Don’t Fall for the Google Business Profile Scam
It seems like hackers never sleep, except when they spend their nights dreaming up new ways to scam us. You may have already experienced one of the newer schemes—spam attempting to gain access to your business’s Google Business Profile (GBP).
BxB Media is aware of this type of scam, as well as many others, trying to rob you of your information. We strive to continually do all we can to help you protect your business and your customers.
Why Target Google Business Profile?
One of the latest and greatest flimflams out there now is spammers singling out companies’ Google Business Profiles to extract valuable information about your business and attempting to steal your profile.
These hackers can take over your account, change the name of the business for their purposes, and actually lock you out. The idea behind these schemes is to trick potential customers into handing their information over to the scammers, who the customers mistakenly think are you.
How can they even do this? Scammers accomplish it by clicking on “Own this business?” in your profile, prompting a request verification email to be sent to you. Not thinking this is a scam and approving the request, you will have inadvertently given the hacker your profile. They now have full control and will most likely rename the business, stealing your reviews to trick customers into thinking your hard-earned reviews are about them.
Under this guise, you may then rack up bad reviews and can do nothing since the scammers have full command of your profile, completely locking you out. In essence, they have stolen your identity and can glean what they want from unsuspecting new customers.
How Will I Know It’s Spam?
Scammers have many scams in place to rob businesses of their information. Small businesses are especially vulnerable due to a lack of cyber security support larger companies may have. At BxB, we see scams from phishing scams to fake invoices to directory scams. These people are usually professionals and have perfected their pitches. In many cases, it’s difficult to know if something is legitimate or not.
To detect a scam, you really need to evaluate what’s coming your way at all times. Unfortunately you can’t operate on autopilot. Be careful what information you share. Know 100 percent it’s going to a trusted source. Never be hesitant to call to verify.
Also, don’t second guess yourself. If something seems off about that unauthorized request, most likely there is something wrong. Being suspicious is not a bad thing.
What Can You Do?
When you discover your business is the victim of a scam—and your Google Business Profile has been hijacked, your only recourse is a long dance with Google to recover your profile. Get in touch with your BxB Marketing Coach immediately, and we can help you through the process. The quicker you contact both us and Google support, the less time the scammers have to move forward and entrench themselves.
To help prevent this from happening in the first place, be sure to monitor your emails and alerts regularly. With so many of us being on full-steam ahead during the day, scammers rely on skipped or ignored notices and your attention being elsewhere. Not noticing their suspicious activity gives them a foothold to carry on.
If no one in your business requested an authorization or change, don’t accept or respond to it. Be absolutely sure. Ask your coworkers. Scammers rely on people’s busy schedules and assumptions that everything is above board for their success. And always report any fraudulent activity to Google. It helps them stay on top of these hackers and their latest schemes.
Talk to Your BxB Marketing Coach for More Information
These days, scammers appear to be lurking around every new technological advancement. No sooner is something created than we hear of ways scammers exploit it to access our information.
Staying vigilant definitely helps, and at BxB we have so many security processes in place to protect you, but sometimes the hackers do get through. If that happens to you, don’t panic. We are here. It’s Who We Are and What We Do.