Scammers Targeting Google Business Profiles

BBB

This new scam can seriously damage a company’s reputation. If you’re a business owner, watch out for scammers trying to steal your Google Business Profile, along with all the great reviews you’ve worked so hard for.

How the scam works

When you search for a business in Google, information about that business usually appears in the right sidebar. This is called a Google Business Profile. Along with the basic information, such as address, phone number, and opening hours, there is a link for the business owner to claim and edit the profile. Unfortunately, this is also an opportunity for scammers.

Scammers click the “Own this business?” button. link, which sends a request email to the current owner. If you or someone in your company approves this request, thinking it’s legitimate, the scammer can take over your profile. They will likely change your business name and block your account access.

Scammers then use this new business profile, with all of your reviews, to trick consumers into contacting them. Locksmith scam
commonly use this technique. If your business profile is stolen, you’ll need to follow a procedure with Google Support to recover your profile. In the meantime, your profile may have received bad reviews or been modified by scammers.

How to protect your Google Business Profile

  1. Reject suspicious property requests. Stop scammers in their tracks by immediately rejecting unauthorized attempts to claim your business profile. If you are unsure if a member of your staff initiated the request, find out before accepting it.
  2. Check your emails and any alerts you receive from Google in a timely manner. Scammers rely on you not to notice strange activity on your profile. When verifying your account for the first time, be sure to use an email address that you check regularly.
  3. Contact Google Support if your account is hacked. Take back control of your stolen account with the Google support team. To fill this form on google to start the recovery process.
  4. Always report any fraudulent activity. Report any issues to Google immediately. You can also report your experience on BBB.org/ScamTracker. Your report will help other companies stay alert to similar threats.

For more information

Read on the the power of customer reviews. Learn more about scams targeting small businesses.

If you spot a scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker, even if you have not been victimized or lost money. Your report can help others avoid common scam tactics.

Stay up to date with the latest scams by subscribing to Weekly BBB Scam Alerts Email. Learn how to spot a scam BBB.org/SpotaScam.

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