Most of us have our radars on for those sneaky scammers but, for some reason, as soon as the voice on the phone says they are from Google – that radar turns off.
We are so used to trusting Google with our passwords, images and other data that it’s easy to be fooled into thinking that a ‘call from them’ must be legit.
Hold onto your (virtual and leather) wallets! Let’s see if your caller passes some scam tests before you give out any information…
First things first.
As a rule, Google won’t call you unless you have personally requested a scheduled call regarding your Adwords or My Business Account. Have you visited Google’s online support system and requested a call? No? Then do not ‘confirm payment or personal details’ with them. That is a big fat F – their scam fails the test.
Sometimes, Google will make (non-sales) automated calls to your business number. But, they will NEVER ask you for payment information over the phone – or guarantee you favorable placement in their products.
From the mouth of Google, “Unless you specifically requested an automated call, a sales call from Google will always be from a live person, not a recorded voice.” Bye bye Robocalls…
There are two things Google won’t ever charge for:
- Your My Business listing
- SEO support; aka, improving your rankings
If someone from ‘Google’ very kindly offers to rank your website on page 1 for a small fee or sell you a paid My Business listing, it’s time to hit the hang-up button.
Here is an example of a real call from Google…
“Hi there, this is Sally from Google Adwords. You requested a call from us this morning regarding your Adwords account. How can we help?”
A scam call would sound much more vague…
“Hi this is Aaron on behalf of Google, calling about a problem with your Adwords account. Can we confirm your payment details so your Ads don’t get cancelled?”
Scammers are all about the plastic. If they ask for passwords or to ‘confirm’ card details – give them a piece of your mind, but not an ounce of information!
Examples of automated calls from Google would be:
- Would you like to book in an Adwords review with us?
- Can we confirm your business hours to update your Google Business Account?
These aren’t sales calls, they are support calls. No scammers are nice enough to care if your business hours are correct – they want to make sure your ‘card details are correct’ so that when they take your money it’s an easy payday!
But I don’t want even Google to call me without asking!
We get it – a business owner needs their space.
You’ll only get these calls if your business has public phone numbers online for clients to contact you. Also, they use the automated voice-calling service Duplex, and a set of designated numbers – so if you don’t want to accept these calls, you can opt-out by saying, “Thanks but no thanks Google” on the call. Easy done.
In summary, Google might use your digits and call out of the blue for the purposes of development, customer service, or support related to your Google Ads, Google Play or other Google accounts.
But they won’t, we repeat, WILL NOT ask you for payment information over the phone.
What should you do if you detect a scammer?
Report it to Scam Watch and help them warn the community about the latest scams. https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam
Don’t pass GO, do not collect $200 or press any keys, just kill that call and be done with them. If you choose to throw some choice words in there as a parting gift… we won’t judge.
Block that number on your phone so they can’t call again.
Tell Google… the real Google. https://support.google.com/business/contact/gmb_3p_complaints
We hope this arms you with enough information to keep your information safe from scammers.
Sharing is caring! Pass this blog around – it might save someone from a nasty shock next time they check their bank account.