How to Identify Google Spam Calls

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

Here’s a message my client emailed me:

A spammy message from a well known Google Maps company

Take a look at the footer of their website:

Google Maps company spammy footer

It states: 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.

In Conclusion

I hope this is able to help you know whether you’re on the phone with a spammy SEO company or not. A little bit of research goes a long way in preventing wasting time and money on a company with deceptive business practices. Legitimate companies are clear as to who they are, who they’re affiliated with and often don’t make bold promises over the phone. In the time I was writing this I got another call to my phone but luckily my cell phone warned me:

An iPhone warning that an incoming phone call is likely Spam. The name of the caller is Spam Likely.

 

References:
https://productforums.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!category-topic/maps/new-feature-suggestions/DFldpnHbrNA

https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/webmasters/rIWKH1_4Xf4

https://www.reddit.com/r/self/comments/1vyd07/this_company_keeps_calling_my_business_claiming/

https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/webmasters/2HWZtMC2mmg



2 Comments

  • John Bauer

    Interesting piece but its slanderous. You are conflating the questionable practices of every single maps optimization company in the United States onto one company who does not use “Sharon From Google”. Secondly, Maps Support for Google is not saying that the company is Google. The company cited in your article is a Google Partner for Adwords, of which, does not mean they are a actual partner of Google. Thirdly, the company you have cited not only discloses the fact they are not with Google in the footer of their website, but you have failed to mention that the company cited clearly discloses this same fact at the top of their terms and conditions in bold print where businesses have to agree to prior to payment. Clearly transparent. Although It is also understood that most business owners do not have nor spend time to research these phone calls, well noted. But this company has gone out of its way to disclose its relationship. Your article suggest that the company is using “fake Google” calls. This is not factual.

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