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How to Prevent and Report Google AdWords Verification Scams

White Shark Media

10 years ago

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Online businesses, especially SMBs are targeted with scam phone calls all the time.

Scammers are getting more creative every day and finding ways to steal your money and information.

Lotto scams, telemarketing scams, SEO proposals promising you the world and “Google reps” telling you there is something wrong with your account are only a few examples to mention.

We have experienced this ourselves at White Shark Media. However, this time, it was one of our clients who had to deal with such situation.

This post goes as a warning to all online businesses to avoid falling into scams like the following:

A few days ago, we received an email from a client who was worried about a “Google representative” calling and asking him for $300 to re-certifying him.

Needless to say, this was a scam in its entirety.

This is the email our client sent us:

“I received a strange call yesterday from someone who said they represented Google Ads. They said that my account is on the verge of being removed because it is not verified. The main reason is because our address is incorrect. Google Ads has us listed at the old address and they wanted $300 to re-certify us?
This sounds like a scam to me. In any event, can you look into this and make sure our new address is listed with AdWords and there is no chance for us being removed?”

Red Flag Number One:

First off, if this were remotely true, it would be so unlike Google to call advertisers down right asking them for money with such a lame excuse.

Red flag number two:

We actually called the number the so-called Google Rep provided, which is 772-222-7927 in case you ever get this type of phone calls, and all we got was an automatic voicemail. We called several times and none of our calls were answered. Our client also tried reaching them and he had no answer.

Red flag number three:

The number was not listed on Google’s official page at all.

To make a long story short, we called Google and notified them of this behavior.

What to Do When You have Been Targeted

Business owners and fellow advertisers, ALWAYS suspect of these types of calls. There are many bogus companies claiming to be Google AdWords representatives calling business and asking for sensitive information.

This sort of fraudulent behavior can be successful if clients are not properly informed and/or if client-strategist communications are not transparent and up-to-date.

Google actually has a list of scams that have been identified and gives you some guidelines for what to do when you have been scammed. You can visit Google’s page to report and avoid scams. 

You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission/ National Do not Call Registry if you consistently get this type of phone calls.

Have you experienced this type of calls? What is your preventive/ actionable advice regarding scams? Let us know in the comments below.

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