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Thread: Google+ Local Fake Address Scam

  1. #1
    Linda Buquet's Avatar
    Linda Buquet is offline Community Leader - Google Local Specialist
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    Thumbs up Google+ Local Fake Address Scam

    Well I've wondered about and have also discovered many creative ways people are gaming Google to get additional fake addresses in cities they aren't actually located in.

    Just discovered a new one via a post at the Google forum. Some company is paying $50 via Craigslist for people to offer their home address to get Google Local Pins. Note: They mention this is specifically for service area businesses, so address will be hidden.

    I copied one of the ads below in case it's removed.

    Easy fast $$$ - Link to one. There are more.

    Title: Easiest $50 you'll ever make

    Do you live in or around a major city with a large population? Want to make $50 for doing basically nothing?

    Our company helps nationwide businesses get a google "location" in areas where they operate but do not have an office.

    Here's how it works:

    -You provide us with home address and contact name (should be same as current resident)
    -Google will send you a postcard with a PIN code
    -Email us the pin code
    -We PayPal or deposit $50 into your account

    Frequently asked questions:
    Q: Is this a scam?
    A: No, we pay everyone who participates. If you make us happy we will return the favor.

    Q: Will my address have a business listed all over the Internet?
    A: No, we only provide this service to people who provide a service at a customers location (Example: Plumber). Your address will be hidden
    And here's a screenshot too.

    THIS is one of the reasons the Google Local guidelines have to be strict and why sometimes the babies get thrown out with the bathwater. Scams like this, just make it harder for honest businesses.
    Jo Shaer likes this.
    LocalSearchForumLinda Buquet .:. Google Local Specialist

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    Colan Nielsen's Avatar
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    Re: Google+ Local Fake Address Scam

    Oh wow, that's brazen.

    What these people don't know (which we have learned on another thread) is that their address will most likely still display live on Google Map Maker.

    Linda, do you have a link to the forum thread where this came up?
    Marie Ysais likes this.
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    BCLocal is offline Member
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    Re: Google+ Local Fake Address Scam

    Wow, that's ridiculous. Sure, the unsuspecting participant's address may not show up in the +Local listing, but it WILL show up in all of the citations created for it. Sad spammy technique. I wonder what agency is behind it.
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    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: Google+ Local Fake Address Scam

    Ya the Vigilante in me would like to email and follow the trail, out these guys and help bust them. But no time and not my job. It's been reported to Google, so if they want they can sic the spam team on it.
    LocalSearchForumLinda Buquet .:. Google Local Specialist

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  5. #5
    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: Google+ Local Fake Address Scam

    Quote Originally Posted by Colan Nielsen View Post
    What these people don't know (which we have learned on another thread) is that their address will most likely still display live on Google Map Maker.

    Linda, do you have a link to the forum thread where this came up?
    Yep true on the MM link Colan, as we know all too well.

    Sorry, meant to post the forum link in case anything else comes up in that thread.

    Hi, my competitor has one location yet he has managed to obtain multiple listings in google maps over 3-4 locations. He now has greater coverage although he works from only 1 location. Is this allowed?
    LocalSearchForumLinda Buquet .:. Google Local Specialist

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  6. Members who thanked Linda Buquet for this post:

    Colan Nielsen (12-11-2012)

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    Re: Google+ Local Fake Address Scam

    There was another on the WarriorForum teaching a trick. The post seems to have been removed.

    The trick was to get a postcard mailed to an address that couldn't receive mail. So the purpose was to deliberately order a postcard for a location near city center that could NOT receive mail.

    In the second line of the business address, you were supposed to put another address that COULD receive mail.

    So the idea was that the post office would try the first location, fail and then mail it to the second location.

    The person suggested that PO Boxes wouldn't work in the 2nd line, but you could use "another" address.

    Apparently this works well for him.
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  8. #7
    Travis Van Slooten's Avatar
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    Re: Google+ Local Fake Address Scam

    Wow...although I have to hand it to this company for thinking outside of the box. I wonder how many people actually replied to the ad. Just reading the ad sounds kind of creepy. "Give us your address for Google and we'll give you $50 (and then come rob you because we know where you live...lol)." You would think anyone reading that ad would run as fast as they could the other way.

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    Re: Google+ Local Fake Address Scam

    Quote Originally Posted by KungFuBacklinks View Post
    In the second line of the business address, you were supposed to put another address that COULD receive mail.
    Yet another reason why Places needs to quit accepting free-form addresses.

    Those will show in Map Maker, though, and when spotted the listing will likely be removed.
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    Iain is offline Member
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    Re: Google+ Local Fake Address Scam

    Here is another fake address scam that is making the rounds. You use a fake address with a real PO box to game the system.

    Postcard Verification Hack (Profit from this google places loophole!)
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  11. #10
    MiriamEllis's Avatar
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    Re: Google+ Local Fake Address Scam

    Maybe it's not real. Maybe it's really Yelp spies who set this up to catch people who would try to game Google's system

    Really good find Linda. What a tangled web we weave...
    Local Business Website Design, Professional Copywriting and Consulting at Solas Web Design!
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