If you’re like me, you get up to 10 spammy phone calls on your business line every single day. Today I was treated with the lovely automated voice of “Sharon” my local Google specialist. The thing is: Sharon is not with Google. These spam calls are misleading and are personally disruptive to my business as I have clients call me multiple times a week saying Google called them and there’s something wrong with the client’s website. We then have to research the complaint and always end up with the same conclusion: you got spammed. With this in mind, I thought it would be helpful to put some tips together on spotting fake Google representatives and how to tell if they are legitimate or not.
Here are a few tips to know that you’re on the phone with a spammer.
Google Doesn’t Call You About Organic Search
First and foremost, Google will rarely reach out to you directly over the phone. If they do, it’s most likely your established Adwords rep calling you to discuss ways they can get you to spend more money with them. If you don’t have Adwords then you should always be suspicious if someone calls you about Google.
Spam Calls Take Awhile to Connect
You will notice an awkward pause and no response when you say hello initially. This is because the software that is auto-dialing thousands of numbers per day needs to go to the next step: playing a pre-recorded message.
You Get Cutoff Voicemails
Since the spammers use auto-dialing software, they will often start playing the spam message when your voicemail greeting triggers. This means you’ll end up with the last part of the message as a voicemail. Any real person would wait until the greeting is over to begin speaking.
They Don’t Say They’re a Google Employee
The calls I’ve heard are all pretty vague. Here are a few favorite titles fake Google reps may reveal themselves with:
- Google specialist
- Google representative
- Google partner
- Google expert
- Google contractor
Pretty much anything except “Hi, I’m with Google” or “I’m from Google.”
Their Website Has a Big Disclaimer
Check the disclaimer on the website. Often these sites will admit they are not part of Google. I took a look at a major player in the Google spam game and their disclaim statest: it is not Google, a partner of Google or has any special relationship with Google.
If you tell someone on the phone that you’re from Google and they read this on your website they will be angry. Not a great marketing tactic as can be seen from this company’s many negative reviews.