The first step in protecting against phone scams is understanding how they work. That’s why in this series, we’re breaking down some of the newest and most popular phone scams circulating among businesses and consumers.
You’re a small business owner running a website through a popular hosting site. You have purchased the unique URL that fits your company, and you set up your website. You muddle your way through figure out SEO, meta tags, and keywords to get your website found upon a quick Internet search. Then, from a local number, you get a phone call from a Google specialist claiming they have a front page position for your business with unlimited clicks, 24 hours a day. Your business is struggling to gain traction on the Internet so you immediately press one at the behest of the specialist. You set your website up with the Google specialist. Quick and easy, you pay the local specialist for the front page spot and you hang up.
What Really Happened
You realize shortly after hanging up with the Google specialist that your website is not displayed on Google’s front search page. You also realize that several withdrawals have been made from your account that you have not authorized. Soon after, you catch on to what has happened. You’ve been scammed, and the fraudsters stole your credit card information. How did this happen?
- Robocalling – Scammers use robocalls to attack a multitude of people quickly while also being able to conceal their identity and location through Caller ID spoofing
- Vishing – Fraudsters use the phone channel to persuade victims to divulge sensitive information, like credit card numbers, to initiate account takeovers
- Impersonation – by falsely implying that they are associated with Google, they are gaining your trust and/or intimidating you with their importance
Google Listing Scam Examples
Another day, another “Google Listing” call – A variation of the robocalls surrounding the Google Listing scam. According to Pindrop Labs research, there are 8 variations of robocalls connected to this scam.
Avoid and report Google scams – A list of scams tied to the Google name.
Pindrop Labs presents Emerging Consumer Scams of 2016 – Pindrop Labs has researched and discovered the 5 emerging phone scams effecting consumers in 2016, including the Google Listing Scam, and will be presenting a webinar on these findings on Wednesday, February 24th from 2:00-2:30pm ET.