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If you receive calls from unknown numbers and want money for extending your Google business card, you are probably wondering if you have to pay for a business card in Google Maps?

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Do I have to pay for a business card in Google Maps?

If you receive calls from unknown numbers and want money for extending your Google business card, you are probably wondering if you have to pay for a business card in Google Maps? No. Google Listing my business is completely free. We do not pay for its visibility, impressions or position. Unfortunately, there are companies on the market that take advantage of the unawareness of the owners of premises and want to extort money from them.

I will tell you how it is, what you have to watch out for and what you can do about it, because I do not like this type of activity. I also received several calls from this type of company and decided to take a closer look at the matter.

Scam in Google Maps

What do I need to know about Google Maps business cards?

  • ARE FREE
  • We don’t pay for visibility, extension or impressions
  • Google employees don’t call us to ask for payment
  • Google doesn’t send paper invoices to customers
  • We pay for all services with a card assigned to the Google account, and we receive invoices by e-mail

How do businesses that extort money from business owners on Google Maps work?

Phone from Google

Welcome

Most of these activities are the phones of call center employees who present themselves in such a way that the person answering the phone has the impression that he is talking to a Google employee or his partner. Typically, the conversation includes the names of Google’s services or entities:

  • Google Cloud
  • Alphabet
  • Google Team
  • Google Support
  • Google Partner, Google Certified Partner
  • Local Guides

Google Partner?

It may happen that the company that calls us may be a Google Partner. This only proves that such a company can handle our ads in the Google Ads account, which requires appropriate knowledge confirmed by training and certificates. You can check such partners here. However, this has nothing to do with paying for a business card in Google Maps. If such a company is in the directory of partners and wants to extort money from money, it is worth reporting it to say goodbye to this status.

Do Local Guides call you?

A local Guide can be you or me by actively expressing your opinions or photos on Google Maps. So really, anyone could introduce themselves as such.

Google Local Guides

One of the companies that is associated with the high-profile scandal described on the danger are lokalniprzewodnicy.com.pl who even called me. They present themselves as working with Google and use the name of a program created by Google – [Lokalni Przewodnicy](https://maps.google.com/intl/pl/localguides/), which is a status for active people (add photos, opinions, suggest changes) in Google Maps. It’s surprising that Google hasn’t taken care of them yet, because it breaks it [Zasady dotyczące firm zewnętrznych zarządzających profilem firmy](https://support.google.com/business/answer/7353941).

Certificate of Internet Marketing Fundamentals

Certificate in the basics of Google Internet Marketing

Some companies, however, consider it to be a certified Google partner to obtain, for example, Certificate “Basics of Internet Marketing” which can be obtained on the Internet Revolutions platform for free. Rather, it’s a program aimed at more ambitious business owners who want to have more insight into the subject. (I myself passed such an exam with a certificate and I recommend). Having it, we do not become employees of Google.

Google Trusted Photographer

Google Street View photographer recommended
To get this status in your Google Account, you need to take 50 panoramic photos on Google Maps.

Some may say they are recommended Google Street View photographers. Of course, in such a way as to imply that they are “Google photographers” and work directly for a Silicon Valley company. This is another misrepresentation that Google doesn’t like, but from what I can see, it doesn’t do much about it. This is usually done by photographers selling a virtual walk service.

A Google employee knocking on the door?

At the beginning of my career with virtual walks, before I did not know how to position myself in the network, I was looking for customers on my own and talking to the owners of various premises. Sometimes I heard that “there was already someone from Google” and told various miracles to make them feel “chosen by Google” and wanted to get a lot of money from them. Sometimes these are whole agencies, where 1-2 people run around the city looking for clients, someone else takes pictures, and yet another works. As a result, the price of the service increases significantly above the market.

The status of a recommended photographer itself exists and proves that we are active users of Google Street View services and we have added enough photos to obtain it. When I started doing virtual tours, the verification process was more thorough. Unfortunately, now often an amateur with a phone, can get it.

Google Street View car
If someone in a similar car comes to you and wants money, then know that he wants to stretch you. These are the cars that are supposed to take pictures of the streets in Google Maps and it is Google that determines when and where it will drive.

Google Listing Extension Offer

Companies that want to trick us usually act like mango teleshopping, giving us a super bargain offer not to be rejected, only here and now! A bit like those cunning people who sell sets of pots and household appliances to older people during special shows.

An offer you can’t refuse – pay or disappear!

Usually these are amounts of several hundred zlotys in various variants. It does not matter if they offer you 100, 200, 300 or 400 PLN for a year, two or more. They want you to agree to receive an invoice for a service that is actually free. You will get a choice of 200 PLN / year, or 600 PLN / lifetime, the difference is only in how much money you throw down the drain.

Those more brazen, will scare us with the fact that without paying the invoice, our company will disappear from the search results, or other miracles. Puki we have access to our business card and we do not share it, we can feel safe. Even if such a person reports in Google Maps that our company is closed, we can go to our profile and reject this suggestion.

Some of these companies may also offer positioning or running a business card with a monthly fee. In this case, you already have to do some work and there are actually companies that do it, but here it is also important to choose well. This is already a topic for another post, but you can read on my blog beforehand what you can do to improve the position of your business card for free in the entry – How to improve the position of your business card in Google Maps in 15 minutes (for free).

