In August, we talked about being extremely careful when fielding phone calls from people from “Google”. It was common practice for these scammers to go under the guise of Google and give you a shpeel about not ranking high in their search engines and giving them your credit card numbers. This is where the scam gets a little more dangerous – they’re now using Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, and other social media avenues to further their cause. As we become a little more astute to the scammers using Google’s name, their hope is that using a different company will throw you off just enough. Here are some items to put into perspective from 2013:
It was estimated that over $120 million was scammed out of innocent business owners.
The phone numbers used were spoof numbers, created ironically by Google, to mask their location. In 2014, five of several phone numbers were compromised and SOME of the perpetrators arrested (charged count as of 2013 was 25). It is estimated that there are still approximately 150-200 people running the scam.
In the process of taking banking information from your business, 500 business owners also got their personal banking information stolen due to linking to same banks and other financial institutions.
There is nothing better than being high on the search engines, but it doesn’t come at the cost of simply giving over your credit card number to a caller. In the last blog, we detailed what you can do to see if the caller is a scammer. This time, we’ll go simpler: Never give out your credit card information. Period. While the FBI takes the lead on finding these scammers we must be vigilant to keep all our financial information secure.
Here’s the biggest tip of all: Google will never call you – and for that matter no social media or search engine will ever call you. Calling you goes against business best practices of solicitation for profit. That is one small bylaw not many people know about.
Be on you guard. These scammers don’t care who they hurt. Just remember, if there is anyone who says they are from a search engine or social media platform, hang up. They aren’t worth your time.