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Beware Of Google Places Scam

OK, I am fired up. I got a call this morning from a Seattle, WA phone number that claimed I was getting a message from Google Places because my listing had not been verified. Knowing that I had years ago, - red flag #1 - I still accepted the call as my curiosity was peaked. - red flag #2 - was the fact that I know Google Places had been replaced by GoogIe + Local on May 30th this year. I was then forwarded to a woman who told me the same thing, but when she told me because my listing wasn't verified I could not be found on Google, I knew immediately what this was. She pretended to give me the wrong name for my business; I said "no that's not it." The rest of the conversation went like this:

"This is [she states my name], right?"
me - "Yup!" I said, feeling the blood boiling for all my clients that have been scammed.

"Is your business [she states the name of my business]?"
me - "Yup."

"Is you phone number [she recites my phone number]?"
me - "Yup."
"You are very hard to find."

Is there something about that that sounds funny to you? If I was hard to find how did she know all the information about my business with just my name? red flag #3 -

me (ready to have a little fun) - "You're not Google are you?"
"No, Google wouldn't call you, we didn't say that, but you are very hard to find and..."

me - "you said you were Google when you called me, you are being dishonest, something about how I know a thing or two about SEO, rant rant rant"

"you can't be found"...that's all that's in my script
me - hung up

I checked how my google rankings were doing while on the phone by making sure I was logged off of Google and picking random cities around the United States and Canada to set my location as.

Guess, what? I can be found. :)

Why would I log off and change my location on Google? Because Google tracks all your searches and tries to bring up what you are most likely interested in and also brings the results for products and services that are closest to your location. That is why you should never trust the ranking results over the phone or in an email that an "SEO expert" tells you. They could be in California and you could be in New York.

When I hung up I looked over at my four daughters who are home from summer vacation and were all sitting on the couch, their mouths hung open with that 'deer in the headlights' look at the realization that their mom who expects them always to be polite and respectful just yelled at someone on the phone. Making me feel a little guilty they asked me if it was the poor lady's fault that she was making that phone call for her boss. I told them about all the people that have called me that have lost a lot of money to companies like that, that I was being told lies over and over again, and that the lady I was talking to needed to know she was working for a dishonest company if she didn't know she was lying.

OK, so maybe I still feel a little scammers I will try not to raise my voice next time, I will just hang up...and I advise you do too!

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About the Author

Rebecca LeClaire, MC Design & Services, LLC
3379 Palmer Dr.
Saugatuck, MI 49453

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