What you need to know
- Google has announced that it is suing new scammers via a lawsuit.
- The scammers are said to be impersonating Google and making calls to consumers.
- They further provide fake reviews to businesses on Google Search and Maps.
Google is taking the next step to protect people from scammers, fight fraud, and do its part to stop such malicious actors with its technical and legal prowess.
In an announcement blog post, Google announced that it is filing a new lawsuit against scammers who are following unwanted practices exploiting entrepreneurs and small businesses.
The search giant says it aims to protect small businesses from scammers trying to impersonate Google by making telemarketing calls. These scammers often create new website advertising to give fake reviews (both positive and negative), purchase reviews, and further manipulate reviews on Google Search and Maps for the respective business.
Google notes that Business owners typically can control how their establishment appears on Search and Maps by creating a Business Profile tool. It further enables customers on their Android devices to locate their preferred coffee shops, restaurants, or hardware stores in their locations.
However, Google claims that the suspected scammers exploit this tool in “deceptive and predatory practices” to benefit themselves.
According to Google, this new lawsuit should set a legal precedent for a safer web. Moreover, to protect individuals, small businesses, and those who lack the means to defend themselves, the search giant is sharing tips to help them recognize scams and take relevant action.
These measures include hanging up on calls from someone trying to impersonate an official and asking for money. Similarly, Google does not call asking for money or make a payment; it is advisable to research thoroughly online to check for a business and contact the office directly from their site.
The company points out that “in 2021 alone, we stopped more than 12 million attempts from bad actors to create fake Business Profiles and nearly 8 million attempts from bad actors to claim Business Profiles that didn’t belong to them.”
Google shares a couple of other measures for residents in the U.S. to avoid scams by reporting to concerned authorities or directly reporting to the search giant itself through a web form.