I have seen a large increase this year on complaints about Google My Business profile ownership requests and actual “hijacked” profiles. You can have a look at this large Google My Business Community Forum Thread.
Basically, the scam can be one of the following 2 ways:
Scammers may send you a fake email from Google and ask for login information. So beware and do not press any link.
However, the most prevalent way it’s through Google My Business “Request Access” feature.
Anyone can claim ownership! After 7 days, they might have the option to claim the listing for themselves if you don’t act.
First, you will receive an email, similar to the below, asking you to review “access request” and with the details from someone you don’t recognise:
Email content: Someone has requested ownership of “Your business name” on Google My Business.
Please do not press the “Review request” button as could be a fake email.
Next step, you login into your Google My Business account.
If you have a notice from Google about an access request, please make sure to “Reject” it as soon as possible and tell all the account users about this.
If you delay more than 7 days to reject it or some user gives access, the scammer can take control of your listing and remove you from the account and change all account details.
For what purpose you may ask, normally 2:
- Ask for money to relinquish control back to you
- Change phone and website details to capture your leads
Beware and don’t facilitate.
You can read in a recent post a cautionary tale here.
To learn the latest about Google My Business, you should check these articles:
- Google My Business New Metrics Rolled outI reported a few months ago that Google was rolling […]
- Google My Business Messaging is getting a boostGoogle is releasing new ways for your businesses to see […]
- Google My Business/Google Maps Spam and Fake Listings Guide FAQFAQs about Spam/Fake Businesses on Google