Google "Places" Robocall Scammer - Caught in Lies!


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Linda Buquet

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I got a classic Google "Places" telemarketing scam fraud call.

Outright lie after outright lie!!!

Now I realize these calls happen to businesses all day long. We get a ton of complaints at the Google Forum. But you never know if the caller really lied and said they were with Google and would delete the listing, or if they just used tricky wording to imply it.

You don't understand how bad and intimidating these calls can be to a naive business owner, until you hear one like this. In this case, there was no implying or word games to just mislead...

He outright said my listing would be deleted in 72 hours if I didn't verify it with him.

He flat out lied and said he worked for Google TWICE!


I purposely played dumb and naive to draw more out of him.
(Ya, I'm not really as dumb as I sounded. Was playing him like a fiddle. ;))

Below I will partly paraphrase. My carpal pain won't let me transcribe the whole thing word for word. But when I do catch an important point I can type exactly, it will be in quotes.

The initial robocall definitely said it was Google calling and my listing would be deleted[/B].

I started off saying to him: "The recording said my listing is in danger of being deleted or something?"

He said "Yes ma'am that is correct!"

Since the recording said it was Google calling, but he had come right out and said it yet, I gave him an out to change it or clarify the fact he didn't really work for Google.

I said "Oh you are in San Diego, so then you don't actually work for Google right?"

He said "Google IS in San Diego!"

I said "They are? So you are WITH Google?"

You can clearly hear him say "Yes I am! I'm sitting at my Google desk right now."


He said my listing was in danger of "being taken down" reason: "because you have not verified it."

I told him I verified it and asked is something wrong with it?

He said it needs to be refreshed and "reboost"???

Then he explains to reboost my listing is not monthly, but just a 299 one time fee.

So I questioned again why Google would delete me.

He said "Well it's not so much deletion, it's just that "we" (implying Google) have so many trying to get listings with us, it's just ridiculous, so to weed out... Blah, Blah, Blah...

FYI when he said let's take a look at your site - then I really tried to distract him because usually once they see I'm in the biz they hang up on me. The name Catalyst eMarketing should have been a clue. But I think he was new and pumped up to give his pitch and on a roll!

THIS PART IS CLASSIC...

Toward end he finally looked at my site and said yes I see your site here, the "Local Search Forum" but that did not stop him, he kept right on talking.

I could hear his boss or someone several times trying to get him to shut him up once they heard that.

And he kept whispering something like "Quit interrupting me, I got this!"

And continues to dig his hole.

When it came time for the credit card, I tried to sounded especially dumb & spacey to distract him, because I could hear his boss trying to shut him up and I needed to try to draw the real company name out of him. Since he said he was with Google, I really wanted to get that name. And finally got him to admit it!

Then at end I tell him who I am and what I do.

By then I swear I was so upset, my voice was just shaking and yes I got up on my high horse!

At that point, of course he hung up or likely his supervisor/trainer hung up FOR him.

You can almost visualize his boss doing a face palm and saying "Oh F*&^!
I kept trying to get you to shut up!"


Obviously, this is what you guys in the field are up against. $299 to "reboost" your listing and get you ranking... with a little intimidation and a few lies thrown in!

And you wonder why SMBs are scared and un-trusting. They get calls like this all day long!

Companies like this, give the industry a really bad name and I just wish they could be wiped out!


I'm going to share this with Google Local management and hope they can do something to close these guys down. To me it's outright fraud and impersonation. But of course this tape would not be allowed in court, so not sure what, if anything will come of it.

What do you think???

Have your clients ever complained about getting calls like this?

<meta property="og:type" content="article"><meta property="og:title" content=""><meta property="og:description" content="He outright said my listing would be deleted in 72 hours. He flat out lied and said he worked for Google. Recorded his lies...">
<meta property="og:image" content="http://marketing-blog.catalystemarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/ScamAlert.jpg">
 

Linda Buquet

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re: Google "Places" Robocall Scammer - Caught in Lies!

Oh and here is this company's only Google review...

"This company is the most incompetent group of individuals and are complete snakes! It took them 60 days to complete my Google Plus optimization! They promised me the world and couldn't deliver! I had to dispute the charges with my credit card company! Wasted time and effort! Complete JOKE!"

And a choice reply from one of the many telemarketing complaints above:

"Told me that if I didn't claim my business listing that it would be pulled from Google. Also said he was with Google which is a straight out lie. Told him to stop calling me and remove me and he replied, "why don't you come down here and settle this. Here's the address. 1234 go f**k yourself street."

NOW many times if companies like this are confronted they will try to get off the hook by saying "that was a new rep that went off script - that was an isolated incident!

You can tell by the recurring theme in all those complaints: They say they are Google and they say your listing will be deleted!
 

Louis Nava

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re: Google "Places" Robocall Scammer - Caught in Lies!

Oh Yes, I have clients who get this all day everyday. It's so bad that it hurts my chances of getting clients to do Business View. I end up having to spend more time building trust when those calls have been coming in.

I try to use it to my advantage by letting them know I can check their listing with them in person and if anything is wrong I will help them fix it. Most of the time I gotta give away a little bit to seal the deal.

I have heard these calls while I am there with business owners, It's a shame that this is happening.

I am actually right down the street from these guys. HAHA..
 

Scott Rawlins

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re: Google "Places" Robocall Scammer - Caught in Lies!

Classic! Just made my day. It's such a shame that companies like this get away with it with no repercussions. It's guys like this that give us a bad rap with some businesses.

