It sounds like something out of a corny science fiction movie, re-running over and over again. Google, the world’s largest internet entity, calling your business on the phone. You might be asking yourself… “why is this happening to me?!”
Don’t beat your chest in frustration, we have the answers. 🦍 💥
There are two possible reasons:
- You need to verify your business listing (and someone from your company requested it!)
- You’re now being targeted in a phishing scam.
Let’s swing on into the details. Read on and learn how to tell the difference, and what to do in both situations to get Google off the phone with you.
You need to verify your Google My Business listing
Creating and managing a Google My Business listing for your company is one of the best free tools out there to help your business cut through the virtual jungle.
Need help setting up your GMB listing? Click here for step-by-step instructions!
A crucial part of the setup process is verifying your business. By verifying your GMB listing as an actual business through Google, you’ll be able to manage and change your business information. It also restricts access to any third parties who could mess with your information (like a competitor changing your business name or hours).
Tip from the Gorilla: Until you verify your business, you can’t edit important parts of your profile like your business name! You also aren’t able to access any of the analytics that shows you how many people are interacting with and visiting your listing.
If your business only operates out of a brick-and-mortar location without any delivery area or online services, you will likely have to verify your business through a postcard sent in the mail. Google will send you a postcard to your business address with a code. Once you get that postcard, just enter the code into your GMB profile, and you’re done!
If you’re running a business with delivery or online services, you can request a much quicker way to verify your business such as through email, phone, or text. Someone from your team can request verification through any of these methods — the most popular option being phone calls.
Requesting verification by phone means Google will call your business to confirm that your profile is correctly affiliated with the business. The reason verification by phone call is such a popular method is because unwanted third parties won’t be able to answer a phone inside your business, get the code, and maliciously claim the profile for themselves.
When verifying my phone is an option, you’ll be able to select the “verify by phone” method. This will immediately send an automated call to the number listed on your profile and you’ll be given a code. From there, you enter the code into your profile and you’re all set!
Once your profile is verified, it’s possible that Google may try calling you to offer free Adwords vouchers so that you can start advertising your business on Google. If this is the case, letting the representative know that you are not interested would more than likely get you off that call list.
You’re being targeted in a phishing scam
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who like to take advantage of business owners and modern-day technology. As a business owner, you can receive many different types of calls — from both people and automated robocalls. How do you tell the difference? Read on.
Google will never make a sales call to your business unsolicited. This means if you or someone on your team didn’t specifically request Google to call you, they won’t! The most common exception to this are the automated reminders for things like appointments booked through Google, making reservations, or confirming details for your business on Google Maps.
You may also receive calls from Google for customer service or development reasons relating to your business’s Google Ads account. It’s important to note that Google will never ask for payment information during these calls. If the person on the other line does, it’s a big sign that it’s a phishing scam.
When in doubt, there’s one surefire way to find out if the caller is actually from Google. Request that they send you an email from their official work email account, which will send you a verification email from an @google.com email account.
What to do if you’re on a phishing scam phone call
You have a few options once you realize you’re on the phone with a scammer:
- Report suspicious calls to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). To file a formal complaint, go to www.donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222. You can also submit a complaint to the Federal Communications Commission.
- Hang up! If you’re on the phone with someone pretending to be from Google, feel free to hang up at any time. Even pressing prompted keys to speak to a representative can lead to additional spam calls.
- Help Google track down scammers. It drives Google bananas, too! Learn more about reporting phishing scams to Google.
Let us help
Need a second set of eyes on your profile? Want some additional consultation on how to set up or lock down your listing? Learn more about GMB Gorilla’s ongoing management.