Is there a charge for a Google listing?

Some companies can be so brazen that they can send us by post or courier already prepared invoices for the extension service. This is a typical psychological game, because some are afraid of removing a business card or entry in the KRD by an unpaid invoice.

A similar mechanism was used by the law firm, which was able to send pre-trial subpoenas at random for allegedly sharing files from the Hamster (to random people who were innocent. However, in fear, they could prefer to pay 3,000 ZLOTYs instead of 185,000. because this is the amount at which losses were valued. You will find the whole thread about it on the trench.

I do not want to advise here what to do with such an invoice, but in my opinion, we should pay for the service performed. So if we did not give any consent, did not accept the regulations verbally or on some website, then I think you can sleep peacefully.

Can a Google listing disappear from Google?

Do I have to pay for a business card in Google Maps?

Maybe, but certainly not because we won’t pay scammers to extend it. Only the owner of the listing can suspend it or send a request to Google to delete it. So, if only you have access to the business card through your Gmail address and do not blatantly violate the rules of Google Maps, nothing threatens you. Scammers use various psychological tricks and tell us that if we do not pay, we will disappear from Google in 3 days.

Can Google employees call business owners?

Call center

Most phone calls with a Google employee are to respond to our contact request. This can be done on the support page to request contact. However, such an employee will never ask us to pay for one service or another.

Below is a quote from the help center, and a link to the full article on how Google communicates with users. There you will find information about callers and Google employees – when and for what purpose they call, and most importantly, “We will not ask you to register for the service, make a payment, or provide confidential personal information.”

Google Operators

You may receive calls from Google carriers about the development of your services, customer service, or support related to Google Ads, Google Play, or other Google Accounts. Keep in mind that Google will never ask for payment information over the phone or offer preferential terms for its services.

You can find the full article “How to recognize a phone call from a scammer” at the Google Business Profile help center: https://support.google.com/business/answer/6212928

Examples of scams

One example, which was quite loud and there was evidence for it. You can read about the whole situation on the danger where the case with the PCC System company is described, which was loudly discussed. As you can read there, PCC is also related to the company lokalniprzewodnicy.com.pl which I mentioned at the beginning and I also had the pleasure of talking to them at one time.

https://niebezpiecznik.pl/post/zbyszek-dzwoni-i-proponuje-kupno-wyswietlen-wizytowki-w-google-posluchajcie-nagrania/

Watch out for these companies:

  • Local Guides
  • PPC System
  • ADD Project
  • Web Holding

How do I report scammers?

Google has prepared a special form on its website through which we can report companies that wanted to deceive us.

Business Profile third-party policy: Report a violation – Google Business Profile Help

In this way, many such companies have already been closed in the states and Europe and forced to pay considerable compensation. In the same way, we can exterminate them in Poland, so your reaction to this type of behavior is also important.

What not to do?

There are a lot of phone scams today. They can apply not only to Google listings, but also to other internet services, financial and many others. Many of them involve obtaining from us some of the personal data and information about us that will help in a larger fraud, or will be sold.

Do not give your data over the phone

If you receive a phone call from an unknown number and someone asks you to verify your personal data, you are already giving them information that is valuable. It is worth checking such a number even in Google and see if it is not on a blacklist. They are also often described by comments from people who were also called from such a number. Another great solution are special applications that automatically check the blacklists of suspicious numbers and mark us with such incoming calls.

You are not sure about the caller, call yourself

You can call yourself, but to the number given on the website, eg. A bank that someone wanted to impersonate. I had a situation with the XTB brokerage account, that someone with an eastern accent informed me about money that automatically multiplied on my account, thanks to cryptocurrencies (which bought themselves) and we only need to verify my withdrawal data. I called my guardian (which they assign after creating an account) and informing him about such a situation, he forwarded the case to the appropriate department.

List of certified partners

If the company claims to be a “Certified Google Partner”, we have the opportunity to check it directly on the Google website. However, this does not exclude that one department of the company may deal with SEO and advertising on Google, and by the way they have someone to call and stretch for business card extensions, or sell poor quality positioning, or fake reviews.

Here you can check google partners: https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/partners/find-a-partner

Here you can report these dishonest https://support.google.com/business/contact/gmb_3p_complaints

Check reviews on the web

If a company calls you, you can always ask for its name and employee details. You can check the opinions about the number itself, as well as the company itself and possibly check whether the same phone is a contact to the company, if someone pretends to be an employee of another company.

Positioning a Google business card in Maps

In fact, there are agencies that will help us fill in or control the profile of our company, but they act differently than scammers in the above-mentioned way – they do not take money for anything. Positioning a Google business card is not rocket science. It is worth determining in advance what we are really paying for, because it is impossible to buy a position in Google / Google Maps results. We can buy a Google Ads ad that will contain location splits, but this requires not only a fee for the agency, but also an advertising budget, because these are paid search results. If you want to act long in waves, you need to take care of such things as:

  • up-to-date information on the business card
  • correctness of data (phone, web address, opening hours)
  • fill in missing information
  • create a company description
  • add services
  • add photos
  • obtain and respond to feedback

We can do it ourselves, or we can outsource it to an agency. Your choice.



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