Since the early days of the Internet, many scams have been put into place by unknown assailants looking for critical financial or personal information. Today, it has even gotten a little worse as far as the amounts of attacks that are happening daily. It’s uncalled for, and most importantly, illegal. The highest profile scam today is what’s aptly called the “Google Scam”. Under the Google Scam, a representative calls the business owner and claims that they are not listed. For a fee, they would make a promise to rank them.

While unassuming and seemingly innocuous, it is nevertheless important to be on your toes. For starters, a representative from Google will NEVER call you about your rankings. With this knowledge, here are three steps to safeguard your financial information from these scammers:

  1. Always verify who is calling. Ask what their name is and a callback telephone number. When you ask for the latter, they often hang up. Any phone number that comes from an unidentifiable number should always be answered with caution anyway, but should you answer the phone, quickly ask for a callback phone number.
  2. Do a search for the phone number. Chances are if they have worked the scam before, their number will be listed with complaints and other negative press surrounding it. Most likely they are using a Google phone or phone spoofer to change their number. If they keep calling with a different number every time, leave it alone and report it to authorities.
  3. Defer the scammer to your bank. If they hang up or say, “Thank you for your time,” that’s a dead giveaway they are not going to call you back and that they are not from Google. All banks are required to report any and every occurrence of a business or entity asking for someone’s personal information to the FBI. Note: Many scammers do not know that.

The allure of being ranked can be large, but all business owners should be on their guard when phone calls of promised rankings come around. No one, not even Google, can place your business at will. That is inconsistent with their Internet marketing practices.

By protecting your business from these scammers, you will be safeguarding your company’s and personal financial well being. There are other ways to get ranked that don’t require pesky phone calls. Take comfort. Google is well aware of the scam that is taking place in their name. They have hired a private commission as of March of this year to identify the main culprits involved. Don’t be fooled by anyone that calls in the name of Google. Your business will be the better for it.