Dentists Get Duped By Scam Calls Claiming to Be Google
No, in all likelihood Google is NOT calling your dental practice.
The more likely situation is, those scam robocalls you’re receiving are from (rather unscrupulous) marketing & advertising companies preying on unsuspecting business owners – like dentists.
The low-level call center representatives who get the call routed to them after someone at your office picks up will either outright lie and say they work for Google or they will just use tricky wording to imply that they are calling from Google.
It’s a numbers game this Google scam calls to dentists game; these sand-sucking scumbags call on local businesses and throw out the Google name to see if they get a bite.
These marketing & advertising companies use scare tactics like warning you about the impending possible suspension of your “Google business listing” or your “Google+ Local page,” or claiming you need to verify your page to prevent removal.
It’s all BS…kinda like that letter from the so-called “Domain Registry of America” you may have received warning you about your expiring domain name.
That’s BS too, but a topic for another blog post.
The Google Call to Dentists Scam: How It Works
The phone call scam clan claiming to be Google are calling your dental practice because you’re an easy target.
A lot of you have by now taken the most basic step of maximizing your online presence by actually claiming & verifying your Google+ Local page.
But a lot of dentists haven’t. And a lot of dentists also have multiple Google+ Local duplicate pages floating around out there – which are negatively impacting your local rankings by the way.
A target-rich environment for the Google call to dentists phone scam!
That makes you an easy target, the widespread lack of understanding most small business owners (including you) have about their online presence.
So the strategy these Google scam callers launch at your dental practice is a one-call close type sale offering a minimally priced (but worthless) solution.
The tactics they employ are basically:
- Robocalls fire away at will hitting the ~200K or so dental practices in the country.
- Someone at your office answers & possibly hears a delay or even a short recording laying the groundwork.
- Phone rep takes over to establish credibility by using the Google name.
- Phone rep uses scare tactics with threats to your business information & how it appears on Google.
- Phone rep offers (a worthless, basically robbery) a minimally priced solution – say, $299 to fix the issue, claim your page, save it from suspension…[insert threat here].
How to Tell if it’s Really Google Calling Your Dental Practice
There’s an easy way to quickly determine the validity of the call – again, most likely Google IS NOT calling your dental office.
One very easy way to identify if you’re actually talking to someone working at Google or if it’s just another bottom-feeding spam-producing scammer trying to glom on to the Google brand at the expense of your dental practice, is to ask for a call back number.
Business are sometimes busy, unable to take administrative calls or those unrelated to any customer support or sales – like dental offices.
I can’t say for certain but I’d wager dollars to donuts that Google knows this, so simply asking the purported Google employee for a call back number so you can talk about this at a time that is more convenient would not be considered unreasonable or even an uncommon occurrence.
My guess is if it’s anyone legit – like Google, you can call back & handle your business.
The same can’t be said with the Google scam calls to your dental practice…or the incessant stammering heard when the phone rep tries to reply to a simple question requiring a series of 10 numbers with BS explanation.
I personally use this tactic when they call our office – which is multiple times a week by the way, and we're a genuine Google Partner that also happens to be an ad agency...
Also, when you get one of these BS fake Google scam calls at your dental practice, just ask for:
- the caller’s name
- the company they are calling from (another chance for them to change the scare tactic working on their sales script)
- a call back number
Google Will Not Call Your Dental Office About Your Suspended Local Page
There are times when Google might call your dental office, like say if you’re an active Adwords advertiser & you have opted-in to receiving calls from Google to improve account performance.
Then it is entirely possible that Google could be calling your dental practice.
Google won’t call you uninitiated to tell you to claim your Google My Business page or Google+ Local page (same thing).
And if your page does get suspended for some reason – whether by actions you take, or marketing companies acting on your behalf – they won’t call you then either…but you will see the message the next time you attempt to login to your Google My Business dashboard.
So in review, Google will call your dental practice if:
- You used the ‘request a call‘ link off the Google My Business support page.
- You choose to verify your Google+ Local page via telephone confirmation.
- You are an Adwords advertiser – and you have opted-in to receive communications from Google.
What Does A Fake Google Scam Call Sound Like?
Thanks to Top Google Contributor & Local Search Ranking Factors contributor, Linda Buquet at Catalyst eMarketing & the Local Search Forum for the following audio clip.
In Linda’s words:
“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!
DISCLAIMERS: The phone recording was poor and you could barely hear him and I’m too loud. So even though I had no clue how to edit audio, I downloaded software and tried to make my voice quieter and his louder. So now you can hear him, but he’s hard to understand, so I’ll paraphrase and transcribe some choice snippets below the audio.”
To get the full cinematic experience you should really click on over to the forum post and read Linda’s transcription: http://www.localsearchforum.com/google-local-important/20893-google-places-scammer-caught-lies-tape.html
Once there you can also check out the real name (which has probably changed by now, & there are tons more) of the “SEO” company perpetrating these fake Google scam calls on your dental practice.
“Google” Called You About Your Business Listing?
And if you’re still reading this far down…check out this recent HOA (Hangout on Air) from the Google Partners Community on the topic:
If you ever want to report these calls to the REAL Google…you can do so here: https://support.google.com/faqs/answer/2952493
If Your Dental Practice Needs Help with Google+ Local…
You’d think it would be easy to keep up with these Google scam calls to dentists, but you probably have a hard enough time trying to stay current with more recent –
and legitimate – updates emanating out of the Google empire.
Never mind the actual treating of patients, running a business, having a family…or staying current with the latest techniques & technology.
These Google scam calls to dentists around the country will probably continue, so let’s focus on what you can control.
- Using Social Media to drive patient reviews & referrals.
- Using Local SEO to expand your digital practice footprint & improve your website ranking factors.
- Using Mobile technology to retain & activate more existing patients.
- Using Paid Search & Mobile Ads to drive new patient appointment calls to your practice.
If you’re in need of a lifeline about scam Google calls to your dental practice or any of the aforementioned things you actually can control, call us…maybe?