Legal Action Taken By Google Against Local Business Scammers

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A legal action is being taken by Google against scammers that target owners of small business.

In a blog post that was posted on Wednesday, the company said that it is going after three companies including PointBreak Media, which was accused by the Federal Trade Commission last week of fraudulently threatening to remove businesses from the search results of Google and charging them for free services.

The other companies that Google identified are Supreme Marketing Group (known as Small Business Solutions) and Kydia (which does business as BeyondMenu).

Without specifying what kind of legal action it is taking in the blog post, Google stated: “We hope this sends the message to other scammers out there that we will not hesitate to take legal action against them.”

The representatives from these firms carry out their scams by contacting local businesses and pretending to be from Google. They then convince the businesses that are on the other line to pay them for some services that are related to the free business listings of Google.

Beyond the plans to take the legal route, Google is also releasing new tools to help the company identify and take action against the accounts that are connected to scams and to educate business owners on how to recognize bad actors.

The said issue is related to another problem that Google is currently having with Maps, which critics assert is being plagued by fake reviews and fraudulent listings.

A representative from Google has not responded to an inquiry as to whether the new tools of the company will help in identifying the chains of fake listings and reviewers.