Just so frustrating!:mad:

But nice job Linda. You did well in sounding like an uninformed business owner. Still cracks me up that he claims to have looked at your site and still didn't get it. I really wish we could understand what his boss was saying. Oh, to be a fly on the wall at that time.
 

steven

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Wow. Thanks for sharing that call. I've actually been in a client's place of business when one of them called and I listened with the owner until she hung up. She told me she gets those calls all the time. This is what makes it hard to prospect new clients. You need something to differentiate yourself from the scammers out there. One thing I do is join my local chamber. At the very least it gives you a split second of authenticity as you try to offer help to them.

And you did play them like a fiddle, Linda! Did you used to be a lawyer or something?;)
 

Linda Buquet

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re: Google "Places" Robocall Scammer - Caught in Lies!

I am actually right down the street from these guys. HAHA..
Sic 'em Danno!

One of the reasons I didn't want to mention their name and alert them, is they are just 20 minutes from me. :(
 

Linda Buquet

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re: Google "Places" Robocall Scammer - Caught in Lies!

I thought you'd enjoy Chris, because I know Dentists are one industry that's hit especially hard by these calls. I'm sure you hear about it all the time!
 

steven

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re: Google "Places" Robocall Scammer - Caught in Lies!

haha! You beat me to the punch with the comcast joke...
 
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That was awesome lol.

Whenever you think your job/your company isn't that great... remember that call and realize how much good you're actually doing in the world. Small businesses need a consultant that'll actually tell them the truth!
 

Colan Nielsen

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re: Google "Places" Robocall Scammer - Caught in Lies!

Thanks Linda! I just shared this with my entire company :)
 

chadkimball

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re: Google "Places" Robocall Scammer - Caught in Lies!

PM Linda to get your listings reboosted for only $99. Much cheaper than this guy.
 
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Great call Linda and Kudos to you for sharing this with us! On a more serious note, this is real problem in our industry.

I receive these calls all the time, as do all of my clients. Scaring unsuspecting business owners is becoming common as robo calls increase.

The fact that this guy was willing to lie about where he worked to try to get your money just shows how desperate many small business owners are to fix their rankings. I have no doubt he has suckered more then a few using this line.

It was obvious that the only training this guy received was watching Wolf of Wall Street 10x.

The best way to get new clients in today's age of scam artists is not by using weasel words that intimate you work directly with Google. Heck, every time you log on to Google you are working directly with them.

Use your past client successes and show them your results. Ask current clients for referrals and above all, tell them the cold hard truth about what it will take to give them a chance for a top ranking!

With the latest Algorithm shake up I have no doubt these scam artists will ramp up their efforts as many business owners have seen their listing drop and are scared to death.

If you have a blog, talk about these scams and educate business owners. they will appreciate your article and may even call you for some help.

As Local Search experts we all get a quick laugh listening to this dip stick dig himself a hole while pitching to one of the top Local experts in the world, but for an unsuspecting business owner it can be down right scary!
 

Linda Buquet

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re: Google "Places" Robocall Scammer - Caught in Lies!

With the latest Algorithm shake up I have no doubt these scam artists will ramp up their efforts as many business owners have seen their listing drop and are scared to death.

If you have a blog, talk about these scams and educate business owners. they will appreciate your article and may even call you for some help.

As Local Search experts we all get a quick laugh listening to this dip stick dig himself a hole while pitching to one of the top Local experts in the world, but for an unsuspecting business owner it can be down right scary!

Thanks Jeff. REALLY good point you made about the algo update.
More SMBs are going to be desperate and fall for calls like this.

In fact the sharp scammers that stay on top of the changes will use it to their advantage and call the markets lost 7 packs and say "We took your listing down, pay us to get it back up."
 

Jo Shaer

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In the UK, we have been fighting this type of scam for Facebook Ads and Google Adwords where salesmen said they worked for those companies. A friend was a victim of both before talking to me and then it was a nightmare to stop her credit card paying the monthly fees.

Not come across a Google Local call yet here but we were approached at one point to provide listings for someone who wanted to telemarket the service. He wanted us to charge a minimal amount for each listing though so we turned him away because the telemarketer would have no idea of the problems any individual business might have with their listing. We didn't want to be saddled with a load of complicated dupes for a tiny one off flat fee.

Only a matter of time before someone jumps on the wagon here I guess.

Thanks for outing the terminology though Linda!
 

Margaret Ornsby

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re: Google "Places" Robocall Scammer - Caught in Lies!

Thank you for sharing that call. It was a eye opener - staggered at the brazen behaviour. the sheer audacity of their claims would con so many people.

I kinda feel sorry for the person on the other end of the phone - so much in need of work they're willing to do that for probably crap pay.
 

Linda Buquet

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re: Google "Places" Robocall Scammer - Caught in Lies!

It's often the case where there is a charismatic leader, who could sell ice to eskimos, that brainwashes new reps into believing their hype. So the phone reps can be fairly convincing because they think what they are saying is true. The boss has showed them something that leads them to believe they are Google partners and shows them listings they've supposedly "taken down" etc. Convinces them they are 'helping' all these small businesses.

In fact on their G+ page it DOES say they are a "Google Engage Partner". But a search of the partner portal does not find them. They probably made a bunch of fake plaques to put on the walls to psyche out their new hires. :mad:

(Or maybe they used to be but when I pointed that out to Google, they were demoted.)
 
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