Google reviews impersonation scam. Hurting small business![ Edited ]
August 2016 - last edited August 2016
I posted this on reddit but wanted to post it here too.
I noticed 3 bad Google reviews on my company. I investigated and determined these were never customers of mine.
I did more investigating. From the 3 reviewers that gave me negative reviews, I went and looked at their positive reviews. For example Rizzo Sanitation & Quality Appliance Service I clicked on many of their positive reviewers and seen a pattern. Many who liked both companies. I even seen a pattern in negative reviews about how the reviewer expressed themselves. I've clicked on nearly 100 reviews and I'm sure something is going on.
My first guess is there is some internet marketing guy(s) that if you use their service they will spend their time giving you positive reviews to boost you on your Google listing. Now if these guys call you and you tell them no, hang up on them or whatever, they give you a bad review!
I could list at least twice this many companies, but I'm only going to list a few. If I can find out what company these following companies use for internet marketing I would say that's a good guess of whos doing this.
Quality Appliance Service (utah)
Livonia Michigan Siding
Affordable Web Design
Super Bargain Tree Service (Charlott, NC)
Brookwood Towing Service (MI)
Daily Savings Tree Service (Indianapolis, IN)
Lakes Area Dumpster Rental (MI)
I'm also going to guess this is a Michigan based company because of the many Michigan based reviews.
What can I do to correct my business listing and stop these guys?
Re: Google reviews impersonation scam. Hurting small business!
Hi @Heather A,
Thanks for writing, and I understand the frustration with reviewers that seem to be fake. The best thing to do here would be to flag the reviews to alert our team that you believe the reviewer to be a fake. This way, our team will fully investigate the reviewer, and take appropriate action based on the results.
Thanks for letting us know!
GMB Community Manager
Re: Google reviews impersonation scam. Hurting small business![ Edited ]
August 2016 - last edited August 2016 by Buzzb
You are well aware of these illegal practices.
Companies claiming to be Google Affiliates constantly call small businesses soliciting their internet marketing services. If you use their services you will get positive fake reviews if you don't use their services there is a chance you will get negative reviews. These negative reviews will never go away and you are forced to solicit you r own positive reviews or the much easier method is hire these illegal businesses to write you fake reviews.
Your verification process for reviewers needs to be overhauled.
Any business hurt by these illegal practices please contact me via email <edited by a Community Manager as noted below>
Note: this post has been edited by a Community Manager, per Community Guidelines, in order to remove account specifics and/or personal contact information. This is done to protect account security and privacy. Community Guidelines may be referenced via the link toward the bottom right of most pages in the the Community.
Google reviews impersonation scam. Hurting small business!
I have a small bridal shop for almost 26 years and always had good reviews until I got a phone call from this guy who pretended he works for google and asked me if I pay$550.00 he can change the reviews from 3 stars to 5 stars and when I said no I'm not interested and don't call me back a day ofter I received 9 bad, nasty reviews on my wall within half an hour, I was shocked and I emailed google to ask them to stop this nonsense and I'm still waiting to here from them!!