Business Listing Scam

Using the internet to get information is the easiest way to fulfill most daily requirements. The question here is “Are you sure that the information updated online is not from the scammer”?

It is important for both small and large scale businesses to maintain their quality Online presence to retain existing customers and attract new. Google has a platform named as Google My Business which allows Businesses to list themselves and edit their Business Profile with information such as Address,Contact Number, Website. These details are not verified So anyone can edit them (primarily  Scammers).

Most of the consumers of a Service prefer to research about a business online prior visiting it, they also look for Contact Information online whenever needed as it is easy and available at their fingertips. Although Google itself provides very clear contact details, these details can be falsified easily.

Like Google My Business, JustDial is an another website which provides platform for businesses to list themselves online. It allows businesses to get reviews from customers and improve their likability to get searched.

Below are the few examples of scams done online.

1. Editing business profiles online.
2. Leaving Fake customer care numbers in review section of the company wherever possible.

Let’s take a look into the above points.

Editing business profiles online. (Google My Business)

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) India report (EDI) 2017 – 18, India has a rapidly increasing entrepreneurial culture, with more than 20,000 new businesses being registered in the last year.
Looking into the market of entrepreneurship Google introduced “Google My Business” in June 2014 to move more traffic to these businesses. Google My Business is absolutely free which helps entrepreneurs enhance their businesses online just by updating their online business profile.

Scammers and Competitors, both have a sharp eye on your business and may try to play with your business profiles.

How Business Profiles Are Edited Online?

Note: We do not get the below options for all businesses.

(A) Search with the company name and you will see “Suggest an edit” option online and there is no authentication to update the same.
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(B)  Clicking on “Suggest an edit”, gives you the below options.

 

 

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(C) Selecting “Change name or other details” allows you to update the details. Once the details are filled, you are just a step away making it visible online. Click on “Send” button and the changes will be updated after google review. It usually takes 3 days.

“Google My Business” support confirms that the information can be edited without verifying your business. The changes include the name, category, address, hours, phone number, and website. They also confirm that some users may still need to verify their business first before editing.

This confirms that the business profiles are not secured on google as we think. There are many other ways to edit business information and target the victim.

Leaving Fake Customer Care Numbers in Review Section (Just Dial)

Reviews are nothing but the valuable feedback, which helps companies gauge performance and see how they can improve. Hence, reviews cannot be restricted.

Nowadays, Scammers have started posting Fake Customer Numbers in the review Section of businesses. Generally for those Businesses which do not answer Support Calls after working time. Scammers gets an advantage of this and post their own numbers as Customer Care Number, so when a Customer calls contact number (often Land Line) from the Site and it is not picked up, he tries the Mobile number from JustDial Review Section thinking it is the personal number of one of the employees to support customer queries after work hours.

These scammers then use classic Social Engineering techniques to obtain Financial Credentials of the Victim.

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