, smart hosting, smart design, and smart copy. That’s another task for you or the Web Shop.
And the most obvious thing that would help you spot a fraud from a real Google employee is that they don’t request for your credit card information or any sensitive information at all over the phone. Only scammers do that. Ever.
Scammers use these tactics to scare businesses who only want to be ahead of the curve. Sometimes, scammers succeed and win big. That’s the unfortunate truth. If no one ever becomes successful doing stuff like these, no one would even bother. With the ever-growing rate of scammers who use the same playbook, that only means they’re getting paid and more businesses fall victim to their bait.
But now that you know how to spot a fraud when you see one, what can you do to fight against it?
HOW TO STOP ROBOCALLS
First, register any number that you don’t want to receive calls with on the National Do Not Call List. If you’re around Bay Area, this is where you can do that. However, excuse me if I’m not very confident that uncaring criminals would respect that list. Still, it’s a good first step since if you’re still bothered by robocalls or telemarketers while being on the Do Not Call List, you can file a complaint here.
Speaking of report…
Second, always report these calls to Google. You might feel like it won’t do much, but Google actually wants to chase these spam calls out of the park. It ruins their brand and credibility. They’re your friend against a common enemy.
If all else fails, block the robocallers. They’ll eventually bypass your block by using another number and pulling the same thing again. If so, block that too. You don’t have to deal with them if you don’t want to.
Our advice is to keep it together and be smart. Always consult a trusted professional like Littlejohn’s Web Shop. We’ll know how to handle scammers when we see them.
Unfortunately, you can’t stop them in one swoop. It takes collective action to get rid of this menace. The more people are equipped to deal with this, the less their tactics will be effective — at least up until they think of another modus operandi. That means it’s also your responsibility to educate your peers about this menace.
So share this article — it might save a friend!