You Google Account Has Been Hacked
If you receive a text or email claiming that your Google account has been hacked and they need to verify your ID via a phone call, ignore it. This scam is designed to collect your personal information and possibly steal your identity.
What to look for: Google does not send text messages that require you to give any sensitive data about yourself, so this will tell you right away if the request is fraudulent.
Google Requires Payment for Better Search Placement
You cannot buy your way to the top of Google’s search engine unless you’re using AdWords. Con artists will claim that they are affiliated with Google and that for a $XXX fee you will be granted the #1 spot on your targeted keywords.
What to look for: Google will never contact you asking for money for better website placement. If someone does, it’s a scam.
Random Invoices from Google
Many people are receiving invoices from “Google” that claim to be for services like SEO, Google Maps optimization, etc. Many businesses will pay for these invoices thinking that they are legitimate. They chalk it up as the cost of being on Google.
What to look for: Google will only send you an invoice if you are using AdWords or another one of their advertising services. If you receive an invoice from Google and you can’t remember what it would be fore, it’s going to be fake 99.99% of the time.
Telemarketing from Google
Probably the most popular of the scams, many golf facilities have received calls from people claiming to be with Google soliciting services. They will tell you anything you want to hear in order to get you to pay a fee.
What to look for: Google doesn’t telemarket. If you ever get a call from Google offering “updates” to your business, just hang up the phone.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Whenever you’re asked to pay or provide sensitive information to someone that you don’t know, always ask for proof. Ask them to provide you with documentation that they are who they say they are. More than likely, if you’re being contacted by “someone from Google” without notice, it’s probably a scam. You can always call us at (407) 395-4701 and we can help determine if you are experiencing fraud.
Feel Like You’re Being Scammed?
If you feel like you being are or have been scammed, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission here: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/GettingStarted.
Still not sure? Send us an email at Tammy@Tammymillerdesign.com for more in-depth analysis. With so many con artists out there these days, it’s more important than ever to educate yourself. Let us help you avoid a mistake that could be worth thousands of dollars.