I have seen a large increase this year on complaints about Google My Business profile ownership requests and actual “hijacked” profiles.
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! And after 3 days, they might have the option to claim the listing for themselves if you don’t act.
All starts when you receive an email similar to the below example, asking you to review the 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 be hasty pressing the “Review request” button as it could be a fake email.
Follow these steps to reject the access request:
1. Please, before clicking on the “Review request” button, check the email address as it could be a fake email – emails are sent from: “firstname.lastname@example.org“
2. When clicking on the “Review request” button, you should be forwarded to an URL similar to the below:
3. Next step, you select “Reject request” that appears on the dashboard
If you delay more than 3 days to reject it or some other user gives access, the scammer can take control of your listing and remove you from the account and change all account details.
Also beware, the scammers may ask the verification card and call the business after few days advising they are from Google and asking for the code, so I would alert your client to not provide any code over the phone.
For what purpose they are doing this you may ask, normally 2:
- Ask for money to relinquish control back to you
- Change phone and website details to capture your leads
January 2021– Another Scam affecting many Food businesses. Scammers are using an email for Touch2Success.
You can read this cautionary tale here.
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