To this day, scammers are claiming to represent Google, while preying on small business owners.  They also make threats about removing listing or outrageous claims about ranking improvements.  At times, they will even try charging for things that are supposed to be free on Google.

Previously, a number of things have been done by Google to try stopping this sort of fraud, such as filing lawsuits. Now, it’s stepping up its efforts and has announced a new set of initiatives.

Google has chosen to take legal action against several entities.  Not only that, it can now better identify accounts that are tied to scammers and remove them.  A too was developed by the company to let business owners report scams, as well as provide a directory of trusted partners.

 

The following list is an abbreviated version of what Google says in its blog post:

  • We’re taking legal action against Kydia Inc. d/b/a BeyondMenu, Point Break Media, LLC (and affiliated entities) and Supreme Marketing Group, Inc. d/b/a Small Business Solutions
  • We’ve developed new automated and manual techniques to better identify Google accounts tied to scam efforts.
  • We’ve created a new tool that lets business owners report scammy practices and policy violations.
  • We’ve started providing resources and education to local small business organizations.
  • We’re launching the Google My Business Partners program [with] a directory of trusted partners.

Google even recommended steps that local business owners should take themselves:

  • Make callers prove they’re from Google.
  • Claim GMB pages.
  • Understand that ranking claims are probably fake.
  • Don’t respond to robocalls.
  • Use the Do Not Call Registry.

Source –