The internet is full of scams; we all know this. But recently, a particularly underhanded scam related to Google Business Profiles (GBPs) has been after small business owners. Our clients have been receiving emails requesting that someone be granted access or even ownership of their Google Business Profiles. These requests come straight from Google and are submitted by individuals or bots attempting to take over legitimate businesses for shady purposes.
If this happens to you, don’t panic! We’re going to walk you through your best next steps for securing your GBP and making sure this doesn’t continue to happen for your business.
Why Would Scammers Want Your GBP?
Before we get into what to do with scammy GBP ownership requests, you may be wondering one important question: why do scammers even want access to your Google Business Profile? There are three main reasons:
- Gain access and hold your profile hostage, forcing you to pay a large amount to regain ownership.
- Damage your brand or prevent customers from getting in touch with you by changing important company information available on your GBP.
- Steal your traffic and reviews by changing the company information to their own and routing customers their way.
What to Do If You Receive a Spam GBP Ownership Request
First thing to do if you receive an ownership request email from Google? Don’t ignore it. It’s always important to take a look at whatever emails come from Googe, but it’s especially important to take note of ones like these. If you continually ignore these emails, Google could take it as a sign that you’re no longer monitoring the profile – and may grant access to the scammer or bot.
So here’s what you do instead:
If you receive an email stating that someone has requested ownership of your Google Business Profile, click “Review Request.” From there, you will be asked to approve or decline the access. If you reject access, you will be asked why; simply respond that the person requesting access has no affiliation with your business.
An Important Note About These Requests
Always monitor your email for requests like these from Google because you have 7 days to respond as the owner of the profile. If you do not accept or deny access within those 7 days, Google may grant access to the requesting party.
What To Do If the Issue Persists
If you continue to get phishing attempts like GBP ownership requests – even after continually denying them – there are two ways to contact Google and address it:
Both of these will prompt you to fill out your GBP information and report your specific issues. Explain in detail how you’ve gotten spam requests and ask Google to help you secure your profile against attacks.
Tips for Keeping Your Google Business Profile Secure
- Make sure all your business information is up-to-date. Also, stay engaged with your profile by regularly adding new pictures and posting updates.
- Change the password of the Gmail attached to your GBP account and set up 2-factor authentication.
- Check the email related to your GBP account several times a week for emails from Google, especially ones related to ownership requests.
Contact Such n Such Media If You Need More Help
If you’ve followed all of the above steps and continue to be attacked by scammers and bots seeking to claim your Google Business Profile, Such n Such Media is ready to help. We are Google experts, and we know all the scammers’ tricks. We are here to help you secure the online reputation and success of your business, making sure nothing comes between you and your customers. Contact us today if you have any issues with your GBP, or if you’d like to learn more about how Such n Such Media can help your business succeed